yup - that time again! I have a flex ticket which is 8 of the 10 films - I will, as usual, report on all of them
The Sense of an Ending - starring Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter, Michele Dockery, Charlotte Rampling, Emily Mortimer
directed by Ritesh Batra
A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to rethink his current situation in life.
This is a touching British film - expertly done all round - about a man in his 60s suddenly getting a bequest from the mother of his college girlfriend. We learn he is currently divorced and his unmarried daughter is having a child at any minute. We follow him as he discovers the whereabouts of his former girlfriend and what her mother has left him. In the process he has flashbacks of his time at university with his college buddies. He has turned into a bit of a curmudgeon but as the film progresses we understand how his life has unfolded and how his past experiences come back to change his attitudes to those he loves. The young actors are excellent and it was fun to see Jim B take the lead for a change. The strange twist at the end makes a fitting ending to a thoughtful film.
The Ottoman Lieutenant starring Michiel Huisman, Hera Hilmar, Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley,
directed by Joseph Rubin
A love story between an idealistic American Nurse and a Turkish officer in World War I.
A beautiful, strong-willed woman, who, frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, leaves the United States after meeting Jude, an American doctor who runs a remote medical mission within the Ottoman Empire - a world both exotic and dangerous, and on the brink of what is about to become the first World War. There, she finds her loyalty to Jude and the mission's founder tested when she falls in love with their perceived enemy, a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army. Now, with invading army forces at their doorstep, and the world about to plunge into all-out war, she must make a decision if she wants to be what other people want her to be, or to be herself.
This one is more formulaic than I would have liked - you can pretty much predict what happens in the end - but the scenery is fabulous and the story of a pre-war Indo-European culture is interesting. I can't say the acting is special but everyone does a good job. The Turk (Michiel ) is handsome and Ben Kingsley as the grief-stricken founder of the American hospital is excellent as usual. There's alot of fighting, horse-back riding and gory wounded people. We all came away from it needing to re-acquaint ourselves about the Armenian/Turkish situation in the early 20th century.
[unfortunately, once again we had no speakers - this is dispiriting because one of the attractions of this series is getting to hear/meet the film makers!]