PARANORMAN
2012, Focus Features, 92 min, USA, Dir: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

This horror-comedy hit follows 11-year-old Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a boy whose ability to speak with the dead is doubted by almost all around him. But when his hometown is threatened by an ancient witch, Norman’s unusual power proves crucial. John Goodman, Casey Affleck and Elaine Stritch costar in this Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, which pairs its theme of acceptance for outsiders with state-of-the-art stop-motion techniques (including innovative use of full-color 3-D printers).


MATCHING JACK
2010, Cascade Films, 99 min, Australia, Dir: Nadia Tass

In the most recent film from noted Australian director Nadia Tass, a mother seeks a bone-marrow match for her son, diagnosed with leukemia, and finds unlikely sources of hope in her husband’s infidelity, and in another man with a sick child. With outstanding performances from stars Jacinda Barrett, James Nesbitt, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Tom Russell. MATCHING JACK garnered the top awards at the Milan International Film Festival for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay, and Best Film Prix du Jury at Cannes Cinephile.


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