True Grit on the last Tuesday, June 28th, at 6 p.m.
Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon
Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Rated PG-13; 110 minutes; 2011
Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and surprises on the journey, and each has his or her “grit” tested.
Bloodworth on the last Tuesday, July 26th, at 6 p.m.
Kris Kristofferson, Val Kilmer, Hilary Duff
Directed by Shane Dax Taylor
Rated R; 105 minutes; 2011
E.F. Bloodworth has returned to his home – a forgotten corner of
Tennessee – after forty years of roaming. The wife he walked out on
has withered and faded, his three sons are grown and angry. Only
Fleming, the old man’s grandson, treats him with the respect his age
commands, and sees past all the hatred to realize the way it can
poison a man’s soul. It is ultimately the love of Raven Lee, a
sloe-eyed beauty from another town, who gives Fleming the courage to
reject this family curse.
Of Gods and Men on the last Tuesday, August 30th, at 6 p.m.
Actors: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale
Directed by Xavier Beauvois
Rated PG-13; 123 minutes; 2011
French with English sub-titles
The monks at the Trappist monastery in Algeria seem almost to exist
outside of time, so it may be a while before we recognize the 1990s as
the setting for Of Gods and Men. And old traditions cannot escape new
warfare in this stirring movie, based on a true story that happened at
a remote enclave of peaceful, studious priests. These Christian monks
minister to the largely Muslim (and very poor) villagers in their
vicinity, a balance that is threatened by Algeria’s Civil War. When
nearby radical-Islamist insurgents begin killing foreigners, the monks
must face a choice. Will they flee to safety–a perfectly rational and
understandable decision that will leave the villagers without their
only source of health care–or will they stay on, secure in their
spiritual calling despite the possibility of abduction or murder?
Director Xavier Beauvois makes an absorbing film from this question,
and it’s not at all difficult to understand why it became an
unexpected box-office smash in France (and ended up winning the Cesar
award for best film of 2010). The film is beautifully cast, and
sometimes Beauvois simply trains his camera on the lined, weathered
faces of his priests, as though allowing those lines to tell the
story. Heading the cast is Lambert Wilson (of Matrix fame), who leads
his men with an almost regal bearing, and veteran actor Michael
Lonsdale, who quietly inhabits the role of the physician in the group.
The film takes time out for quiet contemplation, as though
understanding that the priests’ suspenseful situation is only half the
story. The wordless climax, which allows the men to be animated by the
earthly pleasures of wine and Tchaikovsky, is something of a spiritual
journey of acceptance all on its own. It’s a moment you’ll find very
difficult to forget.