(WOMENSENEWS)– "October Gale," written and directed by Ruba Nadda, is a femme-centric thriller that revolves around circumstances that, within the genre, venture into the realm of the formulaic. A female doctor seeking some alone time at her cabin on an isolated island helps a man with a gunshot wound who’s been washed ashore. The guy who shot him lands with the intention of finishing the job. Add to that a raging sea storm that rules out escape, a romance between the doctor and the wounded man and her handiness with a shotgun. Despite the predictability, the characters are very well written and the trio of stars — Patricia Clarkson, Scott Speedman and Tim Roth — deliver performances that keep you on the edge of your seat. What more can you ask for from a thriller?
"Faults," another femme-centric thriller, is disturbingly strange and takes the "escape from cult" scenario to new and unexpected places. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Claire, a young woman who’s been brainwashed by a cult. Seeking to get her back, her parents turn to a self-proclaimed mind control expert to kidnap and deprogram her. And the plan goes nuts. Elements of horror and humor intertwine in a way that really keeps you guessing.
"A Year in Champagne" is a bubbly tribute to the province and its premier product. Filmmaker David Kennard follows famous wine importer Martine Saunier on a tasting tour that takes you behind the scenes at six superb Champagne houses, ranging from small independent makers to the illustrious Gosset and Bollinger. The documentary flows with intriguing information about champagne and somehow fills your head with ideas of heading to France and a real life tour of your own.
"Merchants of Doubt" is documentary maker Robert Kenner’s hair-raising expose of spin doctors who present themselves as scientific authorities as they camouflage the dangers of everything from climate change to the proliferation of pharmaceuticals. Truly revealing and compelling. A must-see.
"The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" lives up to its title. It is a second best sequel to the original film that you must see if you haven’t already done so. In this follow up (again scripted by Ol Parker), the hotel owner again puts his love life on hold so he can open a second property elsewhere in India. The environment is colorful and appealing, and Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy return for the frolic, and meet some fun new characters. All that’s entertaining and makes up for a thin plot.
"These Final Hours" is an apocalyptic road trip drama in which a young girl is helped in her search to find her lost father by a young self-centered man who, through their journey, is redeemed. But, then, there’s still the apocalypse to deal with – or not. Oh well.
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