Graduation

Romania  2hr 7min Drama  Rated R

Acclaimed filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days) returns with this searing human saga about a father driven to extremes in order to protect his daughter’s future. Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) is a seemingly honest doctor who regrets having settled in his native Romania, a country still teeming with corruption and back dealings. He channels his ambitions for a better life into his teenage daughter, Eliza (Maria Dragus), who’s just one exam away from securing a scholarship to a prestigious British university. But when Eliza is attacked on the eve of her test, endangering her ability to pass, Romeo takes matters into his own hands to ensure her success.

Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes

 

Toni Erdmann

Germany 2hr 42mins    Drama/Comedy  Rated R

Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What’s worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany. Enter flashy “Toni Erdmann”: Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach.
 
“Brilliantly funny and moving.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
 
ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE – BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Salesman

Iran 2hr 5mins    Drama/Thriller  Rated PG-13

After their flat becomes damaged, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young couple living in Tehran, Iran, must move into another apartment. Once relocated, a sudden eruption of violence linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes their lives, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife.
 
“Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman is a dazzling, darkly funny, quietly devastating human drama from Iran. You are in the hands of a major film artist.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE – BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

 

After The Storm

Japan 1hr 57mins Drama Rated PG

Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private detective on gambling and can barely pay child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother (Kirin Kiki) and beautiful ex-wife (Yoko Make) seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa) – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.

“A classic Japanese family drama of gentle persuasion and staggering simplicity…. The filmmaking is so exquisite and the acting so calibrated it sticks with you.” – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

 

Soul On a String

China  2hr 22mins    Drama  Rated PG

After discovering a sacred stone in the mouth of a deer, Taibei, a solitary Tibetan cowboy, embarks on a mission: to bring it back to the holy Mountain of Buddha’s Handprint. Pursued by black market traders who seek the priceless artifact for themselves, as well as two brothers seeking vengeance for the long-ago death of their father, Taibei’s journey will be a long and difficult one – even before it is thrown off course by strange, mystical events..

“A beguiling combination of Western and Buddhist parable, Zhang Yang’s latest is a beautiful and thought-provoking work…” – Michael Jaconelli, The Skinny

 

Julieta

Spain  1hr 36mins    Drama  Rated R

After a chance meeting, middle-aged Julieta (Emma Suarez) learns that her long-lost daughter has resurfaced in Madrid. This begins a painful reflection by Julieta into her checkered past, flashing back to the moments of pain that defined her current life. This drama is directed by Spanish master Pedro Almodóvar.
 
“Both a film noir and a candy-colored confection, Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta is one of the most absorbing films he’s made in years.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

 

Elle

France  2hr 10mins    Drama/Thriller   Rated R

Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.

“Leads its audience through a meticulously constructed maze of ambiguity, scrambling our assumptions and expectations at every turn, dispensing discomfort and delight and daring us to distinguish one from the other.” – A.O.Scott, New York Times

ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE – BEST ACTRESS: ISABELLE HUPPERT