If you want some winter entertainment that’s a chance of pace from the big blockbusters like the Hunger Games series or iffy sci-fi like Jupiter Ascending, these films at Bytowne Cinema might be right up your alley:
Ida, February 11-12
This Polish film with English titles is a double nominee at the 2015 Academy Awards. Ida has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. Set in 1960s Poland, Anna is about to become a nun but consults with her hard-drinking Aunt Wanda before doing so. Her aunt reveals that the family is actually Jewish and Anna’s real name is Ida. Wanda and Ida embark on a road trip to find out what happened to Ida’s parents during the war.
Red Army, February 11-12
Everyone knows the “Miracle” story, of how an upstart group of American college hockey players defeated the Soviets at the 1980 Olympics. Red Army presents the other side of the story, and Gabe Polsky’s documentary presents a compelling and sweeping narrative of the Soviet hockey team. “Life for the Soviet players was a tangle of contradictions. They were celebrities in a society devoted to conformity and, as high-ranking members of the Soviet military, they enjoyed privileges denied to most of their fellow citizens. But their lives were also restricted and controlled to a degree that caused resentment and heartbreak. Their year-round training regimen kept them away from their families for months, and they chafed under the impersonal, rigid discipline.” Red Army tells their story.
The Theory of Everything, February 13-16
The Theory of Everything is a biographical film that traces the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones team up in this story of intellectual genius, physical frailty, and enduring respect, affection, and love. Redmayne embodies Hawking impressively and has garnered much critical acclaim and award attention for his performance. The movie has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture.
Félix et Meira, February 13-19
Félix et Meira won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Maxime Giroux wrote and directed this tale of a growing relationship between Félix, a lonely bachelor in Montreal, and Meira, his married Orthodox Jewish neighbour. Giroux deftly uses Montreal as a fitting backdrop for the story of two cultures meeting. The film is in French, with bits of English and Yiddish, with English subtitles.
2014 Cannes International Advertising Festival, February 13-20
From more than 4,000 entries, judges at the Cannes International Advertising Film Festival selected 90 winners based creativity, impact, humour, and social commentary. Commercials and ads from all over the world are featured in this two-hour compilation.
Casablanca, February 14-16
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Bytowne Cinema is featuring this all-time film classic from 1942. Based on a 1940 play entitled Everybody Comes to Rick’s, Casablanca tells the story of American expatriate Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and his former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). Will Rick help Ilsa and her Czechoslovakian husband out of the Vichy-occupied Morocco? If you’ve never seen Casablanca, there’s no better time than over Valentine’s Day weekend.