The Greatest

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A lost gem from the festival circuit, writer-director Shana Feste's family portrait weaves crisis, grief and release into the fabric of a heartbreakingly tender drama textured with wit and humanity. An Education's Carey Mulligan plays a teen girl who falls in love with the overachieving son of Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, only to be there when he dies in a freak car accident. A few months later, she shows up at his parents' door, pregnant and alone. Since the accident, however, the boy's mother has lost her mind, his father's at wit's end dealing with the mother and their younger son is dealing with feelings of inadequacy. Luckily, Mulligan is just the pixie sprite the family needs to come together again. Although Feste loses her grip on the melodrama in the third act, her acute observation and loving hand guides those involved to safe harbor. (available now)

Special Features: Deleted scenes, cast and ;crew interviews

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Mother

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A matron, played with grace and simmering tones by Kim Hye-ja, lays herself bare in seeking justice for her unlucky, accused murderer of a son, in this engrossing, elegantly handled comedy-thriller-drama from master filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, director of the 2006 surprised monster hit The Host. At times a farcical character study and at other times a ticking-clock whodunit, Bong tempers his directorial ADD with heart and fulfilling narrative payoff. By the time Bong turns the screws of the plot, you end up wishing he could put it off for just a little bit longer and explore the empty spaces a bit more. Still, it's a mark of a great film that those spaces are worth pursuing. (available now)

Special Features: Making-of doc, featurettes

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The Red Shoes: Criterion Collection

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It doesn't get more classic, beautiful or must-own than this. Powell and Pressburger's masterpiece about an up-and-coming ballerina (the effervescent Moira Shearer) caught in a muse-y love triangle between a composer and a possessed company owner who wants Shearer for her art, the desires of her heart be damned, is one of those rare films that deserves to be updated, cleaned and kissed every decade or so. (Just ask Martin Scorsese, who cannot complete a sentence without referring to the film.) And that's just what Criterion is here for; the keepers of the art-house flame released a near-pristine version in 1999 and on laserdisc before that. Now, it's on Blu-Ray, and more enticing words for cinephiles have never been spoken. (available now)

Special Features: New, restored, hi-def transfer, monaural soundtrack, commentary, intro by Martin Scorsese, documentaries, interviews, gallery from Scorsese's memorabilia collection, sketches, readings by Jeremy Irons, essay

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