(Click on title to see the film’s trailer)
Pride ***½ Directed by Matthew Warchus. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine. In an unlikely alliance, striking British mineworkers draw support from a coalition of gay and lesbian activists who solicit donations to help tide over the miners’ families during the 1984 standoff with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government. The film moves effortlessly from some pretty intense dramatic moments to hilarious scenes showcasing the contrasting lifestyles of the gay and straight worlds to some vignettes of incredible poignancy.
The Trip to Italy *** Directed by Michael Winterbottom. Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon. Two men, six meals in six different places on a road trip around Italy. It’s Sideways meets My Dinner With Andre — a low-key, sensual affair punctuated by off-the-cuff moments of brilliant wit and wordplay — and the result is delectable.
The Good Lie **½ Directed by Philippe Falardeau. Reese Witherspoon. Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, where their encounter with an employment agency counselor changes their lives. The images have the power to disturb but lack the gut-punch impact necessary to give us an immediate and lasting connection to the protagonists.
A Thousand Times Good Night **½ Directed by Erik Poppe. Juliette Binoche, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. After a near-death experience, a top war photojournalist (Binoche) is forced to choose between her work and the family on whom she depends. The first English-language film from Norwegian director Poppe is a conscientious and beautifully shot movie that ultimately bogs down in its own disinclination to come to any kind of dramatically useful conclusion about its subject.