Sylvie Testud as Christine in Jessica Hausner?s LOURDES.  Courtesy of Palisades Tartan.
Sylvie Testud as Christine in Jessica Hausner?s LOURDES. Courtesy of Palisades Tartan.

Sylvie Testud plays a handicapped woman
hoping for a miracle in

With the exception of The Balibo Conspiracy, tonight’s recommendations are quietly appealing films that captivate through the depth of their characters rather than the intrigue of their plots. Tonight’s films to avoid tend to be markedly overwrought.

See it:

Paralyzed from the neck down with multiple sclerosis, Christine is making a pilgrimage to Lourdes, hoping for an answer to her prayer of becoming able-bodied—a trip she’s made many times before, despite her apparent skepticism. Though the film’s pace is “achingly slow,” writes Tricia Olszewski, “its story, style, and performances trump its leisurely unspooling.”
6:30 p.m. at Regal Gallery Place

Friends at the Margherita Café
In his effort to become a regular at Bologna’s Margherita Café, Taddeo starts chauffeuring for Al, a leader of the group that congregates at this town institution. Soon Taddeo gets to know the other regulars in all their quirkiness. “It’s pure comedic fun,” writes Tessa Moran.
6:30 at Avalon Theatre

The Tango Singer
Helena, a tango singer in Buenos Aires, is devastated after her boyfriend abruptly dumps her for another woman. She has the chance to rebuild herself when she and her band are offered residency at a major theater in France. This understated story about a woman’s recovery from heartbreak closes “elegantly and perfectly,” according to Tricia Olszewski.
6:30 at E Street Cinema

The Balibo Conspiracy
Based on true events, Balibo retells the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the brutal murders of five telejournalists who were covering the story. The film is “immaculately paced,” writes Ted Scheinman. “It moves, it grips, and for all its activist intonation, the story never gets subjugated to the message.”
8:45 at Regal Gallery Place

Skip it:
Elvis’ Last Song

Greek college student Illektra is writing her senior thesis on rock ’n’ roll when she leaves her notes on a chair. Markos discovers them, falls in love with her thoughts, and makes it his mission to woo her by fastidiously studying music himself, only to realize he and Illektra might not be such a perfect match after all. The film features “poor lighting and shoddy camerawork,” according to Maura Judkis, as well as “a lackluster script and lack of chemistry between the leads.”
8:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema

I Killed My Mother
Writer-director Xavier Dolan also stars as 16-year-old Hubert, who alternately hurls insults and showers love upon his mother. “It’s one-note and increasingly unbearable,” writes Tricia Olszewski. “No amount of Gus Van Sant stylization can keep you from wanting to tell Hubert to shut the hell up already.”
6:30 p.m. at Embassy of Canada

Autumn Adagio
This Japanese drama about a sickly nun who longs after a handsome ballet instructor “spares no frames in smothering the viewer in its self-pitying dialogue and maudlin visuals,” according to Benjamin R. Freed.
6:30 at Regal Gallery Place

White Wedding
Post-apartheid jokes abound in this South African bachelor-party comedy. Before his wedding to Ayala, Elvis takes a road trip from Capetown to Durban with his best man Tumi, which “quickly devolves into a farce that plays out along the country’s racial, cultural, and linguistic divides,” writes Amanda Hess. Meanwhile, Ayala contends with stock wedding drama back in Capetown, including an ex-boyfriend and a gay wedding planner.
8:15 at Regal Gallery Place

is Italian documentarian Erik Gandini’s indictment of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his monopoly on Italian media and pop culture. Though the argument is easy to get behind—Berlusconi’s women are vapid and consider it the ultimate achievement to marry a footballer—the film suffers from its director’s “intrusive, hyperbolic flourishes,” according to Matt Siblo.
8:15 at Regal Gallery Place

Also playing:
Cooking With Stella

6:30 at E Street Cinema

Puccini and the Girl
6:30 at Avalon Theatre

8:30 at E Street Cinema

Saviors in the Night
9:00 at Avalon Theatre