PHILOMENA
2013, The Weinstein Company, 98 min, UK, Dir: Stephen Frears

Decades after giving up a child to nuns for adoption, Philomena Lee (Judi Dench in a tour de force performance) travels to America to try to find her son. Journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan, who also co-wrote the screenplay), sensing a great human interest story, travels with her, and both make surprising discoveries along the way. PHILOMENA gives a dark chapter of recent Irish history a human dimension thanks to director Stephen Frears’ deft blend of drama and humor.


PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
2005, Focus Features, 128 min, UK, Dir: Joe Wright

Keira Knightley throws off sparks as independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters whom parents (Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn) and aunt (Judi Dench) are hoping to marry off to local gentry in Georgian-era England. But the arrival of two eligible young bachelors, Mr. Darcy (Mathew Macfadyen) and Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods), throws a spanner into the works. Jena Malone also sparkles as the youngest and least mature sister, Lydia. Director Joe Wright puts an equal emphasis on period and emotional realism as well as romance and humor, balancing the elements as to not only remain faithful to but enhance the trenchant social observations of Jane Austen’s original classic novel


CASINO ROYALE
2006, MGM/Park Circus, 144 min, UK, USA, Dir: Martin Campbell

Previously filmed in 1967 as an all-star spy spoof, this deadly-serious take on Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel opens as the rough-and-tumble British secret agent has just earned his double-0 status. After foiling a bomb plot, Bond follows the trail to terrorist financier Le Chiffre to challenge him in a poker game where the stakes couldn't be any higher. While some fans were skeptical of the choice of Daniel Craig to inherit the mantle of 007, his portrayal of the iconic character as fallible but brutal won raves, and this relaunch of the movies’ most durable franchise became the highest-grossing Bond film ever. Co-starring Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen and Judi Dench (the sole carryover from previous installments of the series).


Syndicate content