SALVATION BOULEVARD
2011, IFC Films, 95 min, USA, Dir: George Ratliff

From his mega-church pulpit, Pastor Dan Day (Pierce Brosnan) has captured the affection - and much of the real estate - of a small western American town. Among his loyal flock is recovering Deadhead Carl (Greg Kinnear), who is given cause to question Day’s spiritual leadership by an atheist professor (Ed Harris). Carl soon finds himself caught between his devout wife (Jennifer Connelly), a hippie-at-heart security guard (Marisa Tomei) and an entire congregation eager to ensure that their church isn’t toppled by scandal. This caustic comedy, based on Larry Beinhart’s novel, proves there’s no fury like an Evangelical scorned. Ratliff’s 2001 documentary on a “Hell House” staged annually by a Texas church provided ample preparation for the director, who’s filled SALVATION BOULEVARD with laughs and insight. With Isabelle Fuhrman and Jim Gaffigan.


LABYRINTH
1986, Sony Repertory, 101 min, UK, USA, Dir: Jim Henson

David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly star in this tour de force of live-action puppetry. Fifteen-year-old Sarah (Connelly), angry with her little brother, wishes him away to the imaginary land of the Goblin King from her favorite book. Her musings take physical form and she is granted 13 hours to rescue him from the phantasmagoric realm of her own creation, lest the boy become a goblin forever.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
1984, Warner Bros., 229 min, Dir: Sergio Leone

Childhood friends Robert De Niro and James Woods rise to power as New York gangsters during the glory years of Prohibition, only to lose their souls in the process. Leone’s final masterpiece features Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams, Tuesday Weld, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Danny Aiello and William Forsythe, as well as the film debut of Jennifer Connelly.


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