First the films.

Le Havre ****1/2

You’ll have to look around to find this film, but if it’s playing in your area, it’s worth the effort to see it.

In a time when many films are filled with violence and bad guys (just watch the previews of coming movies), Le Havre offers something quite different: a film made up almost entirely of good people, a view of humanity that doesn’t make it to the screen too often.

It’s the story of what happens to a young African refugee who finds himself unexpectedly in the port of Le Havre and at the mercy of the city.

You may have to overcome the urge to say that this film is just fantasy or that it is just not realistic. But if you give yourself over to it and simply suspend disbelief  for 93 minutes, you can’t help but walk out with the feeling that there are still good folks in the world and that humanity lives.

Check it out.

(98% — Rotten Tomatoes)


The Salt of Life **1/2

We just saw this film yesterday in our Sunday Cinema Club, and my view is that you do not need to find this film once it come out commercially. However, know that my wife and friend (female), who also saw it, laughed a lot, seemed to like it, and thought it would be appreciated by women.

It’s an Italian film about a late-middle-aged, retired man and his fantasies about ‘snaring’ a young (any?), attractive girl/woman. This goes on for more than an hour and a half, and while there are definitely humorous scenes, this ‘newly’ retired middle-aged man thought it went on far too long.

(Update: 2/20/12 – Our cinema club gave this film a positive rating (good + excellent) of 45.9%, one of the lower ratings I ever remember a film receiving from this audience.)


A Separation *****

I wrote about this film previously, another one we saw in the Cinema Club.

It’s now out in the theaters, although you’ll have to search for it.  I put it at the top of my favorite films of 2011.

See it while it’s still around. And let me know what you think of it.

(99%  – Rotten Tomatoes)

(Our Cinema Club gave it a positive rating of 84.4)


And the Offer:

I’ve written often about our Sunday morning Cinema Club where at 10:30 on two Sunday mornings a month we see  a film that is not yet ‘out.’  The last three films we saw were The Artist, My Week with Marilyn, and A Separation,  all films that are now being touted as Best of …

Anyway, we will be away Sunday, Feb. 19, and so the first person who contacts me either by leaving a comment on this post, by email, phone, or in person, can have our two tickets for free.  Be in touch by the 13th at the latest.

You won’t know what you’re going to see when you walk (stumble?) into the theater, the Avalon at the DC/Md line, but you’re likely to see something good, and there is a discussion following the film. You are likely to see a foreign film during the winter, for some reason, seem to be largely foreign, independent films.

Might be an opportunity to see if you like the idea of joining the Cinema Club.