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Salma Hayek At Dinner With A Trump Surrogate

Salma Hayek gives an amazing performance in this weekend’s must-see film, a dark comedy about a clash between a healer and a Trump-like billionaire.

For a film performance that might outdo that of Salma Hayek as Beatriz, viewers would have to turn to Cate Blanchett. The Carol star plays thirteen different characters in one film.

For those wanting a more hardcore film experience which doesn’t have Salma Hayek (or probably any other actress in a major role), there’s the restoration of a notorious Alan Clarke film banned by the BBC.

Beatriz At Dinner

In director Miguel Arteta’s new film, Salma Hayek plays a character who finds herself figuratively having dinner with Donald Trump. Soft-spoken holistic healer and Mexican immigrant Beatriz (Salma Hayek) has a car breakdown while visiting a Newport Beach client (Connie Britton). The client insists Beatriz stay overnight and even invites her to a celebratory dinner party for her husband’s latest business venture. But one of the dinner guests is ruthless and arrogant billionaire real estate developer Doug (John Lithgow). The developer’s grating behavior eventually prompts the healer to uncork her outraged feelings. Mike White scripted this pointed look at the gulf between the haves and the have-nots.

Opens June 23 at the Albany Twin, the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8, the Century 20 Daly City, the Century at Tanforan, the Century San Francisco Centre 9, the CineArts Sequoia, and the Redwood Downtown 20

Can We Still Be Friends?

Sam and Diego have been in a relationship for eight years. But now they’ve reached the “familiarity breeds contempt” stage of their coupledom. Thanks to their personal faults, Sam and Diego’s relationship slowly deteriorates until they break up. But even post-split, the two want to remain on friendly terms.

Opens June 23 at the Century at Tanforan

Harmonium

Koji Fukuda’s new drama is part home invasion story, part absurdity. Mother Akie, father Toshio, and daughter Hotaru have a seemingly stable family life. But Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano)’s arrival at the door of Toshio’s machine shop throws the family out of balance. Yasaka is an old acquaintance of Toshio’s, recently released from prison. The ex-convict soon works his way into the family and pushes it into crisis. Perhaps key to the resolution is learning the nature of Toshio and Yasaka’s past together.

Opens June 23 at the 4-Star Theatre

Manifesto

Acclaimed actress Cate Blanchett and writer/director Julian Rosefeldt bring thirteen different artistic and philosophical manifestos to life. Blanchett recites from manifestos from the Futurists, the Fluxus artists, and the Situationists among others. The actress’ recitations are performed through her assuming such roles as a punk rocker, a homeless man, and even a mother saying Sunday grace before dinner.

Opens June 23 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Maudie

This biopic tells the story of folk artist Maud Lewis and her unlikely romance with hardened recluse Everett Lewis. Maud (Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky) lives a solitary existence under her family’s overprotective eyes. This intelligent woman has hands crippled by arthritis, but finds escape through her art. Maud yearns for independence, but doesn’t find an opportunity until she answers an ad for a housekeeper. Everett (Ethan Hawke, Boyhood), the man who placed the ad, is proudly self-sufficient. Yet after meeting Maud, he starts to fall for her. Meanwhile, the 30-ish woman starts earning fame as a folk artist.

Opens June 23 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

Ripped

In 1986, stoner high school buddies Harris and Reeves smoke some “Area 51-grown” marijuana before heading to a Run-DMC concert. But the weed is so potent, the buddies are put into a 30 year coma. Now middle-aged and living in 2016, the two men hope to make a place for themselves by opening a restaurant which serves legalized marijuana in its chili.

Opens June 23 at the 4-Star Theatre

Scum

Alan Clarke’s scathing and controversial look at Britain’s borstal system gets restored. Carlin (Ray Winstone) is a new reform school inmate who has a reputation as a hard case. The prison authorities encourage gang leader Pongo to humble the new inmate. Instead, Carlin beats down Pongo and becomes the new Daddy. When the guards start terrorizing and neglecting the inmates, Carlin becomes the unlikely face of the resistance.

Opens June 23 at the Alamo Drafthouse

Tubelight

Tubelight is the nickname for the developmentally disabled man-child who’s alternately loved and bullied in the northern Indian town of Jagatpur. The man-child maintains his sunny belief in the best of humanity despite the abuse. But the year is 1962, and Tubelight’s brother has gone off to fight in the Indo-China War. However, a traveling magician (the late Om Puri)’s trick leaves the man-child hopeful. When Tubelight sees he can move a bottle with his mind, he wholeheartedly believes he has the potential power to move mountains and even stop wars.

Opens June 23 at the Century 12 San Mateo, the Century 20 Daly City, the Century San Francisco Centre 9

Walking Distance

Director Alejandro Guzman Alvarez’ urban fairy tale got nominated for several major Mexican film awards. Housebound Fede rarely ventures out because he weighs 450 pounds. But his decision to take an old picture reel to a photo lab leads to Fede’s meeting the solitary lover Paulo, who sells him a used camera. Fede starts hanging out with Paulo and his brother-in-law Ramon. Not only does the formerly housebound man learn photography can be more than a hobby, but the three men start developing a life-changing friendship.

Opens June 23 at the Roxie Theatre. Director Alejandro Guzman Alvarez will appear in person for Q&As after the June 23 and June 24 screenings.

The Women’s Balcony

A bar mitzvah accident leads to a gender rift in an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem. The collapse of the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue leaves the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in a state of shock. Charismatic young Rabbi David seems to be a unifying force for the distraught community. But it turns out he’s an opportunist using the crisis to push his fundamentalist ways. Splits soon develop between the community’s sexes. Israel’s #1 Film of the Year!

Opens June 23 at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood and the Smith Rafael Film Center

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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