NOV. 3: Juste la fin du monde / It’s Only the End of the World

Director: Xavier Dolan
Canada/France 2016
French with English subtitles / 95 minutes
Rating: PG

Apologies for the technical difficulties.

After receiving a terminal diagnosis, Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) returns home, ending a 12-year absence. But his homecoming is tainted by lingering resentment. His attempts to inform his mother (Nathalie Baye), sister (Léa Seydoux), brother (Vincent Cassel), and sister-in-law (Marion Cotillard) of his illness are repeatedly sabotaged by the surfacing tensions between family members. Shot in intimate close-ups, the film is claustrophobic and oppressive, brilliantly conveying the characters’ dysfunction. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, this is a thunderous drama about family roots.

Dolan has made a film that is at once his most restrained and withholding work while still being remarkably indulgent. A whole film told in tight close-ups on anguished faces. Grace Sharkey, 4:3

Dolan has found a way to exasperate and exhaust his audience, but he has also achieved a completely unexpected catharsis at the end of an
agonizing hour and a half.  Standing there on the grave of dreams, he knows why the caged bird sings.
Peter Debruge, Variety

It’s not an easy film to watch – and it doesn’t try to be. Pablo Villaça, Cinema em Cena

Oct. 27: Our Little Sister

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Japan 2015
Japanese with English subtitles / 128 minutes
Rating: PG

The Koda sisters have been on their own since their mother
moved away shortly after her husband left her for another woman. Now in their twenties, the three sisters still live together. When they
receive news of their father’s death, they’re surprised to discover that they have a 13-year-old half-sister, who gratefully accepts her sisters’ offer to live with them. The presence of the girl, for whom the loss of her father is still a fresh wound, stirs long-dormant
memories of their father. This tender and restrained film is a subtle but deeply affecting meditation on absence and loss.

Kore-eda makes thrilling the rich inner lives of four young women trying to navigate rocky emotional terrain in the wake of their father’s death. Barbara Van Denburgh, Arizona Republic

If you succumb to Kore-eda’s slow rhythms – the climbs up a hill to find a magnificent view, the walks along the beach, the simple peace of a shared meal – this is the kind of movie that will leave you feeling restored, maybe a little misty-eyed as well. Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

Our Little Sister is a tender and restrained feature that flows by like a gentle stream, lulling you with its melodic cadence and drawing you into its beauty. Bob Bloom, Journal & Courier (Lafayette)

Oct. 13: Captain Fantastic

Director: Matt Ross
USA 2015
English / 120 minutes
Rating: R (brief nudity and language)

Ben (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife have raised their six kids deep
in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, away from the modern world. But when tragedy strikes, Ben and his clan are forced to leave their counterculture paradise. Both heartbreak and hilarity ensue as the kids face some of their first social interactions with the wider world. Best known for his heavy-duty dramatic roles, Mortensen
reveals a wonderful gift for comedy and his interactions with the children yield some truly laugh-out-loud moments. A delightfully offbeat and heartwarming tale.

He bears the nickname of a comic book hero, the brains of a scholar,
the soul of a rebel.  His story is a richly rewarding film experience.
Mara Reinstein, US Weekly

It’s a rare movie that asks such big questions – about parenting, about family, about modern-day America – and comes up with answers that
are moving and meaningful, that make you laugh and cry.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

A fiercely original, pleasantly unpredictable character piece. This is a gang of outsiders with something valuable to say about the world we
live in.
Helen O’Hara, Empire Magazine