Signing up to the Lincoln school of biopics by zeroing in on a single episode in the life of its subject, Selma is the story of how Martin Luther King led the 1965 voting rights marches from the Alabama town of the title to state capital Montgomery. The 1964 Civil Rights Act may have by then become reality, but white authorities were still blocking African Americans from registering to vote, prompting King to organize the series of 54-mile mass marches, facing the batons and tear gas of state troopers along the way. Directed by Ava DuVernay and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey, who also appears in front of the camera, the film features a surprisingly British cast with David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson and Tim Roth as Alabama governor George Wallace.
Hollywood satire Maps to the Stars is the latest from David Cronenberg and stars newly crowned Oscar-winner Julianne Moore as a former child star looking to bag the lead in the remake of the movie that made her actress mom famous. John Cusack plays the celeb therapist trying to help her escape her abusive mother’s shadow, while his daughter Mia Wasikowska takes a job as her personal assistant. Robert Pattinson, who starred in Cronenberg’s previous Cosmopolis, is the limousine driver and struggling actor she befriends.
Calvary is an Irish black comedy starring Brendan Gleeson as a “good priest” staring death in the face after a mysterious parishioner confesses he will kill him the following week in revenge for the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic clergyman. Director John Michael McDonagh’s follow-up to The Guard also stars Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran and Isaach de Bankolé.
Written and directed by Paul Haggis (Crash), Third Person tells three interlinking relationship stories. The first, set in Paris, stars Liam Neeson as a writer, Kim Basinger as the wife he’s recently divorced, and Olivia Wilde as his girlfriend; in New York, Mila Kunis and James Franco fight over custody of the son she may have tried to kill, while in Rome, fashion-design thief Adrien Brody gets mixed up with a Gypsy woman trying to buy back her child from people traffickers.
Taking the country’s crisis-fueled brain drain as its subject, Spanish comedy Perdiendo el norte is the story of two graduates who decide to move to Germany, but find forging a new life there more difficult than they imagined. Nacho G. Velilla directs Blanca Suárez, Julián López, Yon González, José Sacristán, Malena Alterio, Miki Esparbé, Úrsula Corberó and Javier Cámara.
La luz con el tiempo dentro is director Antonio Gonzalo’s biopic of Nobel Prize-winning Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958). Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa, Ana Fernández and Marc Clotet star.