Wednesday Cinema Watch

Wednesday Cinema Watch

Here are some great critically-acclaimed, independent, and foreign films playing at Bytowne Cinema this week:

Elephant Song, March 4-6

Elephant Song is directed by Charles Binamé and adapted from the 2004 play by of the same title by Ottawa native Nicolas Billon. Xavier Dolan stars as Michael, a mental patient suspected of involvement in the disappearance of his doctor. The film has an all-star cast, including Colm Feore, Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener, and Carrie-Anne Moss. As Steve Gravestock explains, “Inhabiting his role with complete conviction, Dolan is transfixing, and Greenwood brings meticulous control to his portrayal of Michael’s baffled counterpart. The dynamic relationship between the two leaves the viewer on edge as the stakes rise and the truth becomes that much harder to reach.”

Escobar: Paradise Lost, March 4-5

Josh Hutcherson of The Hunger Games series plays Nick, a young Canadian who falls in love with a Colombian girl, whose uncle happens to be the notorious Colombia drug lord Pablo Escobar. Benicio del Toro stars as the titular Escobar. As Nick is invited into Pablo’s world, he “finds himself immersed in a world of wild extravagance, corruption and bloodshed – one he will find nearly impossible to escape.”

Still Alice, March 6-9

Julianne Moore won an Academy Award for her incredible performance as Alice Howland, a Columbia professor who is struck with early onset Alzheimers in her 50s. Peter Deburge of Variety writes: “it’s a devastating thing to watch the light of recognition dwindle in her eyes, to see the assertive, confident lecturer that she had so recently been reduced to the nervous, scared woman we see delivering one last speech at an Alzheimer’s society meeting. The filmmakers shot things in such a way that activity is constantly spilling beyond the edges of the frame, giving the impression that characters’ lives continue when they’re not on camera, even as Alice’s seems to be closing in around her. Just as her kids look for ever-fainter signs of their mother behind those eyes, we lean in to watch Moore the actress turn invisible within her own skin.”

Birdman, March 7-9

Birdman won four Academy Awards last month, including Best Picture and Best Director. Michael Keaton delivers a masterful performance and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s direction is nearly seamless. “As Riggan Thompson, a former Hollywood sellout looking to stage a comeback on Broadway, Keaton channels the live-wire energy he’s long been known for but also shows us layers of sadness and desperation that we’ve never really seen from the actor, and certainly not in a showcase part like this, surrounded by a terrific ensemble including Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis.”

Boyhood, March 7-8

The Academy-award nomination theme continues with Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Filmed over twelves years, the entire project is amazing demonstration of the unique power of film. “Part of the excitement of the movie is that Linklater, by definition, could not have had any idea who Ellar Coltrane would turn out to be – what he would look like, how his personality would evolve – and as Mason grows up, Coltrane, though he is most definitely an actor here (and a fine one), effectively merges with the character.”

Enjoy your time at the movies!

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