20th Century Women

    Plot Summary

    With 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Mills (the Academy Award®-winning BEGINNERS) brings us a richly multilayered, funny, heart-stirring celebration of the complexities of women, family, time and the connections we search for our whole lives. It is a film that keeps redefining itself as it goes along, shifting with its characters as they navigate the pivotal summer of 1979.
    Set in Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing – via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor.
    Mills expertly recreates the warmth and passion of a great memory – but also the urgency and energy of three generations in the throes of momentous transition. Bening gives one of her very best performances as Dorothea, conveying with subtle yet tremendous emotional power both her unconditional love for her son and her increasing bewilderment about the world she is watching him enter. Gerwig, Fanning and Billy Crudup all do outstanding work, creating complex, unique characters who each contribute in crucial ways to Jamie’s upbringing. 20TH CENTURY WOMEN is a poignant love letter to the people who raise us – and the times that form us – as this makeshift family forges fragile connections that will mystify, haunt and inspire them through their lives.

    Jackie

    Plot Summary

    JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to establish her husband’s legacy and the world of "Camelot" that she created and loved so well.

    A Monster Calls

    Plot Summary

    Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage), A Monster Calls is a visually spectacular and stunningly emotional drama based on the award-winning novel. The screenplay adaptation is by the book’s author, Patrick Ness. Mr. Ness wrote the novel from an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd.
     
    12-year-old Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is about to escape into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales. He is dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, which has necessitated Conor’s spending time with his less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver). His daily existence at his U.K. school is one of academic disinterest and bullying by classmates. As Conor’s father (Toby Kebbell) has resettled thousands of miles away in the U.S., the boy yearns for guidance.
     
    He unexpectedly summons a most unlikely ally, who bursts forth with terrifying grandeur from an ancient towering yew tree and the powerful earth below it: a 40-foot-high colossus of a creature (portrayed in performance-capture and voiceover by Liam Neeson) who appears at Conor’s bedroom window @12:07 one night – and at that time on nights thereafter. The Monster has stories to tell, and he insists that Conor hear them and powerfully visualize them. Conor’s fear gives way to feistiness and then to looking within; for, The Monster demands that once the tales are told it will be time for Conor to tell his own story in return. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth.

    Ballerina

    Plot Summary

    Felicie, an 11 year old orphan, has one passion: dancing. Her greatest dream is to become a ballet dancer of the Paris Opera Garnier.
     
    In order to achieve this dream, Felicie and her best friend Fictor set up an incredible plan to escape from their orphanage to go to Paris! Paris, and its Eiffel Tower under construction, its brand new avenues designed by the Baron Hausmann, and the big scaffolding under which the Statue of Liberty is ready to be shipped to New York.
     
    As she is willing to do anything to make it, Felicie will have to take the identity of her rival Camille to integrate the dancing school, to undergo intensive training to master gracefulness and ballet technique, and to endure the stress of the Opera’s rigorous auditions… With her mentor Odette and Victor by her side, Felicie will have to fight like she never did, to surpass herself, and to learn from her mistakes.

    But nothing is too hard to achieve one’s dream.

    Arrival

    Plot Summary

    When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

    I, Daniel Blake

    Plot Summary

    Daniel Blake, 59, has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle. Now, after a heart attack and nearly falling from a scaffold, he needs help from the State for the first time in his life.
     
    He crosses paths with a single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn’t know some 300 miles away.
     
    Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man’s land caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver’ in modern day Britain.