THE HATEFUL EIGHT
2015, The Weinstein Company, 187 min, USA, Dir: Quentin Tarantino

For this wintery Western, writer-director Quentin Tarantino has marshaled an all-star cast including Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth and Bruce Dern. In post-Civil War Wyoming, a blizzard brings eight desperate characters - a combustible mix of bounty hunters, lawmen, criminals and ex-soldiers from both sides of the war - under the roof of stagecoach stopover Minnie's Haberdashery; it’s anybody’s guess who will make it out alive. Featuring glorious widescreen vistas and music by Ennio Morricone, Tarantino’s eighth film pulses with blood and betrayal.


ANOMALISA
2015, Paramount, 90 min, USA, Dir: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman

For a customer service guru, Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is unusually alienated; everyone he meets when he checks into Cincinnati’s Fregoli hotel sounds the same to him. Everyone except for Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a customer service rep who may offer Michael a fleeting chance at real connection. Kaufman’s first foray into stop-motion animation was the Grand Jury Prize winner at the Venice International Film Festival. “Its emotional power creeps out from under the subtle humor and leaves a subcutaneous imprint that lingers long after the movie is over.” - David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter.


THE MACHINIST
2004, Paramount, 101 min, Spain/USA, Dir: Brad Anderson

This haunting portrait of a man on the edge of sanity stars Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik, an industrial worker plagued by insomnia and hallucinations. Fired after his erratic behavior causes an accident at work, Reznik’s sole source of comfort is prostitute Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), but soon even she becomes suspect in his eyes as the machinist grows increasingly paranoid. Bale went on a crash diet to play the emaciated title character, losing more than 60 pounds.


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