Beyond the Lights (2014)

Noni is a young pop star on the verge of success. She is attractive and talented, with a particularly precocious voice, and her driven mother is determined for her to succeed. Kaz is a young policeman eyeing a political career. He is handsome and articulate, with a keenly felt desire to help people, and his driven father is determined for him to succeed. They live in different worlds, but have everything in common; of course they should get together. Continue reading Beyond the Lights (2014)

Private Life (2018)

Richard and Rachel are a New York couple in advanced middle age, who want to start a family. Having gone from traditional means, to IVF, to adoption, all without success, they are ready to consider more unusual options. Their misfit niece, an aspiring writer who feels more connected to the couple than her immediate family, wants to help; offering to become an egg donor and so part of the future child’s genetic makeup. Is this the right thing for any of these characters? No one is sure. Continue reading Private Life (2018)

And Then We Danced (2019)

Merab is a young Georgian dancer, who dreams of making the country’s prestigious National company. Dance is important in this society. Merab’s instructor tells him: ‘This dance IS Georgia’. Talk about pressure. Merab is talented and works hard, but he seems to be lacking flair; there is an emotional, artistic level, beyond technical mastery, he struggles to attain. Enter Irakli: a charismatic new member of the troupe, who is all the things Merab is not. Continue reading And Then We Danced (2019)

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

In the Communist Romania of the 1980s, a young university student, Gabita, falls pregnant. She does not want the baby but abortion is illegal, so she enlists her friend, Otilia, to her help access one on the black market. They turn to a shady character recommended by one of their friends, who outlines what is required; rent a hotel room, come alone, bring his money. He will bring the equipment and perform the ‘procedure’. Simple enough instructions, but everything about this transaction is ill fated. Things are about to get ugly. Continue reading 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

Perfect 10 (2019)

Teenage Leigh lives in the outer suburbs of Brighton, the sort of bland suburban nowhere that inspires a lot of creative people to do something with their lives. Her mother has gone and she lives with her deadbeat dad, who is so unfocused on her he only comes home about half the time (preferring to stay at his girlfriend’s house, where possible). But Leigh does have one outlet: gymnastics, which provides both an expressive release, and a connection to her mum, who introduced her to the sport. Continue reading Perfect 10 (2019)

Corpus Christi (2019)

Daniel is a wayward youth just out of juvie. Part of his parole involves assignment to a sawmill in rural Poland; a dismal looking gig that he immediately shirks. Holing up in a nearby village, effectively on the run, he is mistaken for a priest; a friend had given him a cassock as a gag. When the elderly village vicar goes away for medical treatment, he finds himself reluctantly having to cover for him, a role he discovers a natural flair for. Continue reading Corpus Christi (2019)

Love & Basketball (2000)

Two kids grow up in the same neighbourhood; they share a fence line, and a love of basketball. The boy, Q, has a father who was an NBA star, and dreams of following in his footsteps. The girl, Monica, is from a more conventional middle class household, but has the same dream. Their lives follow parallel tracks, leading to romance and a fateful stretch at the same college. But nothing, in love or basketball, comes easy. Continue reading Love & Basketball (2000)

First Cow (2019)

In 19th century Oregon, two atypical frontiersman cross paths; Cookie, a gentle introvert with a love of nature and cooking, and King Lu, an ambitious Chinese immigrant looking to make his fortune. They become friends, share a shack in the wilderness, and start making plans for the future. Then the head of the local civil administration imports a cow, the first seen in that part of the country, a slight seeming development that has far reaching consequences. Continue reading First Cow (2019)

Wild (2014)

After the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed falls apart. Unable to cope with her grief, she loses herself in drugs and casual sex; as one of her therapists puts it: ‘using heroin, and sleeping with anyone who asks.’ Separated from her husband, and hitting bottom, Cheryl comes up with an unusual plan; she will hike 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, from Nevada to Oregon, a journey through an actual wilderness she hopes will complete a metaphoric one, back to herself. Continue reading Wild (2014)