HIDDEN FIGURES
2016, 20th Century Fox, 127 min, USA, Dir: Theodore Melfi

Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) - brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. The SAG Award-winning cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Mahershala Ali and Kevin Costner.


THE ELEPHANT MAN
1980, Paramount, 124 min, Dir: David Lynch

Based on two books about the real-life Elephant Man, John Merrick, director David Lynch recounts this severely deformed man’s perilous life in Victorian England in breathtaking black-and-white. Sir Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) rescues Merrick from a circus freak show where he is assumed to be retarded, takes him to a hospital for tests and discovers that Merrick, in fact, has great intellect and capacity for emotion. John Hurt’s ability to project Merrick’s humanity earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, along with the film’s seven other nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. Lynch’s use of costumes, makeup, Freddie Francis’ cinematography and John Morris’ score remain commendably understated, allowing the sadness of the film to avoid sentimentalism. With Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller. "ELEPHANT MAN has the power and some of the dream logic of a silent film, yet there are also wrenching, pulsating sounds -the hissing steam and the pounding of the start of the industrial age. It's Dickensian London, with perhaps a glimpse of the process that gave rise to Cubism." - Pauline Kael.


NERUDA
2016, The Orchard, 107 min, Chile/ Argentina/ France/ Spain/ USA, Dir: Pablo Larraín

Although he was Chile’s greatest poet, Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) was forced into hiding during the government’s anti-communist crackdown in 1948. This distinctive biographical drama sees the future Nobel laureate’s life through the eyes of a police inspector (Gael García Bernal, terrific here) trying to track him down. “A stunningly inventive take on the function rather than the life of a writer … a work of such cleverness and beauty, alongside such power, that it’s hard to know how to parcel out praise.” - Jay Weissberg, Variety.


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