European films at HIFF, presented by EuroCinema Hawaii & HILuxury Magazine
HIFF is honored to continue its special relationship with Eurocinema Hawaii and HILuxury Magazine to present the best in European cinema at the Spring Showcase! Presenting 7 new titles from the UK, France, Denmark and Sweden, the Spring Showcase is again, showcasing films straight from major film festivals like Sundance, Berlin, London and Venice.
In fact, we have designated one of the European films as our Opening Night Gala, ON MY WAY starring the luminous Catherine Deneuve. Other big name stars (in front and behind the camera) in our European films include Tom Hardy, Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Emilia Clarke, Tom Wilkinson, Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Richard Ayoade, Ben Winshaw, and Edda Magnason. Check out this Spring Showcase’s crop of Euro films:
BELLE (United Kingdom)
An illegitimate mixed race daughter (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle. The film is inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. Commissioned by William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the portrait of his two nieces hung in England’s Kenwood House, until 1922. Very little is known about Dido Belle’s life in the Mansfield home. The film centers on Dido’s relationship with an aspiring young lawyer and is set at a time of legal significance as the potential ramifications of the Zong massacre become apparent. Lord Mansfield’s ruling on this infamous case, in England’s Supreme Court, became an important step in bringing an end to slavery in England.
DOM HEMINGWAY (United Kingdom)
Jude Law plays DOM HEMINGWAY, a larger-than-life safe-cracker with a loose fuse who is funny, profane, and dangerous. After twelve years in prison, he sets off with his partner in crime Dickie (Richard E. Grant) looking to collect what he’s owed for keeping his mouth shut and protecting his boss Mr. Fontaine (Demian Birchir). After a near death experience, Dom tries to re-connect with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke), but is soon drawn back into the only world he knows, looking to settle the ultimate debt.
THE DOUBLE (United Kingdom)
Simon James (THE SOCIAL NETWORK’s Jesse Eisenberg) is a timid office clerk working in an ominous government organization. He is overlooked by his boss (Wallace Shawn) and colleagues, scorned by his mother, and ignored by Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), the lovely copy room girl he pines for. Undermined and undervalued everywhere he turns, it seems that his directionless life couldn’t get any worse—until the arrival of James Simon, his new co-worker. James is both Simon’s exact physical double and his opposite—confident, charismatic and seductive with women. To Simon’s horror, James slowly starts taking over his life. British director Richard Ayoade (director of SUBMARINE and co-star on the cult hit THE IT CROWD) returns with this darkly comic adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novella, featuring a tour de force dual performance from Eisenberg.
LILTING (United Kingdom)
What is it like to live in a world where you have no grasp of its language, and your only lifeline to that is lost? LILTING, straight from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, starts off with the sudden death of a young London man named Kai, which leaves his headstrong Chinese-Cambodian mother, Junn (Shaw Brothers legend Cheng Pei Pei), and his boyfriend, Richard (Ben Winshaw from CLOUD ATLAS and THE TEMPEST), both in a personal and profound state of grief. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility toward Kai’s only family member, Richard reaches out to Junn, who has been biding time in an assisted-living home. Though Junn speaks little English, her dislike of Richard is plain, and she meets him with stony resistance. Since they share no common language, Richard hires a translator to facilitate communication, and the two improbable relatives attempt to reach across a chasm of misunderstanding through their memories of Kai.
LOCKE (United Kingdom)
A single phone call causes the life of a successful construction manager named Ivan Locke to unravel during his drive home. Hours before the biggest day of his career, Locke receives a phone call that threatens to destroy the life he has worked so meticulously to create. As he struggles to keep his world intact, he is forced to confront his imperfections and the fractured foundation where they are rooted. Drawing the audience into a jarringly intimate character study, Steven Knight’s superbly confident direction shapes a bold and unusual cinematic experience. As the sole actor onscreen, Tom Hardy delivers an astonishing performance as Locke, filling every frame with his unmistakable charisma. LOCKE is a stunning portrait of a man struggling to keep his precious world from crumbling.
ON MY WAY (France)
Bettie (Catherine Deneuve) is a former beauty queen in her sixties. She runs a local bistro and lives with her elderly mother, with whom she enjoys a spiritedly dysfunctional relationship. It is from her that she learns the humiliating news that her married lover has left his wife for another, younger woman. The next day, still upset by the revelation, she gets into her car and starts driving. With nods to Truffaut, Techine and Dupeyron, ON MY WAY is a love letter to screen icon Deneuve, although director Emmanuelle Bercot doesn’t let her obvious infatuation distract, grounding the film in a verite style and employing a contemporary soundtrack to reflect Bettie’s resilience and capacity for joy. Deneuve proves herself more than worthy of the tribute, delivering a deeply compassionate portrayal of a mature woman who chooses one last shot at love and happiness over a lifetime of nostalgia and regret.
ON MY WAY Screenings
Friday, April 04 7:00 PM Hawaii Theatre
WALTZ FOR MONICA (Denmark, Sweden)
WALTZ FOR MONICA chronicles the world famous Swedish jazz singer, actress and icon Monica Zetterlund’s life through stardom and hardship. In the early ‘60s, Monica, a young, rebellious girl from Sweden is determined to make it as a singer in the vibrant jazz clubs of Stockholm and New York City. She embarks on the singing career of her dreams, now rubbing shoulders with Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Bill Evans. But behind all the glamour, Monica struggles to face the dark side of fame and success. With a string of broken love affairs, a father she can never please, and a daughter to whom she’ll never be the perfect mother, Monica finds herself feeling more lost than ever.