January 2015

Leviathan

Russia 2hr 20min  Drama  Rated R

The latest drama from Andrey Zvyagintsev, the acclaimed director of The Return (Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner and Golden Globe nominee). Kolya (AlexeÏ Serebriakov) lives in a small fishing town near the stunning Barents Sea in Northern Russia. He owns an auto-repair shop that stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Liadova) and his son Roma (SergueÏ Pokhodaev) from a previous marriage. The town’s corrupt mayor Vadim Shelevyat (Roman Madianov) is determined to take away his business, his house, as well as his land. First the Mayor tries buying off Kolya, but Kolya unflinchingly fights as hard as he can so as not to lose everything he owns including the beauty that has surrounded him from the day he was born. Facing resistance, the mayor starts being more aggressive…..

“Impeccably Made.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times


Two Days, One Night

Belgium 95min  Drama  Unrated

For the first time, Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne team up with a major international star, Marion Cotillard, to create a universal story about working-class people living on the edges of society. Sandra (Cotillard) has just returned to work after recovering from a serious bout with depression. Realizing that the company can operate with one fewer employee, management tells Sandra she is to be let go. After learning that her co-workers will vote to decide her fate on Monday morning, Sandra races against time over the course of the weekend, often with the help of her husband, to convince each of her fellow employees to sacrifice their much-needed bonuses so she can keep her job. With each encounter, Sandra is brought into a different world with unexpected results in this powerful statement on community solidarity.

“Ms. Cotillard’s performance is as fine a piece of screen acting as you will ever see.” AO Scott, NYT