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  • STRANGE BUT TRUE FILM REVIEW BY TOP CRITIC STEPHEN DALTON

    STRANGE BUT TRUE FILM REVIEW BY TOP CRITIC STEPHEN DALTON

    Rising star Margaret Qualley plays a young woman who claims she's miraculously pregnant with her long-dead lover's child in director Rowan Athale's tricksy noir thriller. An atmospheric thriller with a noir-ish undertow and strong visual style, Strange But True puts a classy spin on familiar ingredients. The twist-heavy, logic-bending plot will test audience patience in places, but the whole package is handsomely crafted and rich in strong performances from a seasoned ensemble cast led by Amy Ryan, Brian Cox, Blythe Danner and Greg Kinnear. World-premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Rowan Athale's second feature is an international affair. Adapted from a 2002 John Searles novel, it was filmed in Canada by a young Brit director with a mostly American cast. A superior B-movie at heart, it has ready-made appeal for genre-friendly festivals and ample box office potential with the right word-of-mouth buzz behind it. No release date is yet confirmed, but CBS Films picked up U.S. distribution rights last year. Strange But True is founded on an audacious puzzle. Five years after the tragic death of her high-school sweetheart Ronnie (Connor Jessup) during an eventful prom-night date, Melissa (Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon) turns up unannounced to inform the dead boy's family that she is miraculously pregnant with his baby. Ronnie's embittered, grief-scarred mother Charlene (Ryan) dismisses the mentally fragile Melissa as delusional, angrily sending her away. But both she and her surviving son Philip (Nick Robinson) are sufficiently intrigued to investigate further, exploring possible angles from frozen sperm to occult ritual. The plot thickens when Charlene contacts her semi-estranged ex-husband Richard (Kinnear), a hospital surgeon who was on duty the night Ronnie died. Richard has since made a new life for himself in Florida with his younger second wife, but Charlene is shocked to discover he has kept up clandestine contact with Melissa. It soon becomes clear that everyone in Strange But True has murky motives and double lives. Even the kindly old couple who have essentially adopted Melissa as a surrogate daughter, avuncular retired cop Bill (Brian Cox) and his sunny wife Gail (Danner), appear to be guarding shady secrets behind their wholesome Norman Rockwell facade. Unfolding like a slow-motion striptease, Strange But True maintains a steady mood of creeping tension with fragmentary flashbacks and drip-feed revelations that gradually fill in the bizarre backstory behind Melissa's immaculate conception. The suspenseful setup is rich in clues, hinting at secret trysts, religious cults and supernatural interventions. The truth, once it finally emerges, is disappointingly prosaic, falling back on lurid crime-thriller tropes that stretch credibility by transforming mild-mannered characters into murderous monsters. This clumsy tonal shift into gothic melodrama weakens the film, but not fatally. Whatever the plausibility of its baroque plot twists, Strange But True features fine-grained performances across the board, especially from the older castmembers. Ryan delivers some great diva lines with pleasingly caustic force, while Danner expertly conveys mounting panic behind her surface serenity. Cox is often guilty of hammy bombast, especially when attempting a hit-and-miss American accent, but he does unusually subtle work here. Impressively assured for such an inexperienced director, Athale elevates Eric Garcia's screenplay with arresting visual flourishes and a strong command of mood. Held back until the finale, the dreamy flashbacks to Ronnie's death invest Strange But True with a haunting lyricism that transcends its occasionally overcooked plot.
  • Q&A with Morgan Spurlock on Friday (9/6) and Saturday (9/7) after the 7:15pm show

    Q&A with Morgan Spurlock on Friday (9/6) and Saturday (9/7) after the 7:15pm show

    Morgan Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry - this time from behind the register - as he opens his own fast food restaurant.  
  • Go see #YesterdayMovie with the one that has your heart. Tickets on sale now for date night!

    Go see #YesterdayMovie with the one that has your heart. Tickets on sale now for date night!

    A struggling musician realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.
  • TONE DEAF starts Friday August 23rd

    TONE DEAF starts Friday August 23rd

    A woman goes to the countryside to spend a quiet weekend after losing her job and having her last complicated relationship implode. She rents a country house to an old-fashioned widower, who struggles to hide his pyschopatic tendencies.
  • MIKE WALLACE IS HERE “GO OUT AND SEE THIS FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY. A MUST WATCH” 8/23

    MIKE WALLACE IS HERE “GO OUT AND SEE THIS FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY. A MUST WATCH” 8/23

    A look at the career of 60 Minutes (1968) newsman, Mike Wallace.
  • DRIVEN now playing!

    DRIVEN now playing!

    Intense thriller where politics, big business and narcotics collide.
  • The only way to tell his story is to live his fantasy. Taron Egerton is Elton John in Rocketman

    The only way to tell his story is to live his fantasy. Taron Egerton is Elton John in Rocketman

    A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.
  • BROKE will have an exclusive one week engagement at Cinema Village from August 16th to 22nd.

    BROKE will have an exclusive one week engagement at Cinema Village from August 16th to 22nd.

    In Scandinavia’s most affluent suburb a teenager´s millionaire father is declared bankrupt causing the family unit to collapse. A pistol is hidden in a school bag. Rumours concerning the teenager´s father make the school day a painful struggle and the privileged status is challenged.
  • GWEN now playing. Film review!

    GWEN now playing. Film review!

    Gwen – Film Reviewby Aisling Foster Written and directed by William McGregor North Wales in the late nineteenth century, a grim mountain landscape where a mother (Maxine Peake) and her two young daughters scratch out a living on a remote small holding and wait for their soldier man to return from the wars.  Hope for his survival keeps them plodding about in the mud, but the omens look bad from the start, with dark skies thundering overhead and a first threat from the outside world appearing as an ox heart nailed to the door. Gwen, the eldest daughter (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) senses danger from beyond their fields. She sees her mother’s fear and tries to keep it from her sister, but even when their sheep are brutally slaughtered and a local family disappear in a trail of blood, she can extract no answers about who or what is threatening to destroy them all.   Their lonely hillside is certainly scary – and despite the camera’s occasional attempts to prettify the scene, makes a poor advertisement for subsistence farming. Yet as lightening strikes strange shapes out of the darkness, more animals die and potatoes begin to rot in the earth, it is unclear whether this is a horror movie or a sad piece of Welsh industrial history. In fact, as we eventually discover, the threat comes from the town, where exploitation of a rich seam of welsh slate under the family’s feet is a prize worth killing for. Clearly, Gwen’s mother has been refusing to give up her land for some time before this tale begins, but as the persecution continues, her unwillingness to utter anything except a few snarling commands keeps the viewer as bemused as her unfortunate children. Even when the truth emerges, the mother’s tight lipped fury means we get few insights into the past, nor any back-stories to explain her deep hatred of the town’s bullying mayor, or his ability to maintain the family’s social isolation. Acting without much script feels like a cruelty to the actors, too. Allowed so very few lines, the excellent Maxine Peake strains every muscle to express her character’s condition.  But her silences keeps her at a distance, more like a goaded animal than a free-thinking human being. Perhaps that was the director’s intention. One line (possibly the longest piece of dialogue in the whole piece): “Steal a sheep and they’ll take your hand, steal a mountain and they’ll make you a Lord” articulates this independent film’s message about the inexorable power of capitalism. Certainly, the position is hopeless. Like the ugly slag-heaps which will soon cover the green fields of Snowdonia, these poor farmers are the detritus of history. If only we could know them well enough to care.
  • There’s nowhere to hide from the light of the midnight sun. ☀️  Happy Solstice from #MIDSOMMAR

    There’s nowhere to hide from the light of the midnight sun. ☀️ Happy Solstice from #MIDSOMMAR

    A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
  • |BROKE| Director Bjørn Erik Pihlmann Sørensen

    |BROKE| Director Bjørn Erik Pihlmann Sørensen

    Bjørn Erik Pihlmann Sørensen (b. 1975) is a Norwegian-based producer and director from the South coast of Norway. His works includes a wide range of commercials, TV-productions, documentaries and fiction.   His visual talent has emerged from working as cinematographer and editor, which started his career. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction direction from the National Film and Television School in the UK. In addition to working as a producer and director, he also develops numerous projects as a co-writer through his own company Pihlmann Films. His short RECKLESS (2013), the first in a short film trilogy, has screened at several international film festivals and also received two prizes at Born Shorts and was acknowledged as one of the European top 5 short films of 2013 by Cineuropa. BROKE is the second film of this trilogy. For the last 15 years Bjørn Erik has also been teaching emerging young film makers in the disciplines of producing and directing.    
  • SOCRATES now playing!

    SOCRATES now playing!

    Independent Spirit Award Winner - After his mother's sudden death, Socrates, a 15-year-old living on the margins of São Paulo's coast, must survive on his own. As he faces isolation because of his sexuality, his search for a decent, worthy life reaches a breaking point!