12 Years a Slave
|6:30 & 9:00 each evening|
Rated R; 133 minutes
Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine (excerpted)
Simply, one of the best films of the year. Steve McQueen directs this stunning adaptation of the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free American sold into slavery in 1841 and forced to spend more than a decade concealing his identity on a series of Southern plantations before he could contact friends in the North.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is a revelation as a man forced to hide his intelligence and compassion - his very essence - in order to survive. Benedict Cumberbatch and McQueen regular Michael Fassbender offer diametrically opposed performances as Northup's masters over the years. Alfre Woodard, Sarah Paulson and Paul Giamatti all make effective appearances, and producer Brad Pitt turns up as a good-natured Canadian.
Blue is the Warmest Color
Thursday, December 12
|4:00 & 7:15 each evening|
|12:30 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated NC-17; 180 minutes
In French w/subtitles
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly (excerpted)
Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is a pouty high schooler whose fumblings with a handsome classmate leave her listless. It's not until she locks eyes with azure-haired art student Emma (Léa Seydoux, spectacular) at a crosswalk that the proverbial thunderclap strikes. Their love affair blossoms and burns over the next three hours, interspersed with vérité scenes of everyday life in the classrooms, bars, and galleries of the women's intertwined lives.
Yes, this is the "French One With All the Lesbian Sex Scenes". And oui, they are as graphic as you've heard. It's impossible not to talk about those bits, or debate the intentions of its male director — but the most explicit organ in Blue Is the Warmest Color, believe it or not, is the heart. The camera work is so close it feels almost subdermal, and Adèle sometimes falls into an especially French kind of erotic cliché: the feral woman-child who is all id, appetites, and Gauloises smoke. But Blue's raw portrayal of infatuation and heartbreak is both devastating and sublime. It's unforgettable.