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FIRST REFORMED United States. 2018. Directed by Paul Schrader. (108 mins.) Rated R. [CC]
From acclaimed director Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED is a haunting and meditative story brimming with insights into faith and guilt!
"This is a movie about faith tested, and people trying to reconcile hope with a world that can feel hopeless. It's a film to be seen in a dark theater with an audience hushed in reverence of the power of cinema." - Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
A resonating, gripping new thriller from writer/director Paul Schrader (the legendary screenwriter behind Taxi Driver), FIRST REFORMED is a passionate film infused with conflicted religious fury about one man's crisis of faith and his reckoning with environmental decay. Ernest Toller (Ethan Hawke), a former military chaplain haunted by his past, leads a dwindling congregation at a historic abolitionist church in Upstate New York. When one of his parishioners (Amanda Seyfried) confesses her concern for her radical activist husband, Toller’s own beliefs are dramatically challenged. Schrader has masterfully composed a film of classic rigour and stately grace where undercurrents of emotion threaten to break apart an orderly life.
THE SEAGULL United States. 2018. Directed by Michael Mayer. (98 mins.) Rated PG-13. [CC, AD]
THE SEAGULL, featuring a fabulous cast including Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening and Elisabeth Moss, intertwines a myriad of complex relationships comprised from Chekhov's alluringly insulated world!
"It captures the true sense of humanism at the very soul of the story, which reflects both the lightness and the true darkness of life." - Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
An exquisite adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL is a lively, absorbing saga about art, fame and a family entangled in a clever web of love triangles set against the backdrop of a stunning country estate. Combining the talents of Elisabeth Moss from The Handmaid’s Tale, three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan from LADY BIRD and Annette Bening, one of Hollywood’s biggest names ever since AMERICAN BEAUTY, a series of elaborate encounters play out over the course of one dramatic weekend. Director Michael Mayer turns his source material into a sparkling, fast-paced and sultry adventure.
SWEET COUNTRY Australia. 2018. Directed by Warwick Thornton. (113 mins.) Rated R.
Both timeless and perfectly of the moment, SWEET COUNTRY is a poetic, serene Australian story that is full of fury!
"The spare, classical chase drama that ensues is seeded with barbed observations on colonialism, cultural erasure and rough justice, kept poetically succinct by Thornton's lithe, soaring visual storytelling." - Guy Lodge, Variety
A compelling period tale layered with thinly-veiled prejudice and the imbalance of power, SWEET COUNTRY is an outstanding outback western inspired by real events. Aboriginal stockman Sam (Hamilton Morris) works the land of a kind preacher (Sam Neill), but when a bitter and often-drunk war veteran named Harry March (Ewen Leslie) returns to town, a violent confrontation forces Sam to act in self-defense. Shocked, afraid and with a deep distrust in authority, Sam goes on the run, urgently pursued by a fervent posse. In director Warwick Thornton’s stunningly skilled hands, the darkness of the human psyche is brilliantly balanced with the stark beauty of the land. It’s a must-see on the big screen!
THE RIDER United States. 2018. Directed by Chloe Zhao. (104 mins.) Rated R. [CC, AD]
Independent Spirit Awards Nominee
THE RIDER is an evocative, empathetic, elegant masterpiece that honors a vanishing way of life!
"Filmmaker Chloé Zhao turns the story of real-life bronc rider Brady Jandreau into a gritty, graceful character study. Once The Rider hooks you - and believe me, it will - there's no way you will ever forget it." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, Chloé Zhao’s outstanding drama, majestically capturing life on South Dakota’s expansive Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is a lyrical and introspective elegy to the American West. Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) is a rising rodeo star whose career is abruptly halted after a traumatic head injury sustained in the ring. Though he longs to climb back in the saddle, he finds himself torn between the allure of cowboy life and the obligations to his widowed father and autistic sister (both played by Jandreau’s real-life family members). Stoic, fearless and with a rare sense of authenticity, THE RIDER bravely charts a fresh course, remarkably redefining masculinity and machismo.
POPE FRANCIS Switzerland/Vatican City/France/Italy/Germany. 2018. Directed by Wim Wenders. (96 mins.) Rated PG. [CC, AD] in English and in Italian, Spanish & German with English subtitles
POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD offers a compelling look at the pontiff's progressive ideas with a message of love!
"Whether he's washing the feet of prisoners in America, visiting sick children in Africa, or praying with hurricane victims in Asia, Pope Francis doesn't merely preach empathy, responsibility, and accountability, he lives it." - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
Not told as a traditional biographical documentary, director Wim Wenders (BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB) instead carries us on a personal journey with Pope Francis in his latest film, bringing us face-to-face with the pontiff’s groundwork of reform and his answers to today’s global questions. POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD tackles everything from social justice, immigration, ecology, inequality and materialism to the role of the family in society. Interweaving the story of St. Francis of Assisi with the philosophies of the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere, this fascinating exploration is a celebratory revelation and an unmistakable call for peace.
RBG United States. 2018. Directed by Betsy West, Julie Cohen. (97 mins.) Rated PG. [CC]
RBG provides an engaging, enlightening and entertaining look into Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's intellect, work ethic, bone-deep decency and commitment to justice!
"Stands as a film that informs, and sometimes even delights with its portrait of one of the more remarkable lawyers, judges and feminist icons of our time." - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
This compelling and courageous documentary details precisely how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vigorous dissenting opinion and ferocious 20-push-up workouts have earned the tiny, soft-spoken intellectual giant the iconic title Notorious RBG. Now 84, her strategic, trailblazing work in defining gender-discrimination has created unprecedented legal advancements for women’s rights and equality. Through intimate interviews and unprecedented access to Ginsburg’s life outside the court, RBG tells the electric and engaging story of a woman who, refusing to relinquish her passionate duty, is still a force with which to be reckoned.
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