After the death of his older brother Joe, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked that Joe has made him sole guardian of his teenage nephew. Taking leave of his job as a janitor in Boston, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea, the fishing village where his working-class family has lived for generations. There, he is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife, Randi (Michelle Williams), and the community where he was born and raised.
Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, the film picked up two Oscars, best male actor and best screenplay, and an additional four nominations in this year’s Academy Awards.
Their Finest is a slight, warm, funny delight, informed by a gently etched feminist agenda. Continuing director Lone Scherfig’s interest in young women coming into their own (see An Education, One Day), this follows Welsh scriptwriter Catrin, played with an impressive mixture of steel and warmth by Gemma Arterton, on a journey into making propaganda films during World War II.
It’s an occasionally obvious, handsomely mounted hymn to both valuing women in the workplace and the power of cinema to provide solace in times of tumult. It also features various scenes shot in Pembrokeshire.
Three brilliant African-American women at NASA – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
The second film from Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures is a bouncy, almost garish feelgood girl pic. A movie that knows right from wrong and doesn’t see any use in complicating matters.
The film tells the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue and adopt an infant girl adrift at sea. Years later, the couple discovers the child’s true parentage and are faced with the moral dilemma of their actions.
Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors.
Based on a short story by Ted Chiang and directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film also stars Forest Whitaker, Jeremy Renner and Michael Stuhlbarg.
The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.