MONSIEUR LAZHAR

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, MONSIEUR LAZHAR tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher and trying to heal. Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors.

THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Master chronicler of post-War England, Terence Davies directs Rachel Weisz as a woman whose overpowering love threatens her well-being and alienates the men in her life. In a deeply vulnerable performance, Rachel Weisz plays Hester Collyer, the wife of an upper-class judge (Simon Russell Beale) and a free spirit trapped in a passionless marriage. Her encounter with Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a troubled former Royal Air Force pilot, throws her life in turmoil, as their erotic relationship leaves her emotionally stranded and physically isolated. The film is an adaptation of British playwright Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play, featuring one of the greatest roles for an actress in modern theatre. — (C) Music Box Films

RAMPART

Los Angeles, 1999. Officer Dave Brown (two-time Academy Award(R) nominee Woody Harrelson) is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, dedicated to doing “the people’s dirty work” and asserting his own code of justice, often blurring the lines between right and wrong to maintain his action-hero state of mind. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways in light of a department-wide corruption scandal seal his fate. Brown internalizes his fear, anguish and paranoia as his world, complete with two ex-wives who are sisters, two daughters, an aging mentor dispensing bad advice, investigators galore, and a series of seemingly random women, starts making less and less sense. In the end, what is left is a human being stripped of all his pretense, machismo, chauvinism, arrogance, sexism, homophobia, racism, aggression, misanthropy; but is it enough to redeem him as a man?

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom

When Britain’s leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh’s (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister’s overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a “good will” story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. — (C) CBS Films

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