2019, Warner Bros., 101 min, Germany, Dir: Katja Benrath

This crowd-pleaser from director Katja Benrath follows an 11-year protagonist whose unshakeable optimism and non-conformist spirit make good on the film’s title. Rocca (Luna Maxeiner, adorable in her first film role) is practically an orphan for much of the year, while her astronaut father is away on an orbiting space station. Her parentless lifestyle is hardly an obstacle, however, as she navigates school and bullies with ease and has a positive effect on every person (and squirrel) that crosses her path. Featuring Fahri Yardim as a tender homeless man named Caspar, the film took home the Outstanding Children Award from the German Film Awards and is guaranteed fun for the whole family.

1989, Sony Repertory, 124 min, USA, Dir: James Ivory

In a rare departure from class-centered period pieces, Merchant-Ivory captures the perennial predicament of the struggling artist in 1980s Manhattan. When hat designer Eleanor (Bernadette Peters) finds herself in a one-way relationship with womanizing artist Stash (Adam Coleman Howard), there seems little hope for improvement. Only the prospect of having her work included in a major fashion show promises to empower Eleanor and set her on the path to success. Adapted by Tama Janowitz from a collection of her short stories, SLAVES OF NEW YORK is colored with the bright pallet of its time, to which Peters adds the verve and quirkiness that have become her trademarks.

1985, Park Circus, 117 min, UK, Dir: James Ivory

Adapted from E.M. Forster’s best-known novel, A ROOM WITH A VIEW tracks English heroine Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) during and after a fateful trip to 1907 Florence. Trapped by the confines of Edwardian society, Lucy kindles a flame for the ardent, freethinking George Emerson (Julian Sands). In order to accept married life back in the English countryside, however, she must quell her desire and leave George behind - until they meet again. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay, A ROOM WITH A VIEW is just as much an ode to inescapable feelings as to the red-tiled Renaissance roofs of Florence.

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