JANUARY 14 MAN UP Dir. Ben Palmer, England 2015, 88min
Man Up is an honest, heartwarming romantic comedy about taking chances and rolling with the consequences. One night, two people, on a first date like no other… Meet Nancy (Lake Bell): 34, single, hungover, and exhausted by her well-meaning but clueless friends' continual matchmaking. When Nancy is mistaken for Jack’s blind date under the clock at Waterloo Station, she decides to take fate into her own hands and just go with it. What could possibly go wrong? Because what if pretending to be someone else finally makes her man up, and become her painfully honest, awesomely unconventional, and slightly unstable true self? Best just to let the evening unfold, roll with the consequences, and see if one unpredictable, complicated, rather unique night can bring these two messy souls together. A film about putting yourself out there, taking chances, and keeping a hold on that ever-diminishing glimmer of hope, no matter the shit life throws at you.
JANUARY 22 ROOM, Dir. Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland/Canada 2015, 118min
The extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical--they are trapped--confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world
JANUARY 28 VICTORIA Dir. Sebastian Schipper , England/Germany 2015, 138min
Victoria, a young woman from Madrid, meets four local Berliners outside a nightclub. Sonne and his friends promise to show her a good time and the real side of the city. But these lads have gotten themselves into hot water: they owe someone a dangerous favor that requires repaying that evening. As Victoria’s flirtation with Sonne deepens into something more, he convinces her to come along for the ride. And later, when things become more ominous and possibly lethally dangerous for Sonne, she insists on coming along. As the night takes on an ever more menacing character, what started out as a good time, quickly spirals out of control. As dawn approaches, Victoria and Sonne address the inevitable: it’s all or nothing and they abandon themselves to a heart-stopping race into the depths of hell.
FEBRUARY 4 BROOKLYN, Dir. Thomas Crowley, USA 2014, 111min
The profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
FEBRUARY 11 MUSTANG, Dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Turkey 2015, 94min
Early summer in a village in Northern Turkey. Five free-spirited teenaged sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmates. Though their games are merely innocent fun, a neighbor passes by and reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family. The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides. As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate. The fierce love between them empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they can determine their own lives.
FEBRUARY 18 THE LADY IN THE VAN, Dir. Nicolas Hytner, England 2015, 104min
Alan Bennett's story is based on the true story of Miss Shepherd (played by Maggie Smith), a woman of uncertain origins who "temporarily" parked her van in Bennett's London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years. What begins as a begrudged favor becomes a relationship that will change both their lives. Filmed on the street and in the house where Bennett and Miss Shepherd lived all those years, acclaimed director Nicholas Hytner reunites with Bennett to bring this rare and touching portrait to the screen.
FEBRUARY 25 SPOTLIGHT, Dir. Tom McCarthy, USA 2015, 128min
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel Mcadams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci, SPOTLIGHT tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. A tense investigative thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest crime stories in modern times.
MARCH 3 BURNT Dir. John Wells, USA 2015, 101min
Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had it all – and lost it. A two-star Michelin rockstar with the bad habits to match, the former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene did everything different every time out, and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star though, he’ll need the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). A remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.
MARCH 10 FREEHELD , Dir. Peter Sollett, USA 2015, 103min
The true love story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials, Freeholders, conspire to prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells, and activist Steven Goldstein, unite in Laurel and Stacie's defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality.
MARCH 17 LIFE, Dir. Anton Corbijn, USA 2015, 1112min
Inspired by the now famous photo-shoot commissioned by LIFE magazine in 1955, LIFE reveals the unlikely friendship between unproven photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) and a little-known actor on the cusp of stardom called James Dean (Duane DeHaan). At the time Stock was 26, old before his time and tied down to family life, but anxious to prove himself as an artist. Into his buttoned-down world came rising star James Dean, a free spirit who would change popular culture from suits to jeans and from matinee idols to rebellious teenage heartthrobs. James Dean at 23 had mixed feelings about his impending stardom – the young actor was a frequent no-show at publicity events, famously infuriating studio boss Jack Warner – yet agreed to invite Stock into to his life to share vulnerable and honest family moments. The LIFE assignment would ultimately provide the world with some of the most lasting and iconic images of the age and change Stock's life forever.
MARCH 24 REMEMBER Dir. Atom Egoyan, Canada 2015, 95min
Remember is the contemporary story of Zev, ( Christopher Plummer), who discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family some 70 years ago is living in America under an assumed identity. Despite the obvious challenges, Zev sets out on a mission to deliver long-delayed justice with his own trembling hand. What follows is a remarkable cross-continent road-trip with surprising consequences.
MARCH 31 CAROL Dir. Tod Haynes, USA 2015, 118min
This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby come to light.
APRIL 7 TRUMBO, Dir. Jay Roach, USA 2015, 124min
In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. The film recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.