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Jamie

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THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE [FINLAND], THU 23 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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Combines poignancy with torrents of laughter. ★★★★★  The Telegraph

Finland’s master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki (Lights in the Dusk, Le Havre), returns with the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner.  Winner of the Berlin Silver Bear for Best Director, it’s a beautiful, timely film from one of the world’s leading auteurs.

Khaled (Sherwan Haji) arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed in a coal container, fleeing war-torn Syria to seek asylum in Finland. Dazed and frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at the detention centre, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets.

There he meets Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen), a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. Together, they help each other to navigate the adversities they face in these unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.

With hilarious sight gags, poker-faced one liners and a toe-tapping rockabilly soundtrack, Kaurismäki’s latest balances his unparalleled wit with a pressing critique of the unforgiving bureaucracy that greets vulnerable asylum seekers in modern-day Europe.

Humane and sincere, it’s proof of cinema’s power to tell stories that matter, with beauty and heart.

‘Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki’s film is filled with curious oddballs, but there are also many ethical connundrums to contend with.’ – ★★★★  The Irish Times

‘Finds the artist at the height of his powers… winsome, sweet, and often very funny.’Indiewire

Click  here for website.

TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN |Finland, 2017 | Language: Finnish | 98 minutes | Cert: 12

Director:    Aki Kaurismaki

Cast:  Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela, Sakari Kuosmanen

Director Sinéad O’Loughlin will attend and introduce her short Irish film, Homecoming, about a young man’s struggles to find his place in life after returning to Ireland. A familiar face makes him wonder if things are about to change.  Her 12-minute film will be shown before the feature.

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LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, THURSDAY 9 FEBRUARY, 8PM

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A flat-out hilarious period drama based on Jane Austen’s comic gem novella.  A seductive widow uses her razor-sharp wit and wiles to win the ultimate prize – the heart of an eligible bachelor.

With razor-sharp wit and a cunning that can’t be underestimated, the beautiful and recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) takes up residence with her in-laws in a bid to win the heart of the eligible Reginald De Courcy, her sister-in-law’s wealthy and dashing younger brother. Using merciless tactics and resourcefulness, Susan out-manoeuvres all who stand in her way, while also charming and enchanting when required.

Filmed entirely in Ireland and directed by Whit Stillman (Metropolitan), this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan is a delightful jaunt where manners and social standing are key, and a lady is only as good as her last husband. Love & Friendship is a rarity: an 18th century period drama with an over-arching sense of fun.

“One of the best films of the year.” –  Los Angeles Times

“Flat-out hilarious.  Jane Austen has never been funnier.” – The Telegraph

“A triumph.” – New York Times Critics’ Pick

“Witty and winning. Kate Beckinsale and Whit Stillman do Jane Austen proud.” – The Guardian

Ireland/Netherlands/France 2016| Language: English | 93 minutes | Cert: G

Director: Whit Stillman

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel

 

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20TH CENTURY WOMEN [USA], THU 30 NOVEMBER, 8PM

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Annette Bening stars as a single mother who recruits two women to help raise her son in this warm drama set in Southern California in the late 1970s.

“Director Mike Mills follows Beginners, his Oscar-winning study of the relationship between a son and his gay father, with another picture that takes as its jumping-off point the bond between parent and child. In the case of this late 70s-set cultural odyssey, the parent is gregarious, open-minded single mother Dorothea (the superb Annette Bening) and the child is Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), the teenage son she isn’t quite sure she can guide on his path to becoming a man.

To this end, she recruits the help of two other women to help raise him. Her lodger, Abbie (Greta Gerwig), is a photographer crowd surfing on the anger and energy of the new wave scene. And Julie (Elle Fanning) is Jamie’s best friend, a sullen beauty who is casually oblivious to the fact that he is in love with her.

But the 20th century is almost as important a character as the women. Mills weaves together a tapestry of social, cultural and political strands. In part of the extensive voiceover, delivered predominantly by Dorothea and Jamie, the boy talks of his last memory of his absent father – a birthday in 1974 – which deftly links mid-70s fashion trends (mirrored sunglasses) with news events (President Gerald Ford’s historic tumble down the steps of Air Force One) and with vomit on a carpet.

Mills makes reference to the experimental documentary Koyaanisqatsi with accelerated clips of teeming southern California life; he even includes a clip of Koyaanisqatsi itself to emphasise the parallel. Dorothea’s 1940s jazz rubs shoulders with Talking Heads and Black Flag; still photography mood boards give way to psyched-out, colour-saturated “film burn” effects, which nod to the California hippie hotbed that spawned the film’s other key character, William (Billy Crudup). There’s a certain arch self-awareness in the screenwriting that won’t appeal to everyone, but I loved the film for its scrapbook structure, its warmth and candour.” – Wendy Ide, The Guardian

Annette Bening is the pitch-perfect centerpiece.’ –  Los Angeles Times

Click here to read feature article about the film in the Los Angeles Times.

USA, 2017 | Language: English | 118 minutes | Cert: 16

Writer/Director: Mike Mills

Cast: Annette Benning, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann

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JULIETA [SPAIN], THURSDAY 16 FEBRUARY, 8PM

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Told in flashback over 30 years of guilt and grief, Pedro Almodóvar’s tender melodrama based on three Alice Munro short stories is the auteur’s finest since his Oscar-winning Volver.  

Julieta lives in Madrid with her daughter Antía. They both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan, Antía’s father and Julieta’s husband. But at times grief doesn’t bring people closer, it drives them apart.  When Antía turns eighteen she abandons her mother, without a word of explanation. Julieta looks for her in every possible way, but all she discovers is how little she knows of her daughter.

The film explores fate, guilt and the unfathomable mystery that leads us to abandon the people we love.

“moving and entrancing” ★★★★★ – The Guardian

“a guilt-soaked pleasure” ★★★★ – The Telegraph

Click here for official website.

Spain, 2016 | Language: Spanish | 99 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Pedro Almodóvar

Cast: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Rossy de Palma, Michelle Jenner

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A MAN CALLED OVE [SWEDEN], THU 7 DECEMBER, 8PM

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Season 17 concludes with our ‘bonus’ 11th film, the Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, A Man Called Ove.  It’s one of the feel-good films of 2017, and well-timed for the start of the Christmas season.

Ove (Rolf Lassgård) is a retiree struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife – a struggle that he angrily takes out on his neighbours by strictly enforcing the estate rules. Ove’s world is unexpectedly turned upside down when a young family move in next door. Despite his initial resistance, Ove slowly forms a bond with his new neighbours and discovers a whole new side of life.

Based on the best-selling novel by Fredrik Backman [translated into more than 40 languages], this Swedish hit is a bittersweet but charming tale of one man rediscovering himself after a devastating tragedy. Darkly comic but sensitively told, this is a true crowd-pleaser held together by a remarkable lead performance.

A strong contender for feel-good film of the year. – Empire Magazine

A touching comic crowd-pleaser that may call for a tissue or two by the end. – Variety

A black comedy with a big heart.The Guardian

Tom Hanks to star in and produce A Man Called OveHollywood Reporter

EN MAN SOM HETER OVE | Sweden/Norway, 2016 | Language: Swedish | 116 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Hannes Holm

Cast: Rolf Lassgård, Bahar Pars, Filip Berg,  Ida Engvoll

A short Irish film, Second to None [7 minutes], will be shown before the feature.

 

 

 

 

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VIVA [IRELAND, CUBA],THURSDAY 2 MARCH, 8PM

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Paddy Breathnach’s compassionate drama about a Cuban gay man’s battle of wills with his father is the first Irish film shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Oscar. 

Winner – Best Irish Film, Audi Dublin International Film Festival 2016

Viva stars Héctor Medina as Jesus, a shy young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto García), Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel (Jorge Perugorría) abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family.

Featuring boisterous and often heart-breaking drag performance, Paddy Breathnach’s Oscar-shortlisted crowd-pleaser is a tender and compassionate tale of finding one’s true voice.

“Less boy-meets-boy than boy-meets-himself, Paddy Breathnach’s drama – the first Irish film to be shortlisted for best foreign-language Oscar – is a triumph.” ★★★★ – The Irish Times

“A startlingly beautiful movie set in present-day Havana.”Wall Street Journal

Click here for official website.

Ireland, Cuba, 2015 | Language: Spanish | 100 minutes | Cert: 15A

Director: Paddy Breathnach

Cast: Héctor Medina, Jorge Perugorría, Luis Alberto García

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THE FENCER [FINLAND, ESTONIA], THURSDAY 9 MARCH, 8PM

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In 1950s Estonia a champion fencer on the run from the KGB finds meaning by teaching war traumatised children.  A touching drama with universal appeal.  Golden Globe Nominee.

A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Estonia in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel’s background.

Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.

“An Estonian fencer gets heroic treatment in this well-crafted sports biopic.”Irish Times

“Touché! Swordplay drama is directed with vim.”The Guardian

Click here for official website.

Finland, Estonia, Germany, 2015 | Language: Finnish | 99 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Klaus Haro

Cast: Mart Avandi, Ursula Ratasepp, Hendrik Toompere, Lembit Ulfsak

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MAGGIE’S PLAN [USA],THURSDAY 16 MARCH, 8PM

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Romantic shenanigans abound in Rebecca Miller’s wry and immensely enjoyable New York romcom with an all-star cast.  “A smart, goofy delight.” – Vanity Fair

In Rebecca Miller’s witty modern romantic comedy Maggie (Greta Gerwig) is a 30-something New Yorker who decides the time has come to have a child on her own.  But when she meets John (Ethan Hawke), a ‘ficto-critical anthropologist,’ Maggie falls in love for the first time and adjusts her plans for motherhood.

Complicating matters, John is in a strained marriage with a scary Danish academic (a hilarious Juliette Moore).  With a Greek chorus of Maggie’s best friends observing wryly from the sidelines, Maggie sets into motion a new plan – and learns that sometimes destiny should be left to its own devices.

Maggie’s Plan is a sweet, sophisticated and funny exploration of the unexpected complexities of modern romance, directed with elegance and dash.

“A terrifically funny metropolitan comedy.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“A serious screwball comedy.” – New York Times Critics’ Pick

Click here for official website.

USA, 2015 | Language: English | 98 minutes | Cert: 15A

Cast: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph

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THE CLAN [ARGENTINA], THURSDAY 23 MARCH, 8PM

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The astonishing true story of a seemingly normal middle-class family that trafficked in the kidnapping, ransoming and murder of the wealthy.

Argentinian director Pablo Trapero’s audaciously entertaining true-crime saga is reminiscent of Scorsese at his best.  The disappeared — los desaparecidos — are words that carry special resonance in Argentina. Long associated with the crimes of the military junta of the 1970s, the term takes on a different, but no less chilling, in this film.

Based on a true story that rocked Argentina, The Clan tells the almost unbelievable tale of the Puccios, a family who kidnapped wealthy people off the street, held the victims for ransom, and, once paid, killed them.

It is a disturbing, impressive, and beautifully controlled film from a director whose work matures with each new project.

“A slick thriller that brilliantly juxtaposes domestic life and the kidnapping business.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“A swaggering, black-hearted crime saga worthy of Scorsese.” ★★★★ – The Telegraph

“chilling” ★★★★ – Irish Times

Click here for official website.

Argentina, Spain, 2015 | Language: Spanish | 110 minutes | Cert: CLUB

Director: Pablo Trapero

Cast: Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, Lili Popovich, Gaston Cocchiarale, Giselle Motta, Franco Masini, Antonia Bengoechea, Stefania Koessl

Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney's QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. David Oyelowo and Oscar (TM) Lupita Nyong'o also starin the film, directed by Mira Nair.

QUEEN OF KATWE [USA], THURSDAY 30 MARCH, 8PM

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If there is anyone out there capable of remaining unmoved by this true-life triumph-of-the-underdog sports story, I don’t think I want to meet that person.The New York Times

If you want to see film stardom look as easy as laughter, watch Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo in Queen of Katwe. The twosome give Mira Nair’s rainbow-toned pick-me-up about a young Ugandan chess prodigy exactly the magnetic charge it needs to stick.
★★★★ – The Telegraph

The vibrant true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.  As a result of the support she receives from her family and community, she is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Academy Award Winner, 2014 Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave

Read the Irish Independent interview with David Oyelowo, the British actor who stars alongside Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o.  He was surprised Disney decided to set his latest film in the slums of Uganda.

“An uplifting and punchy look at the conflicts faced by 14-year-old Phiona.” ★★★★ – The Times (UK)

“A feel good triumph from Disney.” ★★★★ – Irish Times

“Could be the new Slumdog.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

USA, 2016 | Language: English| 124 minutes | Cert: PG

Director: Mira Nair

Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine