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Academy Award-Nominated Films Weekend

Academy Award-nominated films dominate the weekend’s openings. There’s an amazing animated film about the city-country clash as well as a drama about the consequences of a fateful battlefield decision in Afghanistan. Don’t forget you can still catch Academy Award-nominated shorts programs in the theaters as well as such Oscar-nominated films as Spotlight and Son Of Saul.

For those who want to look for good films without the Academy Awards’ blessing, there’s a new film from the director of No about a houseful of priests who share dark secrets. Or you can catch the horror sensation of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which will probably offend Christian fundamentalists who think the Harry Potter books promote witchcraft.

Boy And The World

the-boy-and-the-world

Ale Abreu’s Academy Award-nominated animated feature tells a story of the clash between city and country with riotous imagery. Young Cuca’s father has left their small rural village for the big city. Wanting to reunite their family, the boy follows his father. Abreu’s animation style gets increasingly more complex to match Cuca’s growing understanding of the world, as he’s introduced to such conflicts as mechanical vs. handcrafted and rich vs. poor.

Opens February 19 at the California Theatre and the Opera Plaza Cinemas

Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer (I’m Looking For A Boyfriend For My Woman)

In this comedy, a husband schemes to get rid of his nagging wife by hiring a guy to seduce her and justify breaking up the marriage. But even the best-laid plans run into unexpected problems…

Opens February 19 at the AMC Bay Street 16, the AMC Metreon 16, the Century 20 Daly City, and the Century at Tanforan

The Club

The new film from Pablo Larrain (No) is set in a secluded house in a small seaside town. Inhabiting the house are four former priests and their housekeeper. The ex-clerics are there to atone for past sins. The household’s tenuous balance gets disrupted by the arrival of a newly disgraced priest and an investigating emissary from the Vatican. The newcomers’ arrival forces the four ex-priests to face the shameful secrets of their pasts. Winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Grand Jury prize.

Opens February 19 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

Crazy About Tiffany’s

This authorized documentary offers a portrait of Tiffany & Co. jewelers. The film takes viewers through the company’s history from its small beginnings as an 1837 jewelry store to its becoming a worldwide brand associated with elegance and sophistication. The film will also introduce some of the people working behind the scenes of Tiffany’s as well as some of the brand’s more enthusiastic customers. Unless you hear otherwise, think high-end infomercial.

Opens February 19 at the Presidio Theatre

A Violent Prosecutor

In this Korean crime comedy, Byun Jae-Wook is a prosecutor so abrasive he makes sandpaper feel like silk. When a prisoner dies after being interrogated by Byun, the prosecutor winds up drawing a 15-year prison sentence. Five years later, Byun meets smooth-talking handsome con man Chi-Won. The ex-prosecutor sees his fellow prisoner as the ideal instrument to exact revenge on those who framed him. Byun uses his knowledge of the law to get Chi-Won released and to implement his revenge plan. But the con-man has no intention of permanently being under Byun’s thumb.

Opens February 19 at the AMC Metreon 16 and the Century 20 Daly City

Walang Forever

The 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival’s Best Picture concerns Mia, a celebrated screenwriter of romantic comedies. She has drawn from her relationship with boyfriend Ethan for writing inspiration. But now the couple has broken up, with both Mia and Ethan having trouble moving on. Ethan’s solution is for him to move to Taiwan, but Sia isn’t exactly overjoyed at the idea.

Opens February 19 at the Century at Tanforan

A War

This Academy Award-nominated drama from Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking) concerns Danish military commander Claus M. Pedersen, who’s stationed with his men in Afghanistan. While Claus tries to keep his men alive in a mad environment, his wife Maria tries to help their three children deal with their father’s frequent absences on deployment. On a routine mission, Claus’ soldiers become caught in heavy crossfire. The commander makes a fateful decision which saves his men…but it also gets him sent back to Denmark to face trial for committing a war crime.

Opens February 19 at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

The Witch

Robert Eggers’ Sundance Film Festival award-winning horror sensation finally makes its theatrical debut. It’s 1630 New England, several decades before the Salem witch trials. An English farmer is forced to relocate his family to a remote plot of land near an ominous forest. Shortly after the relocation, strange mishaps befall the farmer’s family (e.g. docile animals turn nasty, a child becomes possessed). As suspicion and paranoia grows within the family, teenaged Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) gets accused of witchcraft. She denies the charge. But as things worsen, the family’s faith and love gets tested in shocking ways.

Opens February 19 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the AMC Bay Street 16, the AMC Metreon 16, the AMC Van Ness 14, the Century 20 Daly City, the Century at Tanforan, and the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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