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::: Coming Soon :::

~Downstairs at the Savoy~

Testament of Youth

Coming Soon

Rated PG-13;129 minutes

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Rex Reed, New York Observer (excerpted)

Skillfully acted, exquisitely photographed and genuinely touching, Testament of Youth is one of those rare film experiences that is just about perfect. An unforgettable mosaic of World War I, it is based on the best-selling memoir published in 1933 by feminist author Vera Brittain, a nurse on the front lines who counted her fiancé, her beloved brother and all of their friends among the casualties.

While this remarkable film does not flinch from showing the atrocities and agonies of the victims, it’s more about the shifting social changes on the British home front and the effect of the loss of life on the people left behind than the action in the trenches. But the rewards of watching two hours of the revered Ms. Brittain’s pacifist chronicle, which took her 17 years to complete, are monumental.

The film opens on Armistice Day, 1918, at the end of the conflict, when a confused Vera (the marvelous Swedish actress Alicia Vikander), old before her time by the carnage she’s witnessed in the war, returns to a more civilized Edwardian society half-forgotten in anguish. The film then reverts back to the spring of 1914 when, as a rebellious teenager, she realized her dream of acceptance at Oxford against the wishes of her disapproving parents (Emily Watson and Dominic West), then broke her own rules by falling in love with her brother’s best friend Roland (Kit Harington), an aspiring writer like herself and a house guest who slips wistful poems under her bedroom door.

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~Downstairs at the Savoy~

The Wolfpack

Coming Soon

Rated R; 80 minutes

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Peter Travers, Rolling Stone (excerpted)

What if your parents kept you and your six siblings locked up in a public housing project in Manhattan and all you knew of the world came from Hollywood movies? That's a loaded question — and filmmaker Crystal Moselle runs with it in this gripping documentary. She doesn't answer all the questions her film raises, but you won't be able to pull your eyes off the screen.

The tenets of the Hare Krishna faith led Peruvian-born musician Oscar Angulo and his American wife Suzanne to keep their six sons and one daughter away from the crime-ridden streets of the Lower East Side. With the exception of a few rare, chaperoned excursions into the outside world, these hothouse flowers — ages 16 to 24 when we meet them — sit in front of  a TV devouring Hollywood history like a cinematic wolfpack. The works of Quentin Tarantino figure prominently in their education. As do GoodFellas, Halloween, The Dark Knight and any others that the younger Angulos can turn into plays and put on as family shows. Despite intimations of abuse on the father's part, the children — homeschooled by mom — show enormous charm and adaptability.

Without venturing too far out into spoiler territory, it's fair to say that there's a breakout. That's how Moselle met the Angulos and won access to their home movies (amazing stuff). The Wolfpack is frustrating in how much it doesn't tell us about the Angulos and the legal tangle that comes with their release. But once you've met these kids, you won't forget them — or the film that puts a hypnotic and haunting spin on movie love.

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~Upstairs at the Savoy~

Infinitely Polar Bear

Coming Soon

Rated R; 90 minutes

WATCH THE TRAILER



Peter Travers, Rolling Stone (excerpted)

Infinitely Polar Bear is a hilarious and heartbreaking tale of a family on the ropes. Set in Boston in the late 1970s, the film casts Mark Ruffalo (one of the best actors on the planet ) as Cam Stuart, a manic depressive — "polar bear" is how Cam refers to being bipolar — whose antics and chronic unemployment have alienated his blueblood relatives. It's no picnic for those closest to Cam — wife Maggie (Zoë Saldana) and their mixed-race daughters, Amelia (Imogene Wolodarsky) and Faith (Ashley Aufderheide).

A crisis approaches when Maggie decides to pursue an MBA at Columbia. She wants the best education for her kids and can't get financial help from Cam's rich relations, whose contributions barely reach the subsistence level. She'll have to be in New York for 18 months, coming home on weekends only, leaving Cam in charge of the girls. Having trouble buying this? Talk to Maya Forbes, making a fine feature debut as a writer and director by telling her own story. Wolodarsky, Forbes' daughter, is playing her mother as a child and doing it superbly.

The movie is a small miracle, lifted by Ruffalo and these two remarkable young actresses. Refusing to soften the edges when Cam is off his meds, Ruffalo is a powerhouse. He and Forbes craft an indelibly intimate portrait of what makes a family when the roles of parent and child are reversed.

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