4 items from 2015
Directed by Tarik Saleh.
A week before Christmas, Estelle lands at Arlanda Airport. A year earlier, she had left Stockholm on the run with her husband Tommy and their daughter…
Focusing on the grim underbelly of Stockholm’s criminal networks and organised gangs, Tommy is a well paced mystery thriller creating a few sparks of gritty realism in the frosted side roads of the Swedish capital. A strong central performance from the lead Moa Gammel as the partner of the titular Tommy caps off a fine display of ever- building tension.
A year ago Estelle, Tommy and their daughter disappeared from Sweden following a huge bank robbery. The notoriously unpredictable crime lord now wants his money back and sends his wife Estelle to retrieve the loot from his former underlings.
Concentrating on »
- Robert W Monk
Amrita Acharia is impressive as a Norwegian-Pakistani caught between different worlds
This atmospheric, delicately etched Nordic drama stars Amrita Acharia as a second-generation Norwegian-Pakistani woman caught between several contiguous but different worlds. Divorced from her nice but dull architect husband, with whom she shares custody of their young son (Prince Singh), she finds it hard enough being a single mother while trying to launch an acting career. To make things tougher, her conservative family, led by the passive-aggressive mother from hell (Rabia Noreen), never stop guilt-tripping her about shaming the family. Sexual sparks fly when she meets a Swedish film director (Ola Rapace), but he is too self-absorbed to handle the demands of dating a woman with a child. Though sometimes it seems like European arthouse cinema churns out films on this or similar themes by the metric ton, Acharia’s electric performance is impressive, while director Iram Haq brings »
- Leslie Felperin
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled its 2015 line-up which includes films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres. The U.S. premiere of Niki Caro’s McFarland USA will close out the 30th fest. Based on the 1987 true story and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, the film follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. The unlikely band of runners overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.
The festival runs from January 27-February 7.
Below is the list of World and U.S. Premiere films followed by the list of titles by sidebar categories.
A Better You, USA
Directed by Matt Walsh
Cast: Brian Huskey, »
- The Deadline Team
A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team, »
- Matt Patches
4 items from 2015
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