Everyone’s driven by something.
Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13) explores the ego-driven, high-risk/high-reward world of 1970s Formula One racing in this true story chronicling the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) is the clinical Austrian Lauda, while Chris Hemsworth (Thor) is British playboy Hunt. Co-stars Olivia Wilde and Natalie Dormer, from the writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon.
While Lauda may have become Formula One World Champion by a massive margin in 1975, the following year saw a fierce competition commence between the defending champ and Hunt from the very first Grand Prix. Over the course of 1976, every race would see the pair scrap it out on and off the track, and even a horrific, theoretically unsurvivable crash proved no match for their rivalry. The two men were locked in a struggle to reach the pinnacle of motor racing during one of its most glamorous eras.
The Butler, (M)
One quiet voice can ignite a revolution.
Forest Whitaker is Cecil Gaines – a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades – in this chronicle of the American civil rights movements from director Lee Daniels (Precious). Features an all-star cast including Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson and Oprah Winfrey as Gaines’ wife.
Based on the life of Eugene Allen, the story follows him from youth working on cotton farms to the top rank of butlers at the White House. During his tenure, Gaines witnesses the dramatic changes that swept American society from the civil rights movement to Vietnam.
Her Masters Voice (E)
In this intimate mockumentary, and study of grief, acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti takes the ‘bereaved’ puppets of her recently passed mentor Ken Campbell on a pilgrimage to Venthaven – an American resting place for puppets of dead ventriloquists. Audience Award-winner at SXSW Film Festival 2012. Co-produced by Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap).
An eccentric maverick of the British Theatre, Campbell was Conti’s lover, mentor, and inspiration, despite a 34-year age gap between the 60-year-old and his 26-year-old protégé. Along the way she gets to know her latex and wooden travelling partners, and with them de-constructs herself and her lost love in this ventriloquial docu-mockumentary requiem
Beyond the Edge, (G)
Beyond endurance, beyond imagination.
Adventure, a mix of documentary and dramatic reenactments, following Kiwi mountaineering great Sir Edmund Hillary and his ascent of Mt. Everest. In 1953, with Tenzing Norgay, the pair become the first to reach the world’s tallest summit. WETA visual effects artist Chad Moffitt makes his front-of-camera debut as Hillary. Directed by Leanne Pooley (The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls).
“Pooley transports the viewer back in time sixty years to the foot of that seemingly unconquerable mountain, and recreates an incredible journey to the top. While many know that Sir Edmund Hillary (Moffitt) and Tenzing Norgay (Sonam Sherpa) were the first men to stand on the summit, few know how it happened. Using rarely seen footage, and no narration other than the words of the expedition members themselves – culled from hours of archival interviews – Pooley recreates the conditions (including what seems now to be only the most rudimentary equipment), the relationships, and the socio-historical context of the undertaking that had much of the world holding its breath.” (Toronto Film Festival)