Monday Night Film Series

MONDAY NIGHT FILM SERIES: SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER, 2019

The Monday Night Film Series takes place at Tilley Hall, Room 102, UNB Campus
Tel: 455-1632 or email info@nbfilmcoop.com

The NB Film Co-op presents the Fredericton Monday Night Film Series. The series partners are the Film Circuit, a division of the Toronto International Film Festival and the UNB Faculty of Arts. The series presents limited release, independent foreign and Canadian films for one-night screenings, with the goal of diversifying local access to cinema. These films are new or recent releases, which would not otherwise be available to Fredericton audiences on the big screen.

Tickets and Membership

The film series is open to everyone.
Regular admission is $8.00
Member's admission: $5.00

Full-Year Memberships
Regular: $30.00
Students/Seniors (65 years and up)/NBFC Members: $18.00

Half-Year Memberships
Regular: $20.00
Students/Seniors (65 years and up)/NBFC Members: $12.00

Tickets and Memberships are Available at

Tilley Hall, Room 102, UNB on Monday Nights. Memberships are also available at the NB Film Co-op: 732 Charlotte Street (Charlotte Street Arts Centre) in early September annually

Lead sponsor: Bell. Major sponsors: RBC Rpyal Bank, L'Oreal Paris, VISA.

SERIES SCHEDULE

SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER, 2019

NOTE: All films screen at 7:30pm

September 2, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

IT WAS ALL SO WONDERFUL: THE EVERYDAY MAGIC OF MARY PRATT

Kenneth J Harvey
Canada, 2019
English
72 minutes
Featuring: Mary Pratt, Christopher Pratt

It Was All So Wonderful: The Everyday Magic of Mary Pratt follows the beloved artist’s development as one of the country’s great realist painters. The documentary features Mary’s final interviews and appearances on film, highlighting her career and life as an artist. Was she a feminist painter or traditional housewife?

Displaced and isolated, Mary Pratt’s life was a highly complicated one of delicate rebellion. In this touching and timely documentary, Harvey captures Pratt’s humour, strength and beauty of spirit, but also Mary’s feminist significance as chronicler of women’s experiences, with her fascination with and elevation of domestic objects.

The film contains archival footage from Mary Pratt’s life in Fredericton dating back to the 1950s. Local art historians John Leroux and Tom Smart of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery are featured in the film.

September 9, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

ALL IS TRUE

Kenneth Branagh
UK, 2018
English
101 minutes
Principal Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen

An all-star cast headlines this historical drama from Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express, Much Ado About Nothing), a delightful telling of William Shakespeare’s return home to his family after years of success in London.

It’s 1613, and Shakespeare (Branagh) is the most celebrated playwright of his era. Yet when a cannon misfires during a performance of Henry VIII, his beloved Globe Theatre burns to the ground. With no other options, Shakespeare must return to Stratford to once again live with his family and face those he left behind in pursuit of personal triumph.

All Is True meets the high standard we’ve come to expect of British period dramas: it is charming in wit, lush in costumes and setting, and gorgeous in cinematography, all wrapped in a great story. This is also the most vulnerable portrayal we’ve seen of the oft-played Shakespeare. Haunted by the death of Hamnet, his only son, he does all he can to fall into the good graces of his family.

Branagh provides depth and humour to the role, and he is anchored wonderfully by Judi Dench (Philomena, Red Joan) as Shakespeare’s long-neglected wife, Anne Hathaway, and the always reliable Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes, The Lord of the Rings) as the Earl of Southampton.

The tale of an artist coming to terms with his failings amidst a sea of success, All Is True is satisfying from start to finish. It’s the kind of comforting, intelligent cinema that makes you want to cozy up with a warm cup of tea.

Slowly, as the thematic centre of the film begins to take shape, so does Branagh's character - and in those moments, the audience is treated to what amounts to nothing short of a Christmas gift for any Anglophile or Shakespeare lover. —Dana Schwartz, Entertainment Weekly

September 16, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

THE FAREWELL

Lulu Wang
USA, 2019
English, Mandarin w/ English subtitles
98 minutes
Principal Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin

Lulu Wang ’s Sundance hit The Farewell is an intergenerational family drama that is at once celebratory, heart-wrenching, and life-affirming.

Based on true events, the film follows a young Chinese American woman named Billi (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians) as she travels back to China to visit her dying grandmother. Billi’s family has decided to spare their beloved matriarch the news of her terminal diagnosis so as not to darken what time she has left. In order for everyone to have a chance to say goodbye without tipping her off that the end is near, they orchestrate an elaborate excuse to reunite in the form of a fake wedding. Though cultures clash and family conflict ensues, the story is told with universally relatable warmth and charm.

Awkwafina is dazzling as the quick-witted and empathetic Billi, supported by a remarkable cast that includes the charming Tzi Ma (Meditation Park) as her father and Diana Lin (Australia Day) as her mother.

Little by little, we realize that this story is not only about Billi saying goodbye to her grandmother, but also about her reconnecting with a country and extended family that she left behind at a young age. The Farewell is truly remarkable. It will make you laugh out loud, cry both sad and happy tears, and contemplate the meaning of home.

It unearths the universality of complex familial love that defies borders and language barriers. - Tomris Laffly, Time Out

September 23, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE

Nick Broomfield
USA, 2019
English, Norwegian, w/ English subtitles
97 minutes
With: Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, Helle Goldman, Richard Vick

Most of what we know of Marianne Ihlen, we learned through Leonard Cohen’s enigmatic “So Long, Marianne.” In his latest doc, Nick Broomfield (Whitney: Can I Be Me, Kurt & Courtney) examines the love affair between Ihlen and Cohen that began on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960.

Through never-before-seen archival foot- age and interviews with their friends and former colleagues, a portrait emerges of the woman behind the lyrics and the long-lasting influence she had on Cohen. Broomfield himself was inspired by Ihlen. After a brief romantic dalliance with Broomfield in 1968, she encouraged him to make his first film. They remained friends until her death in 2016, three months prior to Cohen’s death.

Much of Ihlen and Cohen’s story is made up of the time they spent apart, though Cohen continued to write to her after leaving Hydra to pursue his music career. “I was always escaping. I was always trying to get away,” Cohen expressed in an interview.

The interviews in Words of Love are a tell-all of Cohen’s concerts and conquests, revealing the women in his life to be the source of many of his songs. But Ihlen was his longest-lasting influence. Famously, he wrote to her not long before her death: “Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a remarkable and rare portrait of a love that lasted a lifetime, from its intoxicating beginning to its poetic end. While the proof of it will live on in Cohen’s songs, this documentary captures the time, place, and circumstance that ignited the heart of a soulful singer-songwriter.

As much poetry as documentary — it’s a gentle, rhapsodic film, an emotional change of pace for its director and a moving portrait of a love that still resonates. - Steve Pond, The Wrap

September 30, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

MAIDEN

Alex Holmes
UK, 2018
English
93 minutes
With: Tracy Edwards

Exhilarating, suspenseful, and emotionally charged, this documentary from director Alex Holmes chronicles Tracy Edwards’ 1989–90 precedent-setting sea voyage around the world with an all-female crew.

The Whitbread Round the World Race (rechristened the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001) was considered an exclusively masculine endeavour when Edwards came along and, in the face of much sexist condescension, proved that skill, perseverance, and courage at sea know no gender.

Maiden traces Edwards’ formative experiences: the idyllic childhood that came to a devastating halt with her father’s death and the adolescent rebelliousness that resulted in her expulsion from school. At 16, she ran away to Greece, where she had her first taste of the seafaring life, rapidly graduating from cook to deckhand to first mate. She was still in her mid-twenties when she became determined to participate in the Whitbread with a crew of talented women from around the world.

With its fundraising challenges and heated rivalries, the journey to prepare the Maiden was already complicated. But it was just the beginning of an epic adventure.

Holmes crafts a captivating braid of archival materials and new interviews in which Edwards and her crew members — all of them rousing storytellers — collectively narrate their experience. It is a classic tale of people contending with the elements, though, in this case, some of those elements are other people. In a televised interview filmed before the Maiden set out, Edwards explains that she simply wants to be able to pursue her passion… and prove the all-male sailing establishment wrong.

A rousing, real-life, feminist adventure tale. - Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter

October 7, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

Joe Talbot
USA, 2019
English
120 minutes
Principal Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan, Tichina Arnold, Danny Glover

Director Joe Talbot’s debut feature is an ode to the city of San Francisco, rooted in the real-life experiences of his childhood best friend, Jimmie Fails. Though Fails is a non-actor, no one else could give a more genuine and heart- felt performance than he could - so Talbot cast him in the lead role.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco tells a story of the city through the eyes of a fictionalized version of Jimmie, who is obsessed by the idea of reclaiming the Victorian house in Fillmore that his grandfather built. This house is where he grew up and was the last real home he had before his family broke apart.

Jimmie spends most of his time hanging out with his best friend, aspiring playwright Montgomery (Jonathan Majors, Out of Blue, White Boy Rick), haunting the neighbour- hoods they knew as children and watching old black-and-white movies at the small house they share with Montgomery’s nearly-blind grandfather (Danny Glover, The Old Man and the Gun, The Color Purple).

Jimmie also visits and fixes up the house his grandfather built to keep it from falling into disrepair, much to the annoyance of its current owners. Unexpectedly, the house is one day left empty and an estate dispute ensues. Jimmie and Montgomery seize the opportunity to move in and live out a make-believe home life - but their dream can’t last forever.

This is a story about transformation, friendship, resilience, and what it means to belong to a community. And though the film is not directly about gentrification, that’s so much a part of the day-to-day reality of San Franciscans that the force of it can’t be ignored.

An indelibly beautiful story of love, family, and loss in America from two childhood friends turned filmmakers. - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

October 14, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

PAVAROTTI

Ron Howard

UK, 2019
English

114 minute 
Principal Cast: Luciano Pavarotti, Spike Lee, Stevie Wonder 


Featuring never-before-seen footage, concert performances and intimate interviews, Academy Award winner Ron Howard puts audiences front row center for an exploration of The Voice...The Man...The Legend. Opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti gave his life to the music and a voice to the world before passing away from pancreatic cancer in 2007.

The quintessential Italian tenor who did more to popularize opera in the latter half of the 20th century than anyone else receives a lavish and celebratory tribute in Pavarotti.
Casting a net deep into the archives and calling on a vast array of the singer's friends, family and colleagues, Ron Howard has taken time out from his dramatic feature work to deliver another likable documentary on a musical titan.
It's hard not to adore or at least vastly enjoy the expansive figure Luciano Pavarotti cut in the world of the arts. Blessed with a magnetic presence, a jovial bearing, an unmistakably Italian warmth and a vocal instrument second to none, he was the quintessential opera star who lorded over the second half of the 20th century the way Caruso dominated the first. He was the rare classical music figure who broke the barriers of his own discipline to become a celebrity with the general public.

Intelligent, vastly appreciative of its subject and conventional in approach, Pavarotti can scarcely go wrong due to the charisma of its subject, the gorgeous music that wallpapers the entire film and an arc of success arguably unmatched in the opera world.

Howard adopts a no-muss-no-fuss tone of benevolent civility that feels like a legitimate way to go, keeping Pavarotti's identity as a singer front and center. - Owen Gleiberman, Variety 

October 21, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

TEL AVIV ON FIRE

Sameh Zoabi
Luxembourg/France/Israel/Belgium, 2018
Arabic, Hebrew w/ English subtitles
97 minutes
Principal Cast: Lubna Azabal, Kais Nashef, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Yaniv Biton

One of the most irreverent cinematic spins on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the latest from writer-director Sameh Zoabi follows a fledging soap-opera scenarist charged with concocting plot twists to suit viewers on both sides.

A slacker sliding into middle age with little to show for it, Salam (Kais Nashef ) lands a production-assistant gig on Tel Aviv on Fire, a popular Palestinian evening soap for which his uncle is showrunner. A banal, offhand remark made during a shoot puts Salam in hot water with the show’s head writer but curries favour with its star (Lubna Azabal), a French diva who barely speaks Arabic. On Salam’s first day, he gets promoted.

Yet just as Salam’s prospects rise, he has a fateful encounter with Assi (Yaniv Biton), an Israeli military officer at the Ramallah checkpoint. During his interrogation of Salam, who must cross daily to get between home and work, Assi sees an opportunity to influence Tel Aviv on Fire — which, in his mind, is far too unflattering to its Israeli characters. Salam has just begun life as a writer and he’s already forced to compromise his integrity, while the entire country watches flabbergasted.

Zoabi’s ingenious satire exudes a deadpan audacity that’s hard to resist, while Nashef ’s outwardly unflappable middleman grounds this battle of ideologies in comic pragmatism. Films like this might not bring peace to the Middle East but making everyone laugh at the same thing feels like a step in the right direction.

A witty and warm-hearted look at a divided land. - Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

October 28, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

VITA & VIRGINIA

Chanya Button
UK/IRELAND, 2018
English
110 minutes
Principal Cast: Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones, Peter Ferdinando

The affair and the friendship of authors Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West — both uncompromising in their insistence to live, love, and create to the fullest — constitutes one of the most fascinating relationships in literary history. Director Chanya Button’s sumptuous double portrait traces their fiery connection from the moment their paths cross to the publication of the work that would be their shared legacy.

The year is 1922. Though happily married, Vita (Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace) is as notorious for her dalliances with women and iconoclastic attitudes toward gender as she is famous for her aristocratic ancestry and writerly success. Virginia (Elizabeth Debicki, The Great Gatsby, Macbeth), meanwhile, is a celebrated writer, publisher, and member of the Bloomsbury Group, those innovative moderns already revolutionizing literature. When Vita receives an invitation to Bloomsbury, she is elated at the thought of meeting the enigmatic Woolf and, not surprisingly perhaps, becomes obsessed with the notion of seducing her.

Between Virginia’s mental health struggles and Vita’s impulsiveness — not to mention the concern of their husbands, families, and mutual friends — their romance is bound to be tumultuous. Yet tumult can fuel creativity; Vita’s singular persona will eventually be channelled into one of Virginia’s greatest works.

Based on Sackville-West and Woolf ’s personal correspondence and co-scripted by Eileen Atkins, who also wrote the screen adaptation of Mrs Dalloway, Vita & Virginia will make you swoon. Isobel Waller-Bridge’s part–chamber music, part-electronica score creates a seductive sonic latticework, while Button and cinematographer Carlos De Carvalho craft striking sequences in which the equally brilliant Arterton and Debicki speak directly to camera. This film is bold, sensuous, and smart, but most importantly, it’s something Vita and Virgina would have been proud of.

This is sumptuous and well-acted filmmaking with an appropriately feminine touch from Button and poetic romantic words from real-life writers themselves. - Lewis Knight, Daily Mirror

November 4, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

PHOTOGRAPH

Ritesh Batra
GERMANY/INDIA/USA, 2018
Hindi, Gujarati, English w/ English subtitles
110 minutes
Principal Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, Sachin Khedekar

Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox, The Sense of an Ending) returns with another nuanced love story, about the hopes, dreams, and identities of ordinary people. With gentle poignancy, Batra explores moments of both isolation and connection amidst the otherwise chaotic urban landscape of Mumbai.

An unlikely couple who come from different walks of life meet in a busy public square. Miloni (Sanya Malhotra, Pataakha) is a shy young woman studying to become an accountant. Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Lion, The Lunchbox) is an older, reclusive street photographer, who makes ends meet by taking portraits of tourists at city landmarks. One day Rafi takes Miloni’s portrait, and it leaves an indelible imprint on them both.

A short time later, when Rafi’s elderly grandmother - who has always hoped Rafi would start a family - comes to town, Rafi tracks down Miloni and convinces her to pretend to be his fiancée in order to make his grandmother happy. Soon enough, their feigned love story begins to stir real emotions, but it’s difficult for the potential couple to ignore some of the stark differences between their two worlds.

The Photograph is an insightful meditation on loneliness and the ache for connection. It’s also a gratifying stroll through the streets of Mumbai that celebrates the small pleasures in life, from sampling an endless array of street food to spending summer nights at the cinema.

If the story is familiar, the storytelling can be immersive — Batra shades in the leads and their worlds with a human specificity that makes Photograph compelling in a slice-of-life way. - Aisha Harris, The New York Times

November 11, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM

USA, 2018
English
89 minutes
With: John Chester, Molly Chester

Emmy Award–winning filmmaker John Chester and his wife, Molly, a culinary writer, trade city life to start their own farm on a stretch of depleted soil outside Los Angeles. Part of their inspiration is to offer a better life outdoors for their rescue dog, Todd. But they also want to live in better harmony with nature. Many of us hold similar dreams - but John and Molly put theirs into action.

John chronicles their efforts for more than eight years in this sweeping epic about the creation of Apricot Lane Farms. New to the world of agriculture and farming, John and Molly enlist the help of Alan York, a plant, soil, and biodynamic consultant whose vision is to raise an array of crops and livestock. Alan cautions that it will take seven years before they fully realize their potential. During that time, they face mounting obstacles: coyotes, insects, bad weather, and disease, like a modern-day enactment of Little House on the Prairie. Most farmers would respond with pesticides, extermination, and concentration on a single crop, but, following their guide, John and Molly remain steadfast in their commitment to working with nature and not against it.

Teeming with stunningly beautiful images of flora and fauna — including a pregnant hog that will melt your heart - The Biggest Little Farm, which played Hot Docs 2018, is a testament to idealism. For urban viewers, it’s a necessary confrontation with how our food is grown. It’s also a family adventure, full of suspense and emotion that will leave a lump in your throat.

In a time when climate news is near-uniformly depressing, this is a nature documentary that pays loving and hopeful tribute to the complex web of life — and it won’t scare your kids. - Sara Stewart, New York Post

November 18, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE

Richard Linklater
USA, 2018
English
112 minutes
Principal Cast: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Troian Bellisario, Billy Crudup

Critically acclaimed filmmaker Richard Linklater has been hard at work after the enormous success of Before Midnight (2013) and Boyhood (2014). Considered by many to be a modern auteur, Linklater has recruited an impressive cast (Cate Blanchett, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, and Kristen Wiig, to name a few) for his forthcoming feature, an adaptation of the beloved novel of the same name: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Bernadette Fox (Blanchett, Carol, Blue Jasmine) is a gifted architect and mother who suffers from agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder characterized by feeling unsafe in open or public spaces. Bernadette’s increasing distress in her home city of Seattle and her discomfort around other people result in her disappearance, leaving behind a husband (Billy Crudup, 20th Century Women, Spotlight) and a daughter, Bee. Determined to find her mother, Bee launches into an investigation by compiling e-mails, documents, and other secret correspondence to help track down the misunderstood genius.


The novel, written by Maria Semple, spent a year on the New York Times bestseller list and has been praised for its easygoing, satirical tone and intriguing characters. The novel’s pace and style are a perfect match for Linklater’s signature style. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? features an incredible cast that offers no-holds-barred performances and moments of intimate, deeply affecting familial drama.

November 25, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

GORDON LIGHTFOOT: IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND

Martha Kehoe, Joan Tosoni
CANADA, 2019
English
90 minutes
With: Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Randy Bachman, Steve Earle, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Alec Baldwin, Anne Murray, Sarah McLachlan

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind will delight any music fan. After all, Gordon Lightfoot is undoubtedly a gifted musician and storyteller. Canada loves him, and Lightfoot loves Canada. Directors, writers, and producers Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni take us on a journey back to the artist’s heyday - and an emerging folk scene in Yorkville, Toronto - with a treasure trove of archival footage and interviews with many of Lightfoot’s contemporaries, while Lightfoot himself reflects back on his life: the songs, the creative process, and the regrets.

Culminating in Lightfoot’s performance at Massey Hall in Toronto on July 1, 2018, this chronicle travels back through the Canadian icon’s small-town roots, turning points, and dark spots, set against an extensive collection of footage and stills from his concerts and personal life. Listen to the first recording of him as a soprano singing at his local Orillia church; hear how his meticulous, hard work led to a record deal that changed his life; and find out what tragic and disturbing moments in his life inspired some of his best music.

The film, which played Hot Docs 2019, also interweaves contemporary interviews from influential voices from the music industry, including Randy Bachman, Geddy Lee, and Sarah McLachlan, talking about Lightfoot’s impression on their own musical lives and careers. Beyond it all, Lightfoot is undeniably Canadian. As Lee puts it, he let the world know that “we’re not just a bunch of lumberjacks and hockey players here.” Canadians can be complicated, and the proof can be found in Lightfoot’s lyrics.

It’s rare that Lightfoot provides this type of access, and it gives writer-directors Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni a lot of rich material to work with. - Richard Trapunski, NOW Magazine

December 2, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

THE PUBLIC

Emilio Estevez
USA, 2018
English
119 minutes
Principal Cast: Emilio Estevez, Jacob Vargas, Gabrielle Union, Taylor Schilling, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Slater, Jena Malone, Alec Baldwin, Michael K. Williams

The United States was founded on organized rebellion, its First Amendment celebrating “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” But what happens when the outcasts of American society assemble in the very home of free expression? Drawing on the clash of perspectives now galvanizing the States and beyond, Emilio Estevez (The War at Home, Bobby) has crafted a drama that returns politics to a human level. The Public is a story of resistance for right now.

It begins quietly enough in a Cincinnati library on a winter’s day. Stuart (Estevez) and Myra (Jena Malone, Stepmom, Inherent Vice) do their best to manage the daily assortment of knowledge seekers, loiterers, and homeless people who frequent their branch. It’s freezing outside. As closing time draws near, Jackson (Michael K. Williams, 12 Years a Slave, tele- vision's Boardwalk Empire) sparks an act of civil disobedience among his fellow library patrons who have nowhere to sleep. They refuse to leave, defying first the entreaties of the library staff, then a local political operative (Christian Slater, The Wife, True Romance) and soon a team of riot police led by Detective Ramstead (Alec Baldwin, Still Alice, Blue Jasmine), a hard-charging crisis negotiator. Outside, a TV reporter (Gabrielle Union, The Birth of a Nation) juices up the story for the wider world.

With this terrific cast, The Public lays out the conflicts between rights and responsibilities, empathy, and authority. Baldwin and Slater play characters working for powerful interests, but they give their roles shades of complicating nuance. The always-stellar Jeffrey Wright (The Manchurian Candidate, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) turns up as an administrator trying to walk an ethical fine line. And Estevez himself, playing a man with integrity and a hidden past, embodies the intractable nature of this struggle.

Writer-director-star Emilio Estevez turns a library occupied by homeless citizens [into] ground zero for our under-fire democracy. - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

December 9, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

SOMETIMES, ALWAYS, NEVER

Carl Hunter
UK, 2019
English
91 minutes
Principal Cast: Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe

In Carl Hunter’s debut feature, Bill Nighy (The Bookshop, Hope Gap) shines as Alan, an eccentric, retired tailor with a uniquely keen talent for Scrabble - and for hustling strangers in games. However, the pleasure he takes in Scrabble is tainted by the memory of his long-lost, favoured son, who stormed out while playing one night and was never seen again.

Shielding himself from the cruelties of the world with a cloak of quirky peculiarities and a gruff demeanor, Alan has made it his life’s work to locate his missing son. His efforts haven’t yielded much, except to effectively estrange him from his other son, Peter (Sam Riley, Suite Française, On the Road), whose feelings of being second best aren’t much assuaged by his father’s obsessive quest. Father and son seem to share only one common quality: an inability to understand each other.

When Alan moves in with Peter his family to improve their relationship, he manages to make gentle inroads with Peter’s introverted adolescent son, Jack - a demonstration of paternal connection that Peter resents in more ways than one. While living with Peter, Alan comes across an online Scrabble player who plays in a fashion eerily similar to that of his missing son. As the mystery of the online player’s identity deepens, Alan and Peter’s strained relationship teeters on the brink of calamity.

Featuring quietly powerful performances from both Nighy and Riley, Sometimes Always Never employs an English eccentricity, visual inventiveness, and a whimsically offbeat style that makes for a lovely tale of how difficult it can sometimes be for even the most loquacious of us to simply spell it out.

This film is a distinct, articulate pleasure. - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

December 16, 2019 - 7:30pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

JUDY

Rupert Goold
UK, 2019
English
118 minutes
Principal Cast: Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Bella Ramsey

Beloved actor, singer, dancer, and vaudeville star Judy Garland had a career that spanned over four decades. Depicting her last engagement on the stage, Judy stars the inimitable Renée Zellweger (Chicago, Cold Mountain) as the American icon in her final act.

In the winter of 1968, Garland travelled to England for a sold-out, five-week engagement at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London. Nearly 30 years after she starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz - the role she became so widely beloved and remembered for - Garland arrived in London with deteriorating health and a plethora of difficult situations nipping at her heels. Plagued by substance abuse issues, predatory management figures, and a series of turbulent, failed marriages, Garland had left the United States during a period of financial instability, hoping to make her London run a success. But a lifetime of physical and mental health issues and the exploitative nature of those in charge of her well-being would not be left behind so easily.

Featuring a career-defining turn for Zellweger ( herself no stranger to the cruelties of Hollywood scrutiny), Judy showcases some of the star’s most iconic songs like you’ve never experienced them before: the cheery, bright show tunes that she performed until the end reveal a pensiveness and melancholy here, asking you to consider the life lived behind the smile.