(WOMENSENEWS)–A bunch of movies are opening May 8 but let’s start with the one most definitely not to miss: the biopic "Noble." It’s about Christina Noble (Deirdre O’Kane), an Irishwoman who transformed past personal adversity into the will to do good for others by establishing a network of centers for homeless children in Vietnam and Mongolia. Her compelling story is presented with appealing cinematic style. This affecting film is as noble as its main character and sure to inspire.
More May 8 Openers
"5 Flights Up," the cinema adaptation of Jill Ciment‘s "Heroic Measures," stars Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman. The duo beautifully captures the comfort of a long and loving relationship as well as the struggle to ease with grace into senior life. After living in the same Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment for four decades, the couple decides to trade in their five-flight walkup in Williamsburg for an apartment in an elevator building in Manhattan. This sets off a drama of personal introspection and financial stress as they traipse from place to place, evaluating New York’s real estate offerings. Freeman and Keaton are both wonderful to watch, as always.
"Saint Laurent" is a dramatic biopic about the legendary designer from 1967 to 1976, during the height of his powers as an icon of style and marketing genius. We find him surrounded by an abundance of glamor and decadence; dressing gorgeous women in tuxedos, see-though blouses and other innovative haute couture costumes. Gaspard Ulliel‘s performance brilliantly delivers Yves Saint Laurent‘s flamboyance, which is beautifully showcased by Jeremie Renier‘s turn as Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent’s longtime partner, and Lea Seydoux‘s seductive Loulou de la Falaise, Saint Laurent’s muse. The story is galvanizing. The cinematography is beautiful. The editing is stunningly smart. And the costumes are divine. If you love fashion and cultural history, don’t miss "Saint Laurent."
"Hot Pursuit," directed by Anne Fletcher, is abundantly silly and sometimes funny. The femme-centric comedy pairs a by-the-book police officer (Reese Witherspoon) and a drug lord’s widow (Sofia Vergara) on a trans-Texas road trip, with one detailed to escort and safely deliver the other to testify at a high profile trial. The storyline is predictable, but the script takes some unexpected turns as the not-gal-pals are chased by mobsters and crooked cops and forced into oddball situations. At one point, they camouflage themselves as deer grazing by the side of the road. At another, Witherspoon disguises herself as a Justin Bieber lookalike. Witherspoon and Vergara play off each other well and score some big laughs. But, as female road trip movies go, "Hot Pursuit" doesn’t reach the heights of "Thelma and Louise." And in the tough lady cop category, Witherspoon’s characterization falls far short of any of Sandra Bullock’s uniformed ladies.
"Preggoland" is a comedy penned by Sonja Bennett who also stars as a 30-something woman who’s stuck in a life that’s going nowhere. She’s had the same grocery clerk job since high school and still lives with her father. Married friends with children seem to have left her behind until she starts saying she’s pregnant. Everyone believes her and she begins living a lie. The ways in which Bennett, as a writer and actress, works the situation are quirky and endearing. Filled with warmth and humor, the film gently explores women’s expectations and role playing.
"Maggie" is a femme-centric horror flick. Abigail Breslin plays a Midwestern teenager who is infected by some mysterious disease that turns the afflicted into zombies. There is an outbreak of the disease in her small town. There is no cure. Everyone knows she will soon seek to devour human flesh. The doctors and town officials determine that she must be put into quarantine to await sure death. But her adoring father (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is determined to see her through the disease-triggered transformation and save her. The best thing about this movie is the makeup. Breslin looks truly dreadful.
Opening May 13
"One Cut, One Life" is the final collaboration between documentarian Lucia Small and her longtime filmmaking partner, mentor and best friend Ed Pincus, a pioneering titan in the nonfiction genre of direct cinema. Pincus succumbed to leukemia in November 2013. As it chronicles the disease’s progression, the film intimately explores the professional and personal relationship between the two filmmakers and Pincus’ wife and children, all of whom appear on screen in tight close up, sometimes passing the camera from one to another, openly sharing their deepest feelings and needs. Without censoring themselves, the filmmakers turn their cameras on themselves, using their art to reveal their psyches in a masterpiece of personalized direct cinema. Brilliant. Brave. Moving. A must-see.
Stay tuned for more May openers next week.
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