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A BIGGER SPLASH Italy/France. 2016. Directed by Luca Guadagnino. (124 mins.) Rated R. In English with some Italian
A BIGGER SPLASH, starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Ralph Fiennes, is a hypnotic, stunning and bewitching masquerade!
"Guided by emotion and imagery, A Bigger Splash is a wicked, mysterious, ceaselessly sexy, and experiential carnal summer whirl." - Blake Goble, Consequences of Sound
In the glamorous dark comedy A BIGGER SPLASH, director Luca Gudagnino (I AM LOVE) reunites with the sensational Tilda Swinton who stars as Marianne, a gorgeous, glittering rock star on hiatus as she recovers from throat surgery. In the idyllic Sicilian sunshine where she has retreated from both the public gaze and her performance persona with her boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts), she is completely unprepared for the sudden arrival of a cocky music producer (Ralph Fiennes) and his petulant, recently discovered daughter (Dakota Johnson). Their arrival creates a steamy whirlwind of jealousy and passion. Come on in, the water's fine!
"To speak or stay silent? Excess or restraint? Honesty or discretion? It's clear which is right and which is wrong, but "A Bigger Splash" manages to infuse even the most straightforward questions with vicariously alluring ambiguity." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
THE MEDDLER United States. 2016. Directed by Lorene Scafaria. (100 mins.) Rated PG-13.
THE MEDDLER is a thoroughly enjoyable, uplifting and poignant comedy with a rich, rewarding spirit!
"With Sarandon in the title role, Scafaria has a winner: The actress tackles Marnie headlong, with heart and soul, trolling the fancy outdoor shopping mall for products to buy and for people to intercept and hang on to." - Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"This is a sunny little gem of a film." - Liz Braun, Toronto Sun
Striking a winning balance of insight, heart and laugh-out-loud hilarity, director Lorene Scafaria's (SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD) second feature stars the magnificent Susan Sarandon in one of her most magnetic and richly satisfying roles. After the death of her husband, ceaselessly cheerful, doting mother supreme, Marnie Minervini (Sarandon), crosses coasts to drop into the life of her bewildered Los Angeles screenwriter daughter, Lori (Rose Byrne). THE MEDDLER is a warmly splendid, wryly scripted send up on mother-daughter relations - maddening, lovable and so incredibly fun!
"Sarandon sparkles in this lightweight comedy-drama." - Rafer Guzman, Newsday
SING STREET Ireland/UK. 2016. Directed by John Carney. (106 mins.) Rated PG-13.
From John Carney, the director of ONCE and BEGIN AGAIN, SING STREET is a feel-good, music-driven delight with a huge heart and irresistible charm!
"With its intriguing characters and exhilarating music, Sing Street is the best film about being young, gifted and Irish since The Commitments." - Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Carney understands how music not only provides a soundtrack for a life, but can change a life, too." - Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
Inspired by ONCE director John Carney's life and his overwhelming love for music, SING STREET nostalgically sweeps us back to 1980s Dublin as seen through the life of 14-year-old Conor. As he tries to adjust to his new inner-city public school, the teen finds a glimmer of hope and a smidgen of swagger when he meets a beautiful, supremely cool girl and, alongside a lively crew of collaborators, forms a band emulating the best rock heroes of the era in order to win her affection. This hugely heartwarming and delightful tale is a joyous, vibrant celebration of music, youth, love and the unlimited possibilities that open up when all three irresistibly swirl together
"A delightful film that is almost impossible to watch without a smile on your face." - Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
THE FAMILY FANG United States. 2016. Directed by Jason Bateman. (105 mins.) Rated R.
With layered performances from Justin Bateman, Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken, THE FAMILY FANG is a sharp, witty and hilarious look at deceptive and dysfunctional family life!
"Acutely observed and graced with equal parts humor and honest feeling." - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
Deeply moving and caustically funny, THE FAMILY FANG is an unpredictable, off-kilter, dysfunctional-family drama with a distinct sense of humor. Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are fabulous as the offspring and reluctant collaborators of Caleb and Camille Fang (scene-stealer Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett), controversial performance artists who involve innocent bystanders in their elaborately staged scenes and skits. When the elder Fangs go missing under mysterious circumstances, their children are forced to dig into the unresolved issues of their bizarre childhoods. Sensitively directed by Bateman, this engaging, kooky knockout reveals a surprise around every corner!
"The Fang's eccentric pranks are enough to give the movie a fresh and amusing twist on the typical family drama about the psychic wounds of childhood, and the lengths to which kids will go in seeking their parents' approval." - Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
RAMS Iceland. 2015. Directed by Grimur Hakonarson. (90 mins.) Rated R. In Icelandic with English subtitles
RAMS is a touching story about two estranged brothers who must come together to save what is dearest to them!
"Despite its affection for the quirks of its characters and their milieu, the film is most memorable for its gravity, for the almost tragic nobility it finds in sad and silly circumstances."
- A.O. Scott, New York Times
With keen observation, gently sardonic humor and stellar performances from its two leads, RAMS masterfully mixes comedy and heartache in its portrait of an ancient, endangered, way of life. Iceland has never been more breathtaking than in this stunningly shot charmer centering around two grizzled sheep farmers whose decades-long feud comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks. Compelling, droll and quietly affecting, this amusing and winsome tale of overcoming adversity is an utterly unforgettable gem!
"Sigurjonsson's Gummi, with his quiet canniness and his fearful, conflicted feelings about his belligerent brother, is the best reason to watch Rams." - Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS United States. 2016. Directed by Michael Showalter. (95 mins.) Rated R.
Sally Field absolutely shines in HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS the charming, wistful tale of a 60-something woman who falls for a younger co-worker!
"Within the perky antics is bewildered rage at the prospect of aging, solitude, and irrelevance; the best thing about the film is that it has no answers." - Richard Brody, New Yorker
A truly funny and uplifting comedy with a delightful spirit and a huge heart, HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS offers an endlessly entertaining and triumphant performance by two-time Oscar winner Sally Field. Having devoted her entire adult life to care for her mother, unassuming office worker, Doris, feels lost now that her mom has passed. But when Doris finds inspiration in the ideas of a self-help guru, the arrival of a handsome new co-worker (New Girl's Max Greenfield) heralds a new obsession. This touching, tender tale is the rarest of comedies, effortlessly moving between absurdity and reality to paint the moving portrait of one kooky, compassionate dreamer.
"A brave little film that shows it's never too late to come of age." - Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
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