Rocky’s Review
Comedy! Comedy! Comedy!

It's a happy coincidence that comedy is the common thread among our four new films and one opera beginning this Friday, March 30th. OH LUCY! is an against-the-odds charmer about a woman, a tragic wig and an improbable journey. Just about everything works in this emphatically modest comedy-drama. The writer-director Atsuko Hirayanagi isn't selling a packaged idea of what it means to be human; she does something trickier and more honest here, merely by tracing the ordinary absurdities and agonies of one woman's life. The human comedy here is by turns tender, plaintive, heartfelt and joyful. Independent Spirit Award Nominee, Best First Feature. Independent Spirit Award Nominee, Best Actress Shinobu Terajima. 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Costarring Josh Hartnett. (Excerpted from The New York Times). "Bracingly funny." -The Village Voice

      The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes in THE DEATH OF STALIN, an uproarious, wickedly irreverent satire from Armando Iannucci (VEEP, IN THE LOOP). Moscow, 1953: When dictator Joseph Stalin drops dead, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader. The palace intrigue and rapid-fire farce, make this audacious comedy a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt by cast that includes Michael Palin, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Paddy Considine, Jason Isaacs, Olga Kurylenko and Simon Russell Beale. "Hilarious and horrifying." -The New York Times. 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating THE DEATH OF STALIN opens Friday in both the Rose and Starlight Room.

     LOVE, SIMON's tag line says it all: "Everyone deserves a great love story." But for seventeen-year-old Simon Spier it's a little more complicated; he's yet to tell his family or friends that he's gay and he doesn't actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing in this heartfelt coming-of-age story. 91%Rotten Tomatoes rating. "Sweet, funny and disarming." -Los Angeles Times

     When KING OF HEARTS opened in Seattle decades ago it seemed to play forever, and likely it did because Seattle theatre owner Randy Finley bought the rights to this French cult favorite. In Cambridge, Massachusetts it played at the Central Square Cinemas for five years! And it was likely the first movie that I watched multiple times. This French comedy-drama directed by Philippe de Broca stars Alan Bates and Genevieve Bujold. It was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1978, but never found the same popularity as it did on screen. Our Classics Night showing of this newly restored film is unfortunately already sold out.

     The first performance of COSI FAN TUTTE, Mozart's comedy about the sexes was in 1790. Phelim McDermott's 2018 version is set in a carnivalesque fun world inspired by 1950s Coney Island, complete with bearded ladies, fire eaters and a Ferris wheel. The fun starts in the Rose Saturday morning at 9:55.

     We have two very special events taking place next weekend. Saturday, April 7th we're presenting a free community screening of THE S WORD, a powerful documentary that puts a human face on a topic long stigmatized and buried with the lives it has claimed - people who have attempted to take their own lives and survived to tell their stories. Director Lisa Klien will be with us via Skype.

     And beginning a week-long, Rose engagement next Friday, April 6th will be BIG SONIA, a beautiful story about 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski. Standing tall at 4'8", Sonia is the last remaining Holocaust survivor in Kansas City, and one of the only survivors who speaks publicly about her wartime experience. Sonia's enormous personality and fragile frame mask the horrors she endured. She still runs the tailor shop she's owned for more than 30years. But when she's served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to resist her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA is testament to the power of love, to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all. Director Leah Warshawski will be here over the course of the weekend, and next week's newsletter will indicate her presence at specific screenings for Q&As. "BIG SONIA is one of those documentaries that seems to bring its own light just like the woman at its center." -Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times