SIDEWAYS
2004, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 123 min, USA, Dir: Alexander Payne

Writer-director Alexander Payne's fourth feature film (following CITIZEN RUTH, ELECTION and ABOUT SCHMIDT) starts with two old friends setting off on a wine-tasting road trip . . . only to veer dizzily SIDEWAYS into a wry, comedic exploration of the crazy vicissitudes of love and friendship, the damnable persistence of loneliness and dreams and the enduring war between Pinot and Cabernet. Thomas Haden Church plays Jack, a womanizer who is about to be married. Best friend/wine lover Miles (Paul Giamatti) takes his buddy on a tour of the wine country as a last hurrah before Jack ties the knot. The two buddies soon find themselves caught in a heady mix of wine and woman, with Jack's upcoming nuptials fast approaching.


THIRTEEN
2003, Fox Searchlight, 100 min, Dir: Catherine Hardwicke

Straight-A student Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) lives peacefully with her divorced mother Melanie (Oscar-nominated Holly Hunter), until she befriends the cool Evie (Nikki Reed, also co-writer), the most popular and beautiful girl in school. The 13-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as Tracy discovers drugs, sex, self-mutilation and petty crime. “A raw psychodrama about a girl who leapfrogs from pre-adolescent innocence to reckless rebel ... THIRTEEN is a deliberately unvarnished shock piece ... Catherine Hardwicke’s helming debut, which won the jury's directing prize at Sundance, can fairly be compared to the work of Larry Clark, such as KIDS.” – Variety.


TRUMBO
2015, Bleecker Street Media, 124 min, USA, Dir: Jay Roach

Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo earned Oscars for ROMAN HOLIDAY and THE BRAVE ONE, but his name didn’t appear in the films’ credits – he’d been blacklisted in 1947. Bryan Cranston (of TV’s “Breaking Bad”) stars in this sharp-eyed and entertaining look at one of Hollywood history’s darker chapters, leading a great cast that also includes Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, John Goodman and Louis C.K.


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