SIDEWAYS
2004, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 123 min, USA, Dir: Alexander Payne

Writer-director Alexander Payne's fourth feature film (following CITIZEN RUTH, ELECTION and ABOUT SCHMIDT) starts with two old friends setting off on a wine-tasting road trip . . . only to veer dizzily SIDEWAYS into a wry, comedic exploration of the crazy vicissitudes of love and friendship, the damnable persistence of loneliness and dreams and the enduring war between Pinot and Cabernet. Thomas Haden Church plays Jack, a womanizer who is about to be married. Best friend/wine lover Miles (Paul Giamatti) takes his buddy on a tour of the wine country as a last hurrah before Jack ties the knot. The two buddies soon find themselves caught in a heady mix of wine and woman, with Jack's upcoming nuptials fast approaching.


EL INCA
2016, 128 min, Venezuela, Dir: Ignacio Castillo Cottin

“The only fight he lost was the one against himself.” This tragic love story is based on the life of two-time World Boxing Champion Edwin “El Inca” Valero (Alexander Leterni). Accompanied by his wife to rings around the world, the charismatic fighter from the Venezuelan Andes defeats all rivals with devastating knockouts. But while his professional life soars, his personal life starts to stagger, as Edwin establishes a relationship with another woman and becomes trapped in insecurity and an increasing drug addiction.


MRS. BROWN
1997, Park Circus/Miramax, 103 min, UK/Ireland/USA, Dir: John Madden

Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, a devastated Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) largely retreated from public life. In an effort to coax her back to her royal duties, one of Albert’s trusted servants, John Brown (Billy Connolly), was assigned to work for the monarch; the scandalously close relationship that ensued inspired this perceptive and witty fact-based drama. Dench’s performance as Victoria brought her Golden Globe and BAFTA awards as well as an Oscar nomination.


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