On its surface, the Danish film A Hijacking (in Dutch, Kapringen) is a tense hostage drama about a cargo ship overtaken by Somali pirates and the ensuing negations for the crew's release.
But director Tobias Lindholm has much more on his mind. Besides making a nail-biter where the potential for death hovers in very close quarters, he's also commenting on socioeconomic class and the wide ethical gap between the cooks and engineers on board the ship and the suits back at the corporate office who really reap the most benefits.
Any film festival centered around themes that appeal to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered audiences or their supportive allies is sure to be as eclectic as its targeted demographic. This year’s Kansas City LGBT Film Festival at Tivoli Cinemas in Westport makes good on that promise.
There’s no more important job than parenting, and it can go wrong in so many ways. In the powerful new drama What Maisie Knew, an updating of the 1897 Henry James novel to contemporary New York City, the audience sits by helplessly watching what happens when the wrong people fall into that job.
Fans of both independent and foreign films can trust that, if they feature Kristin Scott Thomas, they're worth an investment of time, thought, and money.The bilingual actress has impeccable taste and can lift even mundane films to a place of esteemed elegance.
To look at the collected paintings of Pierre-Auguste Renoir is to see all possible colors and textures made more rich and tactile by the light. Gilles Bourdos’ evocative Renoir is less a comprehensive biography than a portrait of the man in his golden years (played with astonishing physical accuracy by Michel Bouquet) when his output is hardly dented at all by his physical impairments.
It takes great skill to make a movie that balances potentially incongruous tones of brutality, comedy and hope. With the marvelous new movie The Angels’ Share, director Ken Loach demonstrates that he is gifted enough to do that.
As stories about sons and fathers go, they can range from the Biblical to mythological - where patricide was the norm - to the searing contemporary take on fatherhood in the new movie The Place Beyond the Pines by Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.
Made three years ago but only now seeing the light of day - though there’s nary a shaft of light in it – 6 Souls is from the Swedish directing team Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. At times preposterous and blatantly derivative of films like Paranormal Activity and The Exorcist, it’s an effectively creepy psychological thriller that knows how to twist its plot threads around viewers’ necks, and it draws you in in spite of itself.