Sweeping many film festivals last year, Short Term 12 lives up to the hype. Brie Larson dazzled as the snarky older daughter Kate on Toni Colette’s series, The United States of Tara. Larson plays Grace, a supervising member of a foster care facility staff who balances the kids, her boyfriend who works and lives with her and as the film progresses – her own troubled, unresolved past. This is Brie Larson’s film and she shines as Grace – no make-up, lots of close-ups, this isn’t a polished, pretty film. Short Term 12 exposes some awful truths about its characters. Boyfriend Mason in his own quiet way shows nearly everyone they have a shot at a happier life. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at SXSW last year.
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Nicole Holofcener creates dark, introspective comedies that are never light weight but nearly always make you wake up and notice her characters. Her previous films include Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money, and Please Give. She casts Catherine Keener in every one of her films. Her latest, Enough Said is worth seeing for many reasons but the one most people are familiar with is that it’s James Gandofini’s final performance. See Gandofini and Julia Louis Dreyfus in Holocener’s newest film, Enough Said.
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Richard Linklater’s 2013 sequel to the cult hits Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Before Midnight finds favorite couple Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) nearly 20 years after their first meeting again at a crossroads in their lives. The couple now have twin girls from their reconciliation nine years ago and Jesse’s son Hank from a previous marriage is now a teenager and ending a visit with his Dad in the location of this final film in the trilogy on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula. All three films have struck a nerve with Gen X-ers and anyone interested in the complexities of maintaining modern relationships. The library carries all three films on DVD.
Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) and Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) star in Cloudburst as an aging lesbian couple who face separation after Fricker’s character Dot ends up in an assisted living facility. Dukakis’s Stella decides to break Dot out of the home and run away to Canada where the two can be married legally. Cloudburst combines some of the funniest potty-mouthed dialogue ever to come out of an 80 year-old actor’s mouth with a universal story of love, longevity, and fidelity. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer for the ladies of Cloudburst.