Halla ((Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), a choirmaster who loves her job, has just been approved to adopt a child from a war-torn area in Ukraine. But Halla is also an eco-terrorist, defending Iceland’s rugged landscape from unscrupulous politicians and the aluminum industry. She’s committed to her cause, but can’t help wondering whether it’s more fulfilling to save many hypothetical future lives or the life of the daughter she may never meet. With a postmodernist sense of humour that suggests vintage Makavejev and Godard, Woman at War is a timely film that speaks to social issues with wit and warmth.
Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further than Woman at War.Jay Weissberg, Variety
A wry, idiosyncratic comedy that communicates important topical messages while never being less than a joy to watch. Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail
Offbeat, poignant and visually exquisite. Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter
Thursday, March 28, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Nadine Labaki Lebanon/USA 2018 Arabic; 121 minutes Rating: 14a for language and some drug material
Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is only 12, but he’s seen enough of life to resent his very existence. Life with his family is hard, but when his parents sell his younger sister, he runs away. Although he meets kindred spirits, living on the streets is equally difficult. Encouraged by a current affairs program seeking to draw attention to child poverty, Zain files a lawsuit against his parents for giving birth to him. Capernaum reveals a world of constant desperation where the innocent appear forsaken. But our hope lies in resourceful kids like Zain, whose story Labaki relays with empathy and bold cinematic vision.
Capernaum is an absolute heartbreaker about children in peril and the plight of undocumented people.Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Labaki chose the title “Capernaum” because the word was often used to mean “chaos” in French literature. That’s precisely what she presents to us, with precious little relief in sight. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
While this is unquestionably an issue film, it tackles its subject with intelligence and heart.Jay Weissberg, Variety
Thursday, March 21, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Olivier Assayas France 2019 French; 108 minutes Rating: R for some language and sexuality/nudity
Successful and self-assured book publisher Alain (Guillaume Canet) is busy coping with the ins and outs of both his private and professional lives. His relationship with his wife (Juliette Binoche) has gone stale, he has to deal delicately with one of his long-time authors (Vincent Macaigne), and in his enthusiastic embrace of digital and social media Alain has hired an ambitious young woman as the “head of digital transition”. A delicious comedy of manners, Non-Fiction probes at what lies behind the actions of its ensemble of characters and how they are affected by the hyperconnectivity of today.
A new treasure from one of France’s most vital filmmakers. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter
The frame holds steadier here; it’s the churning dialogue – funny, seductive, always carving out fresh tributaries – that propels you forward.Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
Canet and Macaigne are eminently watchable, but Juliette Binoche quietly steals every scene.Norman Wilner, NOW Toronto
Thursday, February 28, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Miranda de Pencier Canada 2018 English; 102 minutes Rating: PG
When first-time teacher Russ Sheppard (Ben Schnetzer) moves north for a job in Kugluktuk, a town struggling with one of the highest suicide rates in North America, he’s shocked and overwhelmed by the numerous social issues facing the youth. The lacrosse program Russ introduces is met with skepticism and resistance, but Russ’ commitment wins his students’ trust, and together they form the Grizzlies lacrosse team. With stunning breakout performances by Nunavut-based actors Paul Nutarariaq and Emerald MacDonald, The Grizzlies is a testament to the spirit, tenacity, and leadership of Inuit youth.
Bracingly unsentimental and transcendently moving at the same time.Stephen Farber,Hollywood Reporter
Working with Inuit producers and a cast studded with locals whose confidence and spirit belie their lack of experience (…), first-time feature director Miranda de Pencier delivers a crowd-pleasing (if sometimes clunky) drama.Simon Houpt,Globe and Mail
Thursday, February 21, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski Poland/UK/France 2018 Polish; 88minutes Rating: 14a for some sexual content, nudity, and language
Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is a jazz-loving pianist and musical director auditioning folk musicians as part of a state-sponsored project to champion culture from rural Poland. Zula (Joanna Kulig), who turns out to be more torch singer than folk singer, captivates Wiktor at first sight with her beauty and insouciance. Their story spans borders and decades in this portrait of the complex relationship between the doomed lovers and their country. A visual poem that resonates all the more thanks to its striking use of choral, classical, and jazz music, Cold War is an epic and arresting love story.
Passionate, tempestuous, haunting and assured, this latest from writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski explores, as did his Oscar-winning “Ida,” Poland’s recent past, resulting in a potent emotional story with political overtones that plays impeccably today. Kenneth Turan,Los Angeles Times
Its greatest strengths, though, are its two knockout leads, who give the story its heat, its flesh and its heartbreak. Manohla Dargis,New York Times
The Polish filmmaker has conjured a dazzling, painful, universal odyssey through the human heart and all its strange compulsions. It could be the most achingly romantic film you’ll see this year, or just a really painful reminder of the one that got away.Phil de Semlyen,Time Out
Thursday, February 7, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Barry Jenkins USA 2018 English; 119 minutes Rating: PG for some language and sexual content
Set in the early 1970s in the predominantly Latin American community of East Harlem, the film follows Tish (Kiki Layne), a 19-year-old woman who falls in love with Fonny (Stephan James), a young sculptor. But their brief idyll is broken when Fonny is arrested and wrongly convicted of rape. Tish, who has just discovered she is pregnant, and her family must fight to prove Fonny’s innocence. Preserving both the politics and romantic spirit of James Baldwin’s poignant novel, If Beale Street Could Talk is a lyrical celebration of the power of love and hope in times of despair.
This movie works as a timeless romance, a family drama, a legal thriller and a poignant social commentary. A great American novel has been turned into a great American film.Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
Like a great bluesman, Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins finds poetry in the lives of people struggling to surpass pain and cruel circumstances, often choosing beautiful images over words.Peter Howell,Toronto Star
You’ve never seen romantic love depicted on screen with such lyrical and gorgeous intensity, or systemic injustice brought to such vivid and enraging life. Film classes will be taught about Jenkins’ use of color. Glen Weldon,NPR
Thursday, January 31, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda Japan 2018 Japanese; 121 minutes Rating: 14a for some sexuality and nudity
Although they both work, Osamu (Lily Franky) and his wife, Nobuyo (Sakura Ando), struggle to support their family and turn to shoplifting to supplement their income. When Osamu and his son Shota (Jyo Kairi) meet Yuri (Miyu Sasaki), a young girl who appears to be homeless, they bring her home for dinner. Noticing signs of abuse, they take her in as one of their own. Despite being forced to break society’s rules in their quest for security, the family provides a loving, supportive, and nurturing environment. But will the connections in this makeshift family hold up to public scrutiny?
Another charming, funny and very affecting example of Kore-eda’s special brand of tough-but-tender humanism.Geoff Andrew, Time Out
A story whose ethical quandaries are presented with equal parts compassion and toughness.Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
A moving meditation on what truly constitutes the meaning of family.Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Thursday, January 17, 2019 7 pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Director: Wash Westmoreland United Kingdom 2018 English; 112 minutes Rating: 14a for some sexuality and nudity
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) marries a successful writer known commonly as Willy (Dominic West). Willy relies on ghostwriters to produce his work – spending his time instead on self-indulgent activities, including numerous affairs – and enlists his wife as one of his ghostwriters. Although he initially dismisses her writing, Willy eventually publishes Colette’s work under his name and it proves to be wildly successful. In her fight over creative ownership, Colette defies gender roles and societal constraints, blazing a trail for other women who chooseto live their lives to the fullest.
Knightley… not only brings to life a woman discovering new desires and needs and finding the strength to act on them, but conveys the inner toil of the writer’s creative process. Peter Keough, Boston Globe
Westmoreland’s Paris is scrumptiously decadent – and seedy – as Colette navigates the city’s eclectic, gossipy social scene. Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
Colette ranks as one of the great roles for which Keira Knightley will be remembered.Peter Debruge, Variety