Top Films of May 2016

May was a month of fantasy, human drama, action and sci-fi adventure

alice-in-wonderland-throught-the-looking-glass-cast-and-story-detailsALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Disney’s enchanting Alice Through the Looking Glass is an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories in which Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the visually-stunning world Tim Burton created on screen with Alice in Wonderland, the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll. “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality,” or so says the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and for over a century Carroll’s works have been stirring the minds of readers, empowering them to believe in the impossible. 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Carroll’s landmark book, yet the story continues to resonate today. Read more about the film.

the-man-who-knew-infinityTHE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY The journey of self-taught mathematical prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan and the journey of bringing his story to life on the page and screen both began with a letter. Some five or six years after the publication of The Man Who Knew Infinity, writer/director Matthew Brown and executive producer Tristine Skyler were visiting Brown’s aunt in Big Sur when Skylar noticed the book in Brown’s aunt’s library. She thought it would be of interest to Brown as he was studying the Great War, and Kanigel’s book was primarily set during this time period. Brown was intrigued by Ramanujan’s story and found the biography to be one of the most interesting he had ever read—and quite cinematic. Brown reached out to Kanigel in hopes of adapting the book for the screen. Their first meeting lasted nearly five hours. “He grilled me about the book and by the end of the meeting I felt as if I had passed some kind of test,” recalls Brown. The meeting led to a friendship that continues to this day. Read more about the film.

Apocalypse - Oscar Isaacs and Jennifer LawrenceX-MEN: APOCALYPSE Following his acclaimed work on X-Men: Days Of Future Past, director Bryan Singer takes the franchise to new heights with X-Men: Apocalypse, in which the X-Men battle the original and most powerful mutant — Apocalypse. Singer was particularly drawn to Apocalypse’s self-designation as a god.   “I was fascinated by the notion of ancient mutant powers, and what a mutant would think if he or she was born 20,000 or 30,000 years ago.  They would, of course, think they were a god, and would behave as one.  And they would be looked at and worshipped like a god.“Apocalypse believed that it was his responsibility to build a society and to remove humanity’s innate savagery.   Over the millennia, Apocalypse had done this many times—with, for example, the Babylonians, Arcadians, Sumerians—and he’d been called many gods over many lifetimes.” Read more about the film.

before-I-wake-9BEFORE I WAKE Fear is real in the tense and terrifying Before I Wake, which exists in a world with supernatural elements while maintaining a strong foothold in reality. This nightmarish and surreal journey into fear at its most extreme begins as a story about parents trying to reconcile the loss of a child, and ends as a story about a child reconciling the loss of a parent.Jessie and Mark’s irresistible longing to see their dead son, Sean, again, even when they know he isn’t real, drives the narrative. In the hope of manipulating his dreams and bringing Sean back to life, Jessie goes so far as to medicate Cody to ensure he slumbers and dreams. However, they soon discover it is not just Cody’s pleasant dreams that manifest but that as he sleeps his nightmares also awaken. “The horror of Before I Wake is born of the souls of its characters,” says Director/Co-writer/Editor Mike Flanagan. “This is really a bedtime story for grownups complete with its own boogie man.” Read more about the film.

Bastille DayBASTILLE DAY A blistering action thriller set in the French capital, Paris, Bastille Day is a story of an unlikely pair – a reckless CIA agent and a brilliant pickpocket – who must work together to uncover and take down a conspiracy. Michael Mason (Richard Madden, Game Of Thrones) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself in the hands of the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba, ‘Luther’, Prometheus), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale criminal conspiracy.Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discovers they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy. Read more about the film.

Also worth mentioning:  Uitvlucht, The Road Within