HOPE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Norwegian Oscar submission Hope (original title Håp) is a relationship movie about messy, committed love. Though the film is centered on someone struggling with cancer, writer/director Maria Sødahl doesn’t create a shiny, Hollywood ‘cancer film’. She reveals many aspects of what it’s like to face mortality, from the perspective of a woman and mother, as well as from those standing by, like the children and the partner who love her, and does so with such truth, that the film will resonate with a wide variety of viewers. The film will also resonate with most who are in or have had long term relationships, which often involve complications, resentments, and the experience of repeatedly falling out of and back into love.

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HOPE – Review by Loren King

It takes remarkable insight and confidence to create a devastating portrait of a marriage inside a film about a woman facing her own mortality. That’s what writer/director Maria Sødahl does with searing Hope, Norway’s entry for this year’s Best International Feature Film Oscar. The film is so specific in its truthfulness that it isn’t a surprise to learn that it’s based on Sødahl’s own experience of a terminal cancer diagnosis that led to a nine-year hiatus from filmmaking. Of course, personal experience doesn’t always translate into art but in this case, it does.

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THE PAINTED BIRD – Review by Susan Granger

Having caused not only controversy but massive ‘walk-outs’ during film festivals, Czech filmmaker Vaclav Marhoul’s three-hour, black-and-white adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s grim, gruesome autobiographical novel is an epic revelation of extreme cruelty and brutality during World War II.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, April 27-May 3: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Opening May 1, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latest instalment in the superhero franchise from writer/director Joss Whedon. This time round, the Avengers must team up to defeat the villainous Utron (voiced by James Spader). Read on…

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