Our leading section combines major works from today’s masters with several other films that we are specially showcasing on the HUGE screen of The Centre for the Performing Arts, all topped off with a sprinkling of 3D art like you’ve never seen.
Films in this Series
Juliette Binoche is riveting as an actor asked to revisit the play that made her a star 20 years before—but this time she is to essay the role of the older woman, not the ingenue… "Though deceptively casual on its surface… [Olivier Assayas’ film is] a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved—including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz—to new heights."—Variety
Employing an unsettling mix of suspense and absurdity, Bennett Miller (Capote) delves into the bizarre true story of Olympic wrestling brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) and their well-heeled, mentally imbalanced sponsor (Steve Carell, combining arrogance and anguish to monstrous effect). "Powerfully disturbing… This insidiously gripping psychological drama is a model of bleak, bruising, furiously concentrated storytelling."—Variety. Winner, Best Director, Cannes 2014.
Spain, 1966. A hapless English teacher (Javier Cámara) hits the road for the strawberry fields of Almeria, hoping to meet his idol John Lennon. David Trueba’s whimsical dramatic comedy is delightfully unpredictable. "This small gem offers a lovely evocation of Spain as well as a touching tribute to an unforgettable moment in time…"—Hollywood Reporter. Winner, Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Goya Awards 2014.
Perverse and playful, David Cronenberg’s merciless satire takes dead aim at the Hollywood glitterati’s vanities, psychoses and foolish belief that the past can be rewritten. A powerhouse ensemble—John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson—brings Cronenberg’s glamourous grotesques to life. “Mulholland Drive, Sunset Boulevard and The Player wrapped up into one darkly comic, Gothic-tinged package.”—Screen. Winner, Best Actress (Julianne Moore), Cannes 2014.
Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children follows the story of a group of high-school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the Internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video-game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame-hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the Internet.
Fresh from Venice, Ann Hui’s masterly new film tells the life story of China’s greatest modern woman writer Xiao Hong, brilliantly played by Tang Wei. In the background, Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s. In the foreground, a woman in love with a feckless man, negotiating the sexual and political rivalries of her day with honesty, clarity and beauty. Tony Rayns
What starts out as an engaging stroll among Britain’s so-called “best and brightest” takes a shocking, violent turn in this penetrating, provocative dissection of class entitlement (and the sexism and racism that goes with it). Intense and suspenseful, the latest from Lone Scherfig (An Education) also functions as an impressive showcase for a whole gallery of brilliant up and coming actors.
Discovered inside a luminous bamboo stalk, a magical newborn lights up the lives of a childless couple—and perplexes them with the lightning speed with which she crawls, walks, talks and transforms into a charming young lady. Studio Ghibli’s other anime master Takahata Isao (Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko) bows out with a tender, joyful, exquisitely crafted folk tale for all ages.
Back in the 1930s, in Vancouver’s old Japantown, a group of Canadian-born kids launched their own baseball team, the Asahi. Ishii’s lavish-scale entertainment chronicles their battles against failure, racism and prejudice—and the brief moment of triumph they enjoyed before Pearl Harbor changed everything. An epic tale, rich in humour and humanity. Tony Rayns
Thanks to a lottery windfall, Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig) is free to follow her wildest whims. Unfortunately, her Borderline Personality Disorder-determined impulses lead her to quit her meds and launch a cable access talk show. Shira Piven’s outrageous dramedy hands Wiig her best role since Bridesmaids while delivering a cautionary tale about the debilitating side effects of a meteoric rise to celebrity status.
For sheer entertainment value, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this outrageous anthology film. One of Cannes’ most buzzed about discoveries, Damián Szifrón’s third feature plays like a calling card from a preposterously talented newcomer, it’s so chock-full of crazy ideas and verve. “Delicious, horrible, scary and scabrous… Szifrón brings off a very difficult trick: making something genuinely funny and genuinely scary at the same time."—Guardian
"Nuri Bilge Ceylan [Once Upon a Time in Anatolia] is at the peak of his powers with [this] richly engrossing and ravishingly beautiful magnum opus… [The film] tunnels into the everyday existence of a middle-aged former actor turned comfortably situated hotel owner—and emerges with a multifaceted study of human frailty whose moral implications resonate far beyond its remote Turkish setting."—Variety. Winner, Palme d’Or, Cannes 2014.