Pick of the Litter – May 2016

BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Captain America Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

(Disney/Marvel) Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen. Phase III of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off here and it’s off with a bang. Team Cap and Team Iron Man face off, as it’s Avenger vs. Avenger, friend vs. friend and in the aftermath the Marvel Universe will never be the same! When Captain America balks at government restrictions placed on the Avengers in order to ostensibly minimize collateral damage but also limiting the team’s effectiveness, he and Iron Man square off with Cap taking the unlikely role as renegade. May 6

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Mothers and Daughters

Mothers and Daughters

(Screen Media) Susan Sarandon, Mira Sorvino, Christina Ricci, Courtney Cox. The relationships between mother and daughter can often be rocky. This anthology piece examines those relationships as a group of women try to carve out their own lives and become their own person while defining their relationships with their mom. An all-star cast takes a close and often heartbreaking look at this very basic of relationships. May 6

A Beast with a Thousand Heads

A Monster with a Thousand Heads

(Music Box) Jana Raluy, Sebastián Aguirre, Hugo Albores, Emilio Echevarria. This timely Mexican thriller takes on the health insurance industry as a woman, frustrated at her insurance company’s denial of the treatment that would alleviate her terminally ill husband’s pain, snaps and gun in hand, goes up the chain of command to find answers and some kind of resolution. With a powerful performance by Jana Raluy, this film is based on the novel written by director Rodrigo Pla’s wife. May 11

Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship

(Roadside Attractions) Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel. Director Whit Stillman, an Oscar-nominated director for such films as Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco takes on Jane Austen and her novella Lady Susan in this comedy of manners set in the Regency era. When a widow, known for her scandalous behavior, takes up residence at the home of her husband’s family, she turns the household upside down with her attempts to find a rich husband for her daughter – and herself. This played at the most recent Florida Film Festival.  May 13

Sunset Song

Sunset Song

(Magnolia) Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Mark Bonnar, Kevin Guthrie. Based on a novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, a young farmer’s daughter in turn of the 20th century Scotland suffers hardship and heartache, as well as triumph and vindication. The circumstances of her life changes much over the course of the six years covered here but one thing doesn’t – her strong bond with the land itself. This comes to us from Terrence Davies, director of such films as Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Deep Blue Sea.  May 13

Weiner

Weiner

(Sundance Selects) Anthony Weiner. An inside look at the ill-fated mayoral campaign of Anthony Weiner, whose personal life scandal overshadowed his political message. However, more than being a salacious look at a sexting scandal, it is also a chilling look at modern politics; the insatiable appetite of the media for scandal fueled by the public’s unwillingness to accept issues rather than soundbites. May 20

Unlocking the Cage

Unlocking the Cage

(First Run) Steven Wise. From Oscar-nominated documentary filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker comes this extraordinary feature following animal rights activist and trial lawyer Steven Wise, who goes on a campaign to extend limited human rights – to animals. At first met with derision and dismay, he perseveres and as society’s attitudes begin to slowly change, files motions in court to give rights to certain animals to protect them from inhumane treatment and abuse.. May 25

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