Residents of a retirement home build a machine for self-euthanasia in order to help their terminally ill friend, though they are faced with a series of dilemmas when rumors of the machine begin to spread.
A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular -and dangerous- feats of foot-launched human flight.
As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel.
As we follow a mother (Jennifer Connelly) and her son (Cillian Murphy), we delve into a past marred by an accident that tears them apart. She will become a renowned artist and healer, and he will grow into his own as a peculiar falconer who bears the marks of a double absence. In the present, a young journalist (Mélanie Laurent) will bring about an encounter between the two that puts the very meaning of life and art into question, so that we may contemplate the possibility of living life to its fullest, despite the uncertainties littering our paths. Written by
Sony Pictures Classics
I was anxiously awaiting the release of Aloft in the US because I really enjoy the work of the two lead actors, Jennifer Connelly and Cillian Murphy. The film was in competition at the Berlin Film Festival last year so, there were plenty of reviews out there for me to read beforehand. I finally had a chance to watch it and in my opinion the critics missed the point of this film. They were in search of obvious plot points and cleanly presented character arcs. But, there is none of that. It is a melancholy film to be sure. The characters are existing in an environment lacking love, levity, hope and basic comfort (beautifully realized by the bleak environment of the frozen wilds of Canada.) Jennifer Connelly's character, Nana, is a single mother raising two boys; Gully who is terminally ill and Ivan who is woefully unloved and overlooked. Nana is not a sympathetic character in the least. She sees her circumstances as permission to inflict whatever poor choices she wishes on those around her and her choices run the gamete of self-indulgent to self- destructive. When she chooses to leave Ivan her rationalizations are flimsy and cruel and really only a justification for her to "get out" and put herself first. Cillian Murphy is subtly enthralling as a grown up Ivan. Raised in an environment of very little joy Ivan progresses from an unhappy, sullen boy into a short-tempered, hermit of a man that seethes with anger and distrust. There are moments throughout the film that show Ivan's vulnerability and capacity for sweetness. Like when he is training his beloved falcon or playing with his own son. But, he is damaged and guarded. The result of being unloved and discarded. The story is told in two separate timelines approximately 20 years apart and flashbacks help fill in the story of the boys before they are separated from their mother. Details are few and the circumstances of what caused the rift between Nana and Ivan are not fully realized until the end. I do feel like the depiction of the characters, flawed as they are, was realistic. Their choices were selfish, rooted in anger and hurt. But, it is a picture of the pain of physical and emotional abandonment and ultimately survivor's guilt. It shows that the choices that we make profoundly affect those around us and those ripples can be felt for a lifetime. There are no happy endings or neatly defined explanations for why people do what they do to the people that they love, this film depicts that ambiguity in a lovely way.
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