The Death of Stalin
(R) • 106 minutes • On-screen here from 3/30/18 to 4/12/18
Director: Armando Iannucci
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough
Synopsis: In early-1953 Moscow, under the Great Terror’s heavy cloak of state paranoia, the ever-watchful Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, collapses unexpectedly of a brain haemorrhage. Inevitably, when his body is discovered in the following morning, a frenetic surge of raw panic spreads like a virus in the senior members of the Council of Ministers, as they scramble to maintain order, weed out the competition, and, ultimately, take power. But in the middle of a gut-wrenching roller-coaster of incessant plotting, tireless machinations, and frail allegiances, absolutely no one is safe; not even the feared chief of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria. In the end, who will prevail after the death of Stalin?
(R) • 97 minutes • On-screen here from 3/23/18 to 3/29/18
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, Amy Irving
Synopsis: A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real or a product of her delusion?
7 Days In Entebbe
(PG-13) • 106 minutes • On-screen here from 3/16/18 to 3/22/18
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan
Synopsis: In July 1976, an Air France flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris via Athens was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda. The Jewish passengers were separated and held hostage in demand to release many terrorists held in Israeli prisons. After much debate, the Israeli government sent an elite commando unit to raid the airfield and release the hostages.
Call Me By Your Name
*** Nominated for 4 Academy Awards! Winner: Best Adapted Screenplay! ***
(R) • 132 minutes • On-screen here from 3/2/18 to 3/15/18
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
Synopsis: Call Me By Your Name, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old young man, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old American college graduate student working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
(NR) • 88 minutes • Played Sunday 3/11/18 as part of the Maine Jewish Film Festival
Director: Alexandra Dean
Synopsis: Known for her matchless beauty and electric screen persona, Hedy Lamarr also possessed an exceptional mind. An Austrian Jewish émigré who acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night, Lamarr developed and patented a secret communication system to help the Allies beat the Nazis. Rare recordings, interviews, and excerpts from Lamarr’s own diary expose how this secret genius with a scandalous past never received the respect she deserved — in film or in science. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, voiced by Diane Kruger.
(NR) • 107 minutes • Played Sunday 3/11/18 as part of the Maine Jewish Film Festival
Director: Amir Wolf
Starring: Oded Teomi, Gila Almagor, Devora Keidar, Miriam Zohar, Amnon Wolf
Synopsis: An 80-year-old murder victim is found with 3 stabs to his chest and a number tattooed on his arm. A depressed detective, a second-generation Holocaust survivor, who has just come back to work after a suspension, reluctantly accepts the case. Alternating between flashbacks of the victim’s life and the personal struggles of the detective, director Amir Wolff maintains both a comedic tone and a noirish sensibility. The film’s crown jewel is a veteran cast of Israeli stage and screen stars who deliver captivating, bravura performances.
Bye Bye Germany
(NR) • 102 minutes • Played Saturday 3/10/18 as part of the Maine Jewish Film Festival
Director: Sam Garbarski
Starring: Moritz Bleibtreu, Antje Traue. Tim Seyfi
Synopsis: David Berman and his friends, all Holocaust survivors, have only one purpose: to get to America as soon as possible. For this, they need money. Clever, resourceful, and shady, they are succeeding in their goal when the past comes back to haunt them. Why is the beautiful German-American officer so interested in David? Who are the gangsters that are chasing him? Will the local people catch on to the scams? Will everyone get to America? There are no easy answers. Gorgeous cinematography creates an almost magical post-war setting, and comedy and drama are woven seamlessly to tell this tale of Jewish life in Germany after World War II.
*** Nominated for 6 Academy Awards! Winner: Achievement In Costume Design ***
(R) • 130 minutes • On-screen here from 2/16/18 to 3/1/18
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville
Synopsis: Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutantes and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.
The Shape of Water
*** Nominated for 13 Academy Awards! Winner: Best Director; Picture of the Year; Original Score; Costume Design***
(R) • 123 minutes • On-screen here from 1/26/18 to 2/15/18
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones
Synopsis: From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes The Shape of Water – an other-worldly fable, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.
*** Nominated for 6 Academy Awards! Winner: Best Actor; Achievement In Makeup and Hairstyling ***
(PG-13) • 125 minutes • On-screen here from 1/5/18 to 1/25/18
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
Synopsis: Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.