Flick Picks 5/15/2015: Still Alice, Mr. Turner, Selma

A one-week hiatus for Flick Picks means we have lots of new DVDs to consider .

Feature Films

STILL ALICE

Based on Lisa Genova's best-selling novel, Still Alice tells the story of 50-year-old linguistics professor Alice Howland, facing painful irony of  a life without memory and language after a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's.  The always excellent Julianne Moore won the Best Actress Oscar at the 2015 Academy Awards for her portrayal of Alice.

MR. TURNER

Timothy Spall has won universal acclaim for his performance as the great English painter, J.M.W. Tuner in director Mike Leigh's masterful biopic that covers the last 25 years in the life of the painter, with all his human flaws and artistic brilliance.  We have both regular DVD copies and a Blu-ray edition of Mr. Turner.  

SELMA

Director Ava DuVernay's Selma succeeds where it was most likely to fail:  creating a distinct screen persona for an indelible historical figure whom we have all seen repeatedly in news footage (or even live broadcast).  British actor David Oyelowo does the near impossible in bringing to life Martin Luther King.  The physical presence and cadence of speech are similar enough to evoke the great man, while Oyelowo avoids the trap of mere mimicry.  He's both MLK and a character in the film at hand.  Selma has a curiously British cast, with Tom Wilkinson playing President Lyndon Baines Johnson (well, okay) and Tim Roth cast as firebrand Alabama Governor George Wallace (huh?). Mainly, Selma succeeds in the smaller moments of its big story, showing the struggles behind the scenes in the civil rights movement and humanizing a towering figure in American history.

Also new...

 Jude Law plays a rogue submarine captain, searching for lost treasure in BLACK SEA.

Much more an audience favorite than critical darling, BLACK OR WHITE stars Kevin Costner as grandfather fighting for custody of a granddaughter in a drama that considers issues of both family and race.

Series

WOLF HALL

Almost universally praised, Wolf Hall is actually a six-part adaption of two Hilary Mantel novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.  This British series focuses on the figure of Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII and a major player in the English Reformation.

We have made many other additions to our new series DVDs in the past two week, including

MURDER IN THE FIRST

HALT AND CATCH FIRE, FIRST SEASON

MYSTERY OF LORD LUCEN

SHETLAND, SEASONS ONE AND TWO

DANCING ON THE EDGE

 

 

 

Foreign

THE NUN

In 1760's France, a beautiful young woman from a well-to-do family is shocked when her parents send her to a convent.  Only later does she realize that she's an illegitimate child and expected to atone for her mother's sin.  Will she take her vows?  Is the cloistered existence of an abbey any place for such a young woman?

Documentary

 

We have plenty for documentary fans to enjoy with recent additions to our collection.  
 
 
 
 
Two early, entertaining, thought-provoking films from Academy Award-winner, Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line).  
 
 
 
 

WATCHER OF THE SKY

With his provocative question, 'why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of an individual?' Raphael Lemkin changed the course of history. An extraordinary testament to one man's perseverance, this examines the life and legacy of the Polish-Jewish lawyer and linguist who coined the term genocide.

ADELE'S WISH

You might have seen the recent film, Woman in Gold, about Maria Altman's attempt to reclaim paintings stolen from her family by the Nazis.  Now you can see the real story about the 84-year-old Los Angeles woman's attempt to wrest the Gustav Klimt paintings from the Austrian government, including the iconic, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

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