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::: Coming Soon :::

~Upstairs at the Savoy~

45 Years

Academy Award nominee: Best Actress

Starts Friday, February 12

Rated R; 95 minutes

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Lou Lumenick, New York Post (excerpted)

Comfortably retired in the English countryside, a childless couple (Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling) is shaken by a letter that arrives the week they are preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary with a party. He is being asked to identify the body of his long-ago German sweetheart, which has been found perfectly preserved in a Swiss glacier after she fell to her death in a hiking accident.

The husband warily informs his wife that the request has come because he was listed in the official record of the accident as her next of kin, though they were never actually married. The shaken wife extracts more disturbing secrets from her increasingly distraught husband, who debates whether his health is up to the trip after heart-bypass surgery.

Then, when he leaves one day before she wakes up for a trip to the travel agency, she heads up into the attic and unearths another secret more overwhelming than the rest. They go ahead with the party, with a shaken Rampling delivering what’s possibly the best scene of her entire career. The actress has never received an Oscar nomination, but she deserves one for this performance. Courtenay, who has two Oscar nods under his belt, rates another one for helping Rampling reach this peak.

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~Upstairs at the Savoy~

Where To Invade Next

Coming Soon

Rated R; 110 minutes

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Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye for Film (excerpted)

In Where to Invade Next, Michael Moore conquers Europe on a one-man mission: invading countries to bring back to the US the treasures he has found. He plays Dorothy without Toto, who sees what exists in the world beyond Kansas.

Moore's first stop is Italy, where a policeman and his wife, a buyer for a department store, talk about the 35 days of vacation they get each year, the 15 extra days for their honeymoon and the annual 13th salary in December to buy presents and go on holiday. He visits a clothing manufacturer, where all employees go home for a two-hour lunch and he talks to Claudio, CEO of Ducati Motorcycles, the first CEO ever who’s agreed to meet Moore on the factory floor.

France is the next stop, then on to Finland, Slovenia, Germany. A May Day rally in Lisbon leads to a conversation with Portuguese policemen about the fact that there are no drug arrests because drugs are not illegal. Moore contrasts this system to the US where race and drugs, offenders' prohibition to vote, and free labour in prisons are linked in a vicious cycle. Moore is hopeful for the US, too, as he strolls along the remnants of the Berlin Wall, built to last and tumbled nevertheless. Three years ago, gay marriage was not possible in the US. Is there really no place like home? And what does home mean today?

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~Upstairs at the Savoy~

The Lady in the Van

Coming Soon

Rated PG-13; 104 minutes

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Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times (excerpted)

It takes a special kind of actress to play a woman who has clearly soiled herself as regal and dignified. That actress is Maggie Smith, who, as a sick, old, cantankerous neighborhood vagabond named Miss Shepherd, rides an ambulance wheelchair lift like a queen on her motorized throne, her bright blue eyes shining down on her subjects below.

The lift scene is a poignant moment in the sharp British comedy The Lady in the Van, a delicately written, boisterously performed movie about the difficult people who dare us to care about them.

The movie succeeds at creating a memorable odd couple who need each other more than they care to admit — Smith's mysteriously cultured bag lady and her timid playwright neighbor, Alan Bennett, played by Alex Jennings. Most urban neighborhoods have someone like Miss Shepherd, a character whom you see every day and wonder, what on earth is her story? In the case of Bennett — a writer in real life — it was a woman who "temporarily" parked her van in his London driveway in 1974 and stayed for 15 years.

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~Upstairs at the Savoy~

Youth

Coming Soon

Rated R; 118 minutes

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Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer (excerpted)

Symphonic and cinematic, full of melancholy and hushed magic, Paolo Sorrentino's Youth - the follow-up to his Oscar-winning The Great Beauty - takes place in a luxurious spa. The setting is the Swiss Alps, the snowcapped mountains majestic over green fields, the sky a soul-shattering blue. The people coming and going include actors and writers, a pop star and a Buddhist monk, a soprano and a mountain climber, young children, old men.

Two of those men, Fred Ballinger, a composer, and Mick Boyle, a movie director, are played, respectively, by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. If for no other reason - and there are plenty of others, I promise - Youth is worth the admission simply for the pleasure of watching these two wily veterans as they walk and talk and bring the script's decades-long friendship to life. The Brit and the Brooklynite come from very different places, artistically speaking, but the chemistry between Caine and Keitel is evident from their first exchange. Old timers, old pals.

Shot by Luca Bigazzi (he also filmed The Great Beauty) and boasting a breathtaking score from David Lang, Youth is a meditation on aging, on friendship, on love, loss, wisdom, disillusionment, pain.

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