As the specter of sectarian conflict looms over a village in the Lebanese countryside, women of both Christian and Muslim faiths -- Amale (Labaki), Takla (Claude Baz Moussawbaa), Afaf (Layla Hakim), Yvonne (Yvonne Maalouf) and Saydeh (Antoinette Noufaily) -- are determined to protect their families from further violence and grief. To distract the men from succumbing to antagonism, they hatch schemes with zeal, beguiling the men with a cast of Ukrainian casino showgirls and serving hash cookies at a dance party. From one plot to the next, these women defy conventions and taboos -- until a young man’s accidental death from crossfire outside their village calls for a more radical and decisive tactic.
Directed by: Nadine Labaki Genre: drama Cast: Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Layla Hakim, Nadine Labaki, Antoinette Noufaily, Yvonne Maalouf
‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’
China in the year A.D. 689: After eight years in prison for high treason, Detective Dee (Andy Lau) is released by the future Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau), the very one who condemned him. Taken to the palace, Dee is restored to his former position as chief justice of the empire. Wu Zetian, who fears a conspiracy with the approach of her coronation, assigns him the task of finding out the truth behind a series of spontaneous combustions that killed members of her entourage. Dee is assisted in his investigation by Jing’er (Bingbing Li), a warrior who is suspicious of the detective’s motives. After surviving numerous assassination attempts, the detective travels to Bazar, a lakeside town populated by gangsters, in order to gather information. While pursuing an assailant, he’s led to a monastery in the forest, which happens to be the retreat of Wu Zetian’s chief adviser. At this point, Dee begins to wonder if Wu Zetian has hatched a plot to eliminate those who oppose her rule. Directed by: Tsui Hark Genre: action Cast: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Deng Chao, Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Andy Lau
‘Take This Waltz’
Margot (Michelle Williams), 28, is happily married to Lou (Seth Rogen), a good-natured cookbook author. But when Margot meets Daniel (Luke Kirby), their mutual attraction is obvious and immediate. To make matters worse, Daniel lives right across the street. The two begin spending time together and try to restrain themselves from doing things they might regret, but the sweltering Toronto summer has a way of making certain desires more urgent. Directed by: Sarah Polley Genre: drama Cast: Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams, Sarah Silverman, Luke Kirby, Aaron Abrams
’L’art d’aimer’ (The Art of Love)
The film follows the stories of several Parisian couples: Achille (François Cluzet) practices extreme patience with the ultimate goal of kissing his neighbor. Isabelle (Julie Depardieu) is about to accept an indecent proposal from her friend Zoé (Pascale Arbillot). There is Boris (Laurent Stocker), relentlessness in his demands and unaware of their consequences. Emmanuelle (Ariane Ascaride) has been married for years but can’t resist her desire for other men. Laurent (Stanislas Merhar), a composer, is trying to create the perfect tune to fall in love to. When these stories are all set in motion, they create an emotional roller coaster where a crash is always near but somehow always avoided. Directed by: Emmanuel Mouret Genre: comedy Cast: Pascale Arbillot, Ariane Ascaride, Frederique Bel, François Cluzet, Julie Depardieu, Judith Godreche, Stanislas Merhar, Elodie Navarre, Laurent Stocker, Gaspard Ulliel