~~~~~~~ Upstairs ~~~~~~~
Academy Award Winner ~
|6:30 & 8:30 each evening|
|1:30 & 4:00 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated PG-13; 99 minutes
James Berardinelli, ReelViews (excerpted)
There's no shortage of literature and cinema about human beings afflicted with Alzheimer's or some form of dementia. Yet, few stories can claim to do what Lisa Genova accomplished in her novel Still Alice: tell the tale from the perspective of the disease's victim. The movie adaptation retains this aspect while supplanting the usual sentimentality of "Alzheimer's films" with a clear-eyed honesty.
The highlight is the performance of Oscar-nominated (and likely winner) Julianne Moore, whose turn as Dr. Alice Howland captures all the nuances of a brilliant woman slowly losing herself. The actress fully inhabits the body and personality of someone being diminished by a condition over which she has no control. The majority of Still Alice chronicles her deterioration as the pernicious influence of the condition chips away at her memories, intelligence, and identity.
Still Alice is undoubtedly a tough movie; it contains life-affirming moments but its perspective is what makes it unique. The film takes us into Alice's mind and projects her changing circumstances through her eyes. It is often said that Alzheimer's is more difficult on the loved ones of a victim than on the afflicted individual. Still Alice challenges that belief. Alice is well aware of what's happening to her - how her world is closing in on her. The final scene is poignant. Given today's level of medical technology, it's inevitable but that doesn't make it any less sad.
~~~~~~~ Downstairs ~~~~~~~
Two Days, One Night
Academy Award Nominee ~
|6:00 & 8:00 each evening *No 8PM show, Monday, March 2, 2015|
|1:00 & 3:30 matinees Sat & Sun|
~Downstairs at the Savoy~
Two Days, One Night
Rated PG-13; 91 minutes
In French w/subtitles
Kim Newman, Empire Magazine (excerpted)
Belgian writer-director brother duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne specialize in a brand of down-to-earth, socially committed, unfussy realism. Their latest film is an acutely credible portrait of the victims of a casually cruel (yet horribly believable) social system and also a suspenseful, gripping drama in the vein of 12 Angry Men.
A small company asks employees to choose between getting bonuses and making just-back-from-sick-leave Sandra (Marion Cotillard) redundant. Sandra spends a weekend trying to persuade enough of her workmates to change their votes so that she can keep her job.
Complicating the story is the impression Cotillard, among the contemporary screen’s best actors, conveys that maybe the Xanax-popping Sandra — for all the support from her husband (Fabrizio Rongione), kids and loyal friends — really isn’t mentally up to going back to work. Then again, her round of pleading calls would be stressful and depressing enough to break the will and mind of a completely balanced person.
Even if you’ve skipped the Dardennes’ previous work until now (L’Enfant, The Kid with a Bike), this is a talking-point movie — and an outstanding lead performance — you need to see. It’s a rare film of unforced simplicity that will stick with you for a long time. And it’s honest right to its perfectly judged ending