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  • The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

    The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

    ★★★★★

    Designer Petra von Kant (Margit Carstenson) is an unhappy woman... too self-absorbed to be a truly good daughter, friend, or mother, although she is required to fulfill all these roles in life. She often lies abed issuing orders to her personal assistant Marlene (Irm Hermann) in the manner of a petty tyrant. Yet that stylish woman supplies Petra's every need in a subservient manner, speaking nary a word in reply.

    When her friend and cousin, Sidonie (Katrin Schaake), drops by…

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★

    Frances McDormand plays a woman caged in sorrow and anger. Less than a year ago her teenaged daughter was raped, murdered, and her body burned beyond recognition. The investigation has petered out with no suspect in sight and so she finds an unusual way to spark the local sheriff (Woody Harrelson) into further action. She rents three old billboards on a local road outside of town -- they happen to be in the very spot where her daughter died --…

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  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure

    ★★★★½

    A Swedish family on ski holiday in the French Alps brunches on the scenic outdoor patio of their mountain hotel, when a controlled avalanche comes rumbling down the opposite slope, threatening to grow out of control. Chaos ensues. In the aftermath, a family dynamic is broken... integrity is questioned, disappointment and disillusion set in.

    Funny at times and acutely observant of individual nuances, the film takes on tragic elements when the nuclear family starts to disintegrate. Lies and mistrust are…

  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice

    ★★★★½

    Not an easy film to follow... is the Thomas Pynchon novel on which it is based the source of this confusion? But if one gets lost in the intricate plot, nothing to worry about. The film is an utter delight, even at an almost three hour running time. Joachin Phoenix give another great performance as a drug-addled private investigator 1971 L.A., where the hippie culture is played nicely against the Nixon political era. Every performance (there are many cameos) is…