Home The Washington Diplomat January 2018 Films – January 2018

Films – January 2018











Call Me By Your Name

Directed by Luca Guadagnino
(Italy/France/Brazil/U.S., 2017, 132 min.)

In Northern Italy in 1983, 17-year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage and the beguiling Italian landscape (English, Italian, French and German).

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Darkest Hour

Directed by Joe Wright
(U.K., 2017, 125 min.)

During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark’s E Street Cinema


Directed by Alexander Payne
(Norway/U.S., 2017, 135 min.)

In this social satire, a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself (English and Spanish).

Angelika Pop-Up
Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Directed by Paul McGuigan
(U.K., 2017, 105 min.)

In 1978 Liverpool, eccentric actress Gloria Grahame enters into an affair with Turner, a much younger man. Quickly it grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control.

Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Jan. 12

I, Tonya

Directed by Craig Gillespie
(U.S., 2017, 119 min.)

Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

King: A Filmed Record. Montgomery to Memphis

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Sidney Lumet
(U.S., 1970, 185 min.)

This is a riveting compilation of documentary footage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from the Montgomery bus boycott to the “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, from the dogs of Selma to the Nobel Prize and the fateful motel balcony in Memphis.

AFI Silver Theatre
Opens Mon., Jan. 15

Loving Vincent

Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
(U.K./Poland, 2017, 94 min.)

In a story depicted in oil-painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist’s last letter and ends up investigating his final days there.

West End Cinema

Murder on the Orient Express

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
(Malta/U.S., 2017)

A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful mystery in this story based on the Agatha Christie novel that follows 13 stranded strangers and one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Phantom Thread

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
(U.S., 2017, 130 min.)

Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a much young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.

Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., Jan. 12


Directed by Ed Harris
(U.S., 2001, 122 min.)

A passion project for actor-director Ed Harris, “Pollock” required a decade of concentrated research and labor on Harris’s part. One of the more credible artist biopics of recent years, the film owes its success in large part to persuasive performances from Harris as the artist himself; Marcia Gay Harden as his partner Lee Krasner; and Amy Madigan as friend, dealer, and ardent champion Peggy Guggenheim.

National Gallery of Art
Sat., Jan. 27, 3:30 p.m.

The Post

Directed by Steven Spielberg
(U.S., 2018, 115 min.)

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.

AFI Silver Theatre
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

The Shape of Water

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
(U.S., 2017, 123 min.)

This otherworldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962, takes place in the hidden high-security government laboratory where lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.

AFI Silver Theatre
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Directed by Martin McDonagh
(U.K./U.S., 2017, 115 min.)

In this darkly comic drama, a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder, when they fail to catch the culprit.

Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Young Karl Marx

Directed by Raoul Peck
(France, 2017, 118 min.)

Haitian-born director Raoul Peck tackles the early days of the friendship between Karl Marx (August Diehl) and Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske) as they struggle to establish the Communist Party and complete the Communist Manifesto (English, German and French).

Edlavitch DCJCC
Tue., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.




Directed by Sadaf Foroughi
(Iran/Canada/Qatar, 2017, 102 min.)

The film’s titular character is a musically talented teenager who rebels when her mother takes her to an ob-gyn to confirm her virginity. The rift that develops in a once-close family reveals secrets that the parents have hidden from their only daughter. While rooted in the particulars of Iranian society, the film’s themes of family secrets and teenage rebellion are universal.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Jan. 21, 3 p.m.


Directed by Mohsen Gharaie
(Iran, 2017, 82 min.)

This fast-paced, intense social drama races through a few stressful days in the life of a scheming Tehran municipal officer. Tired of shaking down illegal street vendors for kickbacks, Qasem is hoping to use his wife’s inheritance to start a trucking business. But she would rather use it to buy a house and is on the verge of leaving him. When Qasem is accused of assault by one of the peddlers under his charge, he faces the prospect of losing his marriage and his job on the same day, and he resorts to desperate measures.

Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Jan. 12, 7 p.m.


Directed by Narges Abyar
(Iran, 2016, 112 min.)

Iran’s official 2018 Oscar entry is the bittersweet tale of a book-loving girl growing up during the Iranian Revolution and the subsequent Iran-Iraq War. Set in the culturally rich Yazd region, this plucky young heroine spins the travails of her working-class family into the folktales and legends that she loves.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Jan. 14, 2 p.m.


Directed by Ali Asgari
(Iran/Qatar, 2017, 89 min.)

This Tehran nocturne begins with a young woman entering a hospital, claiming to have been raped and asking to see a doctor. Soon her boyfriend, posing as her brother, appears, and it immediately becomes clear that something else is afoot. Thus begins a journey through the night, from hospital to hospital, as the young couple tries to circumvent Iran’s restrictive treatment of premarital sex and women’s health, in search of a doctor to end her unwanted pregnancy.

Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Jan. 19, 7 p.m.


Directed by Abed Abest
(Iran, 2017, 85 min.)

Abed Abest’s film unfolds in reverse chronological order, in a completely black space decorated only with bright-green furniture. Using this Brechtian deliberate artifice, “Simulation” examines what went wrong when three drunk young men showed up at an enigmatic older acquaintance’s home unannounced.

Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., Jan. 21, 1 p.m.


The Other Side of Hope

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
(Finland/Germany, 2017, 100 min.)

Middle-age shirt salesman Wikström abruptly leaves his prickly wife and unfulfilling job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant, which he tries to turn into a success with a hilarious series of culinary re-inventions. After displaced Syrian Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo, staying on illegally in Helsinki — and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously, with unexpected results (Finnish, Arabic, English and Swedish).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Tom of Finland

Directed by Dome Karukoski
(Multiple countries, 2017, 115 min.)

This stirring biopic follows the life of the artist Touko Laaksonen, known to the world as Tom of Finland, whose proudly erotic drawings shaped the fantasies of a generation of gay men, influencing art and fashion before crossing over into the wider cultural consciousness (Finnish, German and English).

West End Cinema



Au Hasard Balthazar

Directed by Robert Bresson
(France/Sweden, 1966, 95 min.)

Robert Bresson cast 18-year-old Anne Wiazemsky as the young heroine Marie in what is arguably the French director’s most admired work. From modest rural origins, Marie comes of age and is fatefully separated from her donkey companion, Balthazar, although the two follow separate but parallel fortunes.

National Gallery of Art
Sun., Jan. 28, 4 p.m.




Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
(Japan, 1953, 97 min.)

“Quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers,” said Jean-Luc Godard of Kenji Mizoguchi. And “Ugetsu,” a ghost story like no other, is surely the Japanese director’s supreme achievement. Derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, this haunting tale of love and loss — with its exquisite blending of the otherworldly and the real — is one of the most beautiful films ever made.

Freer Gallery of Art
Wed., Jan. 3, 2 p.m.



Peshmerga and The Battle of Mosul

Directed by Bernard-Henri Lévy
(France/Iraq, 2016/2017, 92 min./53 min.)

Renowned French philosopher, activist, writer and filmmaker Bernard-Henri Lévy offers a special presentation of his two most recent documentaries, “Peshmerga” and “The Battle of Mosul.” In “Peshmerga,” the Kurdish fighters he encounters in Mosul and the Sinjar Mountains demonstrate heroic resolve in their fight against jihadi fundamentalism, and relay unforgettable and harrowing stories that give human dimension to a conflict with immense global implications. “The Battle of Mosul” opens on Oct. 17, 2016, the first day of the battle to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State. It ends in mid-January 2017 with the complete liberation of the eastern half of the city, including the spot on the Tigris where the Prophet Jonah is buried, a place of significance for the three Abrahamic religions. In between the screenings, Lévy discuss the Kurdish will for a state and national independence; the current status of ISIS following the liberation of Mosul; and the role of foreign nations in this conflict (Kurdish, Arabic, English and French).

Edlavitch DCJCC
Tue., Jan. 23, 6:15 p.m.