A television star (Pierce Brosnan) climbs to the top of a London tower block, a well-known suicide spot, on New Year’s Eve with the intention of throwing himself off. Before he can do so, however, he’s joined by a single mom (Toni Collette), a troubled teen (Imogen Poots) and a depressed musician (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), who were all planning on doing the same. Instead they form a pact to put off their fateful decision until Valentine’s Day, and together start looking for reasons to carry on. With its bold central conceit, A Long Way Down is director Pascal Chaumeil’s adaptation of Nick Hornby’s darkly comic 2005 novel.
Nominated in the Best Documentary category at this year’s Oscars, The Missing Picture is director Rithy Panh’s original and moving reflection on growing up in 1970s Cambodia as the Khmer Rouge took control. What sets the film apart is Panh’s use of small clay models, alongside more typical old propaganda footage, to recreate the labor camps and mass murders, as well as happier times before the communist takeover.
After his recent turn in the panned 47 Ronin, Keanu Reeves valiantly sticks with the martial arts genre with Man of Tai Chi, which marks his directorial debut. The Matrix star also features in front of the camera as a mystery man who lures young tai chi talent Tiger Chen into a secret fight club in contemporary Beijing.
Comedy Safety Not Guaranteed stars Aubrey Plaza (of TV series Parks and Recreation) as an intern at a Seattle magazine who, together with a writer and another intern, sets out to discover the story behind a classified ad taken out by someone who claims to have invented a time machine. Their search leads them to Kenneth, an oddball supermarket employee who is looking for recruits for his next trip.
On the road again
Chema Rodríguez’s Anochece en la India stars Juan Diego as an old hippie traveling cross country through Europe, Turkey and Iran to the subcontinent, just as he used to do in his van back in the day. The only difference now is that he is in a wheelchair and needs to be accompanied by his Romanian assistant.
Documentary El culo del mundo sees TV presenter Andreu Buenafuente go in search of the secrets of comedy with the help of a clutch of his fellow Spanish comics, including Carlos Areces, Jose Corbacho, El Gran Wyoming and Berto Romero.
A Spanish-Argentinean coproduction, romantic drama Inevitable features Darío Grandinetti (of Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her) as a bank exec who enters into a crisis after the death of colleague. Helped by a famous blind writer (Federico Luppi), he begins a relationship with a young sculptor (Antonella Costa) whom he starts to view as his inevitable love.