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THE LOST BROTHER
Unemployed and without purpose, Cetarti (Daniel Hendler)’s days seem blurred and interchangeable—until he learns that his mother and brother have been shot to death in Lapachito, a town in the north of Argentina. Roused from his sofa in Buenos Aires, Cetarti journeys to Lapachito in order to collect the life insurance. There he meets Duarte (Leonardo Sbaraglia), a local thug involved in kidnapping schemes and friend to the man who murdered Cetarti’s kin. A hugely precarious alliance is formed—one that drags Cetarti into ever-darker, unpredictable places.
This grittily absorbing new feature from Adrián Caetano draws us into an intricate web of mystery, crime and loyalty.
MAY GOD SAVE US
Set in 2011, with a Papal visit looming and anti-austerity protests burgeoning, this intricate thriller from Rodrigo Sorogoyan—whose spare romance Stockholm screened here in 2014—combines genre thrills with searing social critique.
Someone is killing the pious old ladies of Madrid. The “true detectives” of May God Save Us are Alfaro, played by Almodóvar alumni Roberto Alamo, in the blistering performance that won him the Best Actor prize at the 2017 Goya Awards, and Velarde (the always-intense Antonio de la Torre, who recently did some killing himself in the recent Miami Film Festival hit Cannibal).
The closer Alfaro and Velarde get to capturing their killer, the more they realize how close that killer might be to home, and the psychological complexities begin to compound in very uncomfortable ways.
THE ONE-EYED KING
David is a riot cop; he’s shot a bullet into the eyes of two protestors already this year. Lidia is David’s foodie wife; she’s invited their friend Sandra for dinner. Sandra brings along her boyfriend, Ignasi—who just happens to be wearing an eye-patch.
Based on his own play, Catalan writer-director Marc Crehuet’s feature debut synthesizes sundry aspects of post-financial crisis Spanish life into a wickedly comic satire. When Lidia walks out on him, David winds up soliciting advice from Ignasi—which he interprets as a prompt to kidnap a politician.
Rife with twists and resisting easy polemics, The One-Eyed King burns with ideas and savage dramatics.
IN BED WITH VICTORIA
Victoria (Elle’s Virginie Efira) is a criminal lawyer and divorced mother tumbling into midlife crisis. She’s highly capable, smart and attractive, but sexual satisfaction is proving maddeningly elusive. At a wedding she reunites with a former client looking to be her intern and an old friend hoping to be her new client—he’s accused of stabbing his girlfriend.
In Bed With Victoria is at once smart and totally bananas: a chimpanzee that takes selfies is but one of this rom-com’s more outré supporting characters. French director Justine Triet’s follow-up to Age of Panic is knowing, inventive and refreshingly frank about female sexuality and neuroses.
A CHANGE OF HEART
Frustrated with the cards life has dealt him, Hank (Jim Belushi) is man whose circumstances have driven him to fear diversity, yet his Central Florida town is adhering less and less to the white, straight profile with which he’s comfortable. After suffering a heart attack, Hank’s life is saved by a transplant—but will Hank’s body accept a donation from a Puerto Rican drag queen?
Playing on both the literal and symbolic significance of that most treasured of organs, A Change of Heart conveys the sort of story America needs right now, reminds us that even the most hardened among us can learn to embrace difference, accept love, and move on with life.