One woman decides to change the world by changing the lives of the people she knows in this charming and romantic comic fantasy from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Amelie (Audrey Tautou) is a young woman who had a decidedly unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, Amelie didn’t attend school with other children, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and an active fantasy life. Her mother Amandine (Lorella Cravotta) died in a freak accident when Amelie was eight, and her father Raphael (Rufus) had limited contact with her, since his presence seemed to throw her heart into high gear. Despite all this, Amelie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. When Princess Diana dies in a car wreck in the summer of 1997, Amelie is reminded that life can be fleeting and she decides it’s time for her to intervene in the lives of those around her, hoping to bring a bit of happiness to her neighbors and the regulars at the cafe. Amelie starts by bringing together two lonely people — Georgette (Isabelle Nanty), a tobacconist with a severe case of hypochondria, and Joseph (Dominique Pinon), an especially ill-tempered customer. When Amelie finds a box of old toys in her apartment, she returns them to their former owner, Mr. Bretodeau (Maurice Benichou), sending him on a reverie of childhood. Amelie befriends Dufayel (Serge Merlin), an elderly artist living nearby whose bones are so brittle, thanks to a rare disease, that everything in his flat must be padded for his protection. And Amelie decides someone has to step into the life of Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), a lonely adult video store clerk and part-time carnival spook-show ghost who collects pictures left behind at photo booths around Paris. Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amelie Poulain received unusually enthusiastic advance reviews prior to its French premiere in the spring of 2001, and was well received at a special free screening at that year’s Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Director Uli Edel teams with screenwriter Bernd Eichinger to explore a dark period in German history with this drama detailing the rise and fall of the Red Army Faction, a left-wing terrorist organization that became increasingly active following World War II. Also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group, the Red Army Faction was formed by the radicalized children of the Nazi generation with the intended goal of battling Western imperialism and the West German establishment. Adapted from author Stefan Aust’s definitive account of the group that resorted to killing innocent civilians in the name of democracy and justice, The Baader Meinhof Complex stars Moritz Bleibtreu as Andreas Baader and Martina Gedeck as Ulrike Meinhof. Bruno Ganz co-stars as Horst Herold, the head of the German police force faced with the task of bringing the Red Army Faction to justice. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
The debut film from the filmmaking team of Daniela Fejerman and Inés París, A Mi Madre le Gustan las Mujeres is a racy comedy starring Rosa María Sardà as Sofía. Divorced for years, Sofía gathers her three daughters, Sol (Silvia Abascal), Gimena (María Pujalte), and Elvira (Leonor Watling), together to celebrate her birthday and to make an announcement. It seems Elvira has fallen in love, which excites the girls until she reveals that it is a woman that she’s been seeing. The title, A Mi Madre le Gustan las Mujeres, is Spanish for My Mother Likes Women. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi
Post-Franco filmmaker Fernando Trueba’s first Spanish-based feature since 1993’s Oscar-winning Belle Epoque, La Nina de Tus Ojos begins in 1938, when Spain is torn by Civil War. As a sign of cordiality between General Franco and Adolph Hitler, a Spanish film crew is invited to Nazi Germany’s UFA Studios in Berlin to make two versions of a popular Andalusian musical. The cast includes sexy, golden-hearted Macarena (Penélope Cruz), director Blas Fontiveros (Antonio Resines), leading man Julian Torralba (Jorge Sanz), art director Castillo (Santiago Segura) and alcoholic Rosa Rosales (Rosa Maria Sarda). On arrival, they gape at the resplendent shooting facilities, thankful to escape the misery of their war-torn country. However, it is not long before they realize what they have got themselves into, particularly when Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels (Johannes Silberschneider) falls for the Latina charms of Macarena. German actress of Fassbinder fame Hanna Schygulla makes a cameo appearance as the wizened wife of the lustful propaganda minister. La Nina de Tus Ojos competed in the 49th Berlin International Film Festival in 1999. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Rovi
In the film, slick real estate agent Vincent (French cinema superstar Patrick Bruel) is about to become a father. At a meeting with family and childhood friends he announces the name of his future son, but the scandalous moniker ignites a discussion that brings the group’s past bubbling to the surface – with hilarious, dramatic, and altogether unbelievable results.
Loosely based on Ángel Parra’s memoirs of his mother Violeta Parra, the film offers a multi-faceted and lyrical portrayal of an influential figure in world music and complex cultural icon of Chile’s history. Violeta Parra’s revival of Chilean traditional music galvanized a socially and politically committed pan-Latin American folk music movement, the “nueva canción,” and became a reference for other Latin American artists committed to their national legacies.(c) Kino Lorber
France, a single mother from the blighted industrial north, and Steve, a hotshot trader with a keen eye for the killer deal, are thrown together when he’s looking for a cleaner and she’s looking for a job. When Alban, Steve’s 3-year-old son, arrives on the doorstep to stay with his dad, Steve might need more than a cleaner. And France might need some payback from the man who almost single-handedly shut down the factory where she worked… — (C) IFC
Amin Jaafari (Ali Suliman, Paradise Now) is an Israeli Palestinian surgeon, fully assimilated into Tel Aviv society. He has a loving wife, an exemplary career, and many Jewish friends. But his picture perfect life is turned upside down after a suicide bombing in a restaurant leaves nineteen dead, and the Israeli police inform him that his wife, Sihem (Reymonde Amsellem, Lebanon) who also died in the explosion, was responsible. Convinced of her innocence, Amin abandons the relative security of his adopted homeland and enters the Palestinian territories in pursuit of the truth. Once there, he finds himself in ever more dangerous places and situations. Determined, he presses on seeking answers to questions he never thought he would be asking. (c) Cohen Media