Two more on Thursday, April 12th.
THE CHILDREN ACT stars Emma Thompson as a British High Court judge who specializes in case involving children. Custody battles, etc. And she always follows the law of the Children Act--that the welfare of the child is paramount. Also, she's a workaholic...or at least overworked. To the point where her husband (Stanley Tucci) comes right out and says he plans to have an affair. She doesn't like this plan. But she's also too busy, and too emotionally distant, to actually do something about it (like...make love to him for the first time in 18 months.) Meanwhile she's on one of her hardest and highest profile cases in her life. A teenager, just months short of adulthood, is deathly ill. But his parents' religious beliefs--and his--forbid the blood transfusion that could save him. But the court has the ability--if she chooses--to compel that transfusion to save his life. So all that emotional connection she's avoiding with her own husband she pours into this case, making the unorthodox decision to visit him in the hospital. It's wonderfully acted, and a compelling drama. A bit emotionally overwrought, but that will probably make it more popular, just not my preference.
Next up was WINTER BROTHERS, a movie that had some interesting things going for it, but not a compelling protagonist. It takes place in a stark white industrial compound, where Emil is a screw-up and not at all popular. He pursues many interests, all of them poorly. And a bad batch of moonshine that hospitalizes a coworker is the last straw. He's out, friendless, jobless, aimless. There are many scenes that are interesting, even compelling. Most of them have to do with toxic, fragile masculinity (including a very literal pissing contest.) It just doesn't add up to a compelling whole. But it has fantastic cinematography.
Total Running Time: 199 minutes
My Total Minutes: 476,545