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What’s On

Rio 2

“There’s plenty here to attract both kids and adults alike in Saldanha’s colorful imagining of the Amazonian rainforest’s avian communities.” Hollywood Reporter

Picking up pretty much where we left off, it’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all – his father-in-law.  With Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg and will.i.am doing the voicing, this will charm and delight.

20 Feet From Stardom

“Joyous and uplifting” Mark Kermode, the Observer

You may recognise their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling, Oscar-winning film director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backing singers behind some of the greatest musical legends. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.

Spanning a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom.  Along with rare archival footage – and a peerless soundtrack – this boasts intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting, to name just a few. However, these world-famous figures take a back seat to the backup singers whose lives and stories take center stage in this film.

The Lunchbox

“A feast of delights, one of the best stories about the connection between food and love the movies have ever seen.” Minneapolis Star Tribune

Every day in Mumbai, thousands of wives send home-cooked lunches to their husbands, relying on an elaborate ballet of transportation to deliver the food to the rightful desk.  One day the lunch destined for neglectful husband Rajeev accidentally ends up with a quietly lonely man in another office (Irfan Kahn, The Life of Pi).  When the Rajeev doesn’t even notice the mix-up, his wife Ila encloses a note of apology to the unknown recipient in the next day’s lunchbox – and thus begins an intimate correspondence in this vibrant and delicately acted romance.

Warm, affectionate, and sweet but not cloying, The Lunchbox is a clever crowd-pleaser from first-time director Ritesh Batra.

 

Calvary

“Brendan Gleeson gives a performance of monumental soul in John Michael McDonagh’s masterful follow-up to The Guard.” Variety

The motley parishioners of rural Irish priest Fr Lavell give him a pretty hard time.  And then there are the complications of supporting a grown, emotionally fragile daughter.  Things take a distinct turn for the worse, though, when from the security of the confessional one of his flock informs Fr Lavell that, good man though he is, he will be murdered for the sins of the church on the following Sunday.  

This is
a gripping and beautifully performed drama, which won’t surprise anyone who enjoyed The Guard, coming as it does from the same director/actor duo.  Gleeson loads his every move with ambiguity and bleak humour as a Christ-like figure facing his own Calvary, while director McDonagh deftly handles the juxtaposition of darkness and light.

We Are The Best!

“A joyous celebration of youth, friendship and rebellion.” Tom Huddleston, Time Out

This all-ages crowd pleaser is director Lucas Moodysson’s (Together, Lilya-4-ever) adaptation of his wife autobiographical graphic novel about three young misfits growing up in early ’80s Stockholm.  Pixieish, mohawk-sporting Klara (Mira Grosin) and her best friend Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) are 13-year-old rebels looking for a cause.  Despite having no instruments – or discernible musical talent – the two put all their energy into forming an all-girl punk band, recruiting their shy, classical guitar-playing schoolmate Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) as the third wheel.

With tender affection for his young characters and the period in which his film is set, Moodysson paints an ebullient and sharply observant portrait of DIY spirit and growing up different.    Subversively exploring themes of being social outcasts, embarrassing parents, first kisses and the escapist potential of music, we defy anyone not to respond to the film’s contagious celebration!

 

Locke

Everybody’s talking about this lean, emotionally powerful bravura piece of film making which recently won the audience poll at a weekend of preview screenings.

On the eve of pouring the foundations for Europe’s largest construction site, we find Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) happily married and professionally well established.  In response to a single phone call he sets off on a dystopian drive down the motorway, risking it all.  In the ensuing race against time pieces of the puzzle are revealed, but each raises more question than it answers.

The film is a single-hander shot over only five days, but don’t let the minimalist production distract from its masterly accomplishments!  From the writer of Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things, this is an emotionally gripping psychological thriller which is anchored by a tremendously compelling performance from Hardy.  The physical constraints of the film open a window onto a vast, darkly complex portrait of family life, ambition, morality and, above all, humanity.  Heart-breaking and utterly absorbing, this is destined to become a classic.

 

 

Met. Opera: Cavalleria Rusticana + Pagliacci

Sat 25 Apr 2015, 17:30

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA by Pietro Mascagni

With:  Fabio Luisi; Eva-Maria Westbroek, Marcelo Álvarez, Željko Lučić

and

PAGLIACCI by Ruggero Leoncavallo

With:  Fabio Luisi; Patricia Racette, Marcelo Álvarez, George Gagnidze, Lucas Meachem;

David McVicar (Production); Rae Smith (Set Designer); Moritz Junge (Costume Designer); Paule Constable (Lighting Designer); Andrew George (Choreographer); Emil Wolk (Vaudeville Consultant)

Opera’s most enduring tragic double bill returns in an evocative new production from Sir David McVicar, who sets the action across two time periods but in the same Sicilian village. Marcelo Álvarez rises to the challenge of playing the dual tenor roles of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci. Rae Smith (War Horse) has designed the moodily atmospheric 1900 village square setting of Cavalleria, which transforms to a 1948 truck stop for the doomed vaudeville troupe of Pagliacci. Eva-Maria Westbroek (Cav) and Patricia Racette (Pag) sing the unlucky heroines, and Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium.