Tuesday, December 30, 2014

At the Movies – January 2015 – Part 1: Independent Films

Art-House Dramas:

Still Alice – Drama – Jan 16
Plot Summary: Alice Howland is a successful linguistics professor, happily married with three grown children. Suddenly, she begins to forget words and places. She is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Now, this devastating diagnoses will test the strength of her marriage and relationships with her children. Key Filmmakers Involved: Writer-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Actors Involved: Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, and Hunter Parrish. Quality Potential: Medium/High. Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland have their breakout project with Still Alice (thanks mostly to its higher profile cast). This film is a good character drama, showcasing the skill for extracting fine performances the filmmakers promised with their Sundance favorite Quinceanera in 2006. Julianne Moore is excellent in the film; she is the frontrunner to win Best Actress at the 2015 Academy Awards. This is a worthwhile film to catch for fans of intense emotional dramas and great performances. Trailer: Here.

Red Army – Sports Documentary – Jan 23
Plot Summary: Remember the unbeatable USSR Red Army hockey team that a group of college kids miraculously beat in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid? This is their story, told from the perspective of their captain Slava Fetisov portraying his transformation from national hero to political enemy, mirroring the cultural change within the country (the Soviet Union becoming Russia). Key Filmmakers Involved: Director-producer Gabe Polsky and composer Christophe Beck. Quality Potential: Medium/High. This tells the story behind the unbeatable Red Army team, maybe the greatest dynasty in sports history. It is a must-see for hockey fans and USSR history buffs. It is also one of the best documentaries to debut in 2014. Trailer: Here.

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