Director: Ritesh Batra
India / France / Germany / USA 2014
Hindi & English; 105 min.
Through her cooking, middle class housewife Ila is trying to add some spice to her marriage. She desperately hopes that this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, Saajan, a lonely man on the verge of retirement.
Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day’s lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery. An unexpected friendship unfolds between Ila and Saajan.
Alex Hunter, Daily Express: “Delicately judged, handsomely photographed and beautifully acted The Lunchbox marks an impressive debut from Ritesh Batra that is recommended to romantics of all ages.”
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The Lunchbox is a feast of delights, one of the best stories about the connection between food and love the movies have ever seen.”
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: “A pleasure, from the fascinating intricacies of Mumbai-style interlocking lunch containers to the quietly masterful performance of Khan.”
Director: Paolo Sorrentino Italy / France 2013
Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese; 142 min.
Journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city’s literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Geoff Pevere,Globe & Mail: “The Great Beauty is an utterly ravishing portrait of listless luxuriance, a fantasy of decadent wealth and beauty that evokes Fellini’s La Dolce Vita by way of Baz Luhrmann.”
Steve Parsall, Tampa Bay Times: “Cut from similarly sexy and satirical cloth as Federico Fellini’s masterworks a half-century ago, Paolo Sorrentino’s movie glides like reverie, probing the emptiness that can result from living a full life.”
Jay Stone,Canada.com: “The Great Beauty (or, more wonderfully, La Grande Bellezza) is a memory play, a meditation on life, a celebration of the incidentals that make it joyous and more.”
Director: Ralph Fiennes
United Kingdom 2013
English; 111 min.
Actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones) was 17 when she was first spotted by Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) who was 45 and married for 20 years. The two began a love affair, which was kept a secret from the general public for the duration of their lives. The Invisible Woman is a rapturous chronicle of Ternan and Dickens’ tempestuous relationship, which prompted the end of Dickens’ marriage, survived a train crash, inspired characters and scenarios in some of the author’s most beloved novels, and continued until his death in 1870.
Enveloped in opulent period detail and pulsing with subtle eroticism, this film brings us closer to Dickens and to the woman who sustained his lust for life in his final years.
Tom Long,Detroit News:
“Fiennes and screenwriter Abi Morgan adapt Claire Tomalin’s book with delicate grace, presenting love as blessing, curse and, perhaps, inevitable force.”
MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher:
“The story of Charles Dickens and his secret mistress is no romance, and no modest costume drama, either. It’s a tale of women being practical because they had to be.”
Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]:
“Expressing much while often saying little, Jones proves once again to be a mesmerising screen presence, a performer behind whose face you can see the most complex and subtle thought processes at work.”
Director:Louise Archambault Canada 2013;
French; 104 min.
March 2nd @ 7pm – Galaxy Theatre
A developmentally challenged young woman living in a group home, Gabrielle (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) has a contagious joie de vivre and an exceptional musical gift. She has found love with Martin (Alexandre Landry), a fellow member of her choir, and they want to explore their feelings for one another physically but are not allowed. Convinced that living alone will allow her to have the intimate relationship she so desperately craves, Gabrielle tries valiantly to prove she can be independent. This is a captivating and deeply affecting film about difference, dignity, and love.
David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews: “An endearing and engaging little drama that benefits substantially from Marion-Rivard’s captivating turn as the central character.”
T’Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette: “On the surface, it’s a simple love story: girl meets boy, girl likes boy, girl kisses boy. But Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle is much more… a deeply affecting tale of difference, dignity and the healing power of song.”
Liam Lacey, Globe & Mail: “Instead of a message movie, Gabrielle is a romance and an unusual kind of musical that seamlessly integrates special needs actors with the other cast members.”
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen USA 2013 English; 105 min.
February 9th @ 7:00pm – Galaxy Cinema
Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, this humorous, heartfelt, and bittersweet ode to squandered opportunities, thwarted ambition, and unsung genius recounts a week in the life of fictional folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) in early 1960s New York. Despite his extraordinary talent, Llewyn just can’t catch a break. Desperately low on money, he tramps the streets of New York, guitar in hand, playing only the tiniest of gigs. With his music career stalled, Llewyn has reached a crossroads and is unsure whether to continue in a world that doesn’t seem ready for what his songs have to say. Brilliantly written and directed, Inside Llewyn Davis shows the Coen Brothers at the top of their game.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Saudi Arabia/Germany 2013
Arabic (subtitled); 98 min
February 2nd @ 7:00pm – Galaxy Cinema
A high-spirited girl living in Saudi Arabia, Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) constantly pushes against the boundaries of her conservative community, wearing Converse sneakers under the long-robed uniform of her strict religious school and clandestinely listening to pop music in her equally strict home. When she sees a beautiful bike for sale, Wadjda is undeterred by society’s view that bicycles are dangerous to a girl’s virtue, and decides to enter a Qur’an contest to raise the required 800 riyals.
A deceptively simple story, Wadjda offers a window into women’s lives under an authoritarian regime and shows the irresistible yearning for change that emerges from even a seemingly hopeless situation. Charming, touching, and inspirational, this film is a must-see.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “This delightful debut feature by a Saudi woman named Haifaa Al-Mansour uses a bicycle as a metaphor for freedom within a social circumference.”
Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters: “A series of close and long shots follow as Wadjda rides and wobbles, as she grins broadly and gains momentum in this tiny space, as she shares her glee with Abdullah. Even without using their voices, they express so much.”
Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review: “The movie ends on a highly emotional note that might easily have tipped over into bathos. But Al-Mansour knows her stuff — she earns her emotion honestly.”
Country: Canada / India Director: Richie Mehta Lead Voices: Rajesh Tailang, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Anurag Arora, Naseeruddin Shah Genre: drama Runtime: 96 minutes Rating: PG Language: Hindi
From the director of Amal comes this powerful and heart-rending tale about a poor Delhi street merchant desperately searching for his missing young son. Mahendra (Rajesh Tailang) sends his 12-year-old son, Siddharth, to work in a factory in another province to help support tir family. Siddharth is supposed to come home for Diwali after a month away. When he fails to return or call, the guilt-ridden Mahendra takes swift action but faces obstacles at every turn. Mahendra’s moving, tangled, and often seemingly futile quest reveals a community that is poor in so many ways, yet rich in family and love. Riddled with mysteries, Siddharth is a powerful story about the ramifications of a single decision and the limitations that result from poverty.
Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com:“Shot on the fly throughout India, Siddharth, the second feature film by Canadian director Richie Mehta, was inspired by a conversation the director had with a Mumbai rickshaw driver, whose son had vanished without a trace. Though Mehta doesn’t downplay the horrifying scenario, he calmly concentrates on the father….Much of the cast are non-professional, beautifully blending in with the lead actors.”
Todd Brown, TIFF 2013 review: “Mehta has the poised confidence to simply portray life as it is for Mehendra without calling undue attention. Everywhere you look you will find detail upon detail.”
Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter: “Warmly received in both Venice and Toronto, this quietly impassioned indictment of child-labor takes its time to get going but then builds steadily to a surprisingly strong finale.”