There are a million reasons not to like realtor Oren Little, and that's just the way he likes it. Willfully obnoxious to anyone who might cross his path, he wants nothing more than to sell one last house and retire in peace and quiet -- until his estranged son suddenly drops off a granddaughter he never knew existed and turns his life upside-down. Clueless about how to care for a sweet, abandoned nine-year-old, he pawns her off on his determined and lovable neighbor Leah and tries to resume his life uninterrupted. But little by little, Oren stubbornly learns to open his heart - to his family, to Leah, and to life itself,
Present day Hamburg: a tortured and near-dead half-Chechen, half-Russian man on the run arrives in the city's Islamic community desperate for help and looking to recover his late Russian father's ill-gotten fortune. Nothing about him seems to add up; is he a victim, thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction? Drawn into this web of intrigue is a British banker and a young female lawyer, determined to defend the defenceless. All the while, they are being watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit, who fights to put the pieces together as the clock ticks.
Begin Again ( R )
Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo
1 hr. 41 mins.
This is a soul-stirring comedy about what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together. Gretta and her long-time boyfriend Dave are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan, a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City.
Niko is in his late 20s and recently dropped out of college. He lives for the moment, drifting sleeplessly through the streets of Berlin, marvelling at the people around him. With a quiet curiosity, he observes how they cope with everyday life while failing to notice how he himself is becoming an outsider. But, one day, everything changes, and Niko is forced to confront the consequences of his inaction. His girlfriend ends their relationship, his father cuts off his allowance and a psychiatrist diagnoses him with an ‘emotional imbalance'. Meanwhile a peculiar beauty from his past confronts him with the emotional wounds he inflicted, his new neighbor - accompanied by meatballs and Schnapps - pours his heart out, and throughout the city there doesn‘t seem to be a single cup of 'normal‘ coffee available.
"Do you know the feeling when people around you seem to behave strangely? And the longer you think about it, the more it dawns on you that it's not other people who are strange, but yourself?" Niko's epiphany, however, is immediately, abruptly interrupted when he's forced to stand up to a rowdy gang of teenagers, and a night-time encounter with an old man not only personifies his own loneliness but also demonstrates how the city's history continues to assert itself.
Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for his new play, writer-director Thomas complains that no actress he's seen has what it takes to play the lead female character: a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theater when actress Vanda bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic - and, it turns out, erotic - energy. At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting. She is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared - or so it seems. When Thomas finally, reluctantly, agrees to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit (even sharing the character's name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively, learned her lines by heart and even bought her own props. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession until, with Vanda taking an ever more dominant role, the balance of power shifts completely.
Chef ( R )
Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara
1 hr. 55 mins.
Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner, he is left to figure out what's next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen -- and zest for life and love.