Friday, Feb. 25, 2005
This adaptation of Anne Holm's international best seller tells the story of David, a 12-year-old boy who escapes from a concentration camp in Bulgaria immediately after World War II. After gaining his freedom, he heads for Denmark to search for his missing mother. As the boy travels through Greece, Italy and Switzerland, meeting many people, he gradually learns how to trust, love and smile again.
This dark ensemble comedy set in Dublin revolves around 11 main characters -- including a dimwitted supermarket worker, his ex-girlfriend, her newly married boyfriend, a two-bit thief (pre-"Alexander" Collin Farrel) and a self-promoting detective. The fragmented story, which somehow manages to work in a failed robbery, the versatility of brown sauce, a woman's mustache and much more, kicks off with the breakup of a young couple. This sets off a rippling series of events that ultimately cause all the lives of the main characters in intersect.
When Thomas contracts a mysterious blood disease, he turns to his gay brother Luc for support, even though they haven't spoken in years. What compels Luc to care for his arrogant, difficult, homophobic brother? The movie is never really clear about this and Luc himself seems unsure -- he just can't tear himself away when other family and friends get fed up and leave. But redemption comes for Luc in the end when he's peaceful in the knowledge that he has done all that he can for Thomas, and in the deep unspoken love they come to share for each other. (Kaori Shoji)
A taut, tense documentary on the disastrous attempt by two British mountain climbers to ascend Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. The film mixes interviews with dramatic re-creations filmed on location with enough snow, ice and sheer 1,000-meter drops to make anyone glad they're watching from the comfort of a movie theater. (Giovanni Fazio)
Amid the political conflict between Turkey and Greece in the 1960s, Fanis and his family were deported from Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) to Greece, leaving his grandfather, a culinary philosopher and his mentor, alone. Thirty-five years later, Fanis, now an astrophysics professor living in Athens, and at the crossroads of his life, receives a phone call telling him that his grandfather is seriously ill. A nostalgic journey back to his birthplace then begins. As a Greek living in Turkey, director Boulmetis himself was also banished from Constantinople when he was 7 years old.