Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
Two challenging independent films are at the art theater this weekend. Here to tell us about The Nightingale and Luce are film critics, Chuck Koplinski and Pam Powell.
Set in 1825, Clare (Aisling Franciosi), a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer (Sam Claflin) through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way, she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past. Brutal and stark, this film pulls no punches in the violence it displays or in examining the psychological effects of it on its victims. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a primal scream that’s not easily forgettable. 3 ½ Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 136 minutes. ART. Starts Friday.
A married couple (Tim Roth & Naomi Watts) is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher (Octavia Spencer) threatens his status as an all-star student. Timely and challenging, this look at modern racism is an ambitious film that approaches the issue from a variety of perspectives and offers no easy solutions. Thought-provoking and well-acted, this is a movie that sticks with you long after the end credits roll. 3 ½ Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 109 minutes. ART. Starts Friday.