• James Parry

Hudson Film Festival 2015 to screen seven critically-acclaimed movies May 1-3 at HVT


PHOTO COURTESY HUDSON FILM FESTIVAL

The Theory of Everything explores the early life of physicist Stephen Hawking in his days as a student at Cambridge University.

Courtesy of the Hudson Film Society, local cinephiles are in for a treat the weekend of May 1 through 3 when the Hudson Film Festival returns to Hudson Village Theatre with seven movies being screened, all of them critically-acclaimed award winners including Oscars. First up at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 1, is The Imitation Game, which won four Oscars this year and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park during the darkest days of World War I.

At 7:30 p.m., it’s Whiplash, which won three Oscars. It’s the story of a young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy who finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school, one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student wants to achieve greatness, and the professor pushes him. At 1 p.m. Saturday, Phoenix spotlights Nelly Lenz, a Jewish singer who has survived the Nazi concentration camps but at what cost? She is disfigured and has had to undergo facial surgery.

Back in what is left of Berlin, accompanied by her faithful friend Lene, she has only one thing in mind. Finding Johnny, her musician husband in the ruins of the city. At 4 p.m. catch Love Is Strange, the recipient of numerous Festival nominations and awards and starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. After nearly four decades together, they finally tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. But when one of them loses his job, the couple must sell their apartment and – victims of the relentless New York City real estate market – temporarily live apart until they can find an affordable new home.

At 8 p.m., Mommy, directed by Montrealer Xavier Dolan, focuses on 46-year-old Diane Després, who has been a widow for three years. Considered white trash by many, she does whatever she needs, including strutting her body in front of male employers who will look, to make an honest living. That bread-winning ability is affected, however, when she decides to remove her only off spring, 15-year-old Steve, from her previously imposed institutionalization, one step below juvenile detention.

On Sunday at 1 p.m., it’s the turn of Deux Nuits, Un Jour starring Marion Cotillard who was nominated in the Best Actress category for the Academy Awards. While she did not win, she did however receive a 15-minute standing ovation when the film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival In Belgium, Sandra is a young wife and mother who works in a small solar-panel factory who suffers a nervous breakdown and is forced to take time off from her job. During her absence, her colleagues realize they are able to cover her shifts by working slightly longer hours and the management proposes a substantial bonus to all staff if they agree to make Sandra redundant. And the plot thickens.

Closing the Fest at 4 p.m. and starring Eddie Redmayne – winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Actor – is The Theory of Everything – the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wild, the arts student he fell in love with while studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected of him, having been given two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at the age of 21. He would go on to be called the successor of Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children.

Passes at $40 for all seven films - $10 at the door if available for individual screenings - are available at Pure Art, 422 Main Road in Hudson, in person at the Village Theatre Box Office,28 Wharf Road, or by calling (450) 424-2893.

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