Thursday, April 16, 2015

Five Best Bets for Filmfest DC

Jean Dujardin stars in The Connection

"Guess who's back, back again?" Filmfest DC, of course. Proving you can't keep a good the best film festival in DC down, Filmfest DC returns for its 29th year of unrivaled programming. It's an international film lover's dream... made up of over 70 titles from 37 different countries, spanning the globe from Argentina to the US with Lebanon, New Zealand and Switzerland in between. It gets underway tonight with opening night selection Tango Glories at AMC Mazza; and wraps up on Sunday, April 26th with I Can Quit Whenever I Want at the Lincoln Theatre. Two great films for sure; but I found five others worth your time and $13 (general admission pricing.) Without further adieu...

The Clearstream Affair: Journalist Denis Robert sparked a storm in the world of European finance by denouncing the murky operations of banking firm Clearstream. His quest to reveal the truth behind a secret world of shadowy multinational banking puts him in contact with an ever-expanding anti-corruption investigation carried out by Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke. Their paths will lead them to the heart of a political/financial intrigue named the which will rock the foundations of the Europe and the French government itself. 110 minutes. See it: Monday, April 20th at 6:30 PM, Landmark E Street Cinema; and Friday, April 24th at 6:30 PM, Landmark E Street Cinema.

The Connection: A French police magistrate (Jean Dujardin) spends years trying to take down one of the country's most powerful drug rings. 135 minutes. See it: Friday, April 17th at 8:30 PM, AMC Mazza; and Monday, April 20th at 8:30 PM, AMC Mazza.

In the Name of My Daughter: Catherine Deneuve owns the screen in her seventh collaboration with director André Téchiné. Based on actual events, In the Name of My Daughter chronicles the high-stakes casino wars along the glamorous French Riviera in the 1970s. Deneuve, who teamed with Téchiné in the 1996 award-winner My Favorite Season, portrays Renée Le Roux, the grande dame of the struggling Palais de la Méditerranée, a hotel and casino targeted by mobsters. Her lawyer Maurice Agnelet (Guillaume Canet) at first seems to be her only ally, but when Mme. Le Roux's daughter Agnès (Adèle Haenel, also seen in this festival in Love at First Fight) returns from a failed marriage and demands her inheritance, Maurice switches sides. Soon mother and daughter are battling in the boardroom and Agnès and Maurice are battling in the bedroom. That everyone eventually winds up in court is not surprising, but the reason for the case certainly is. 116 minutes. See it: Thursday, April 23rd at 6:30 PM, AMC Mazza; and Friday, April 24th at 6:30 PM, Embassy of France.

The Treatment: Inspector Nick Cafmeyer seems to have it all - looks, brains and a successful career. But a dark cloud hangs over his life: since the age of nine, he has been haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother, Bjorn. Plettinckx, a known sex offender, was questioned but quickly released. Plettinckx lives close by and takes fiendish pleasure in harassing Nick. Then, when a disturbing case comes to light involving a missing nine-year-old, Nick heads a massive search which turns into a relentless manhunt. 125 minutes. See it: Wednesday, April 22nd at 8:45 PM, and Saturday, April 25th at 9:00 PM.

The Water Diviner: An Australian man (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons. 111 minutes. See it: Friday, April 17th at 6:30 PM, AMC Mazza.