Let's get to it:
Miral is based on a true story. In 1948 Palestine, Hind Husseini (played by Hiam Abbass) came upon 50 homeless Palestinian children with no place to go, She brought them all home with the conviction that they needed to be fed and taken care of. Six months later, she was taking care of two thousand homeless children. She started a school, believing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be better served with educated people. Years later, Jamal (Alexander Siddig) brings his young daughter Miral (Frieda Pinto) to the school after his wife commits suicide. When Miral is older, she meets a Hani (Omar Metwally), a political activist who thinks violence is the answer to taking back their country. Vanessa Redgrave and Willem Dafoe also star in this interesting look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a different point of view. I liked it.
Isabelle Huppert stars in White Material, set in an unknown African country. The movie is in French with English subtitles. She plays a woman who lives on a coffee plantation owned by her ex-husband's father. The country is about to break out in war, but all she is concerned about is harvesting those coffee beans that will be a good crop this year. Never mind the safety of the workers she is trying to assemble, or even her own...she just doesn't want those beans to go to waste. The movie was definitely well acted, and pretty intellectual, but I wasn't very entertained. Maybe, it was my mood that day.
The Beaver is kind of a dumb movie...Jodie Foster stars in and directs this film about a mentally ill man (Mel Gibson) who is a successful businessman until his breakdown. He then uses a hand puppet to speak for him and gets out the things that are really on his mind. I call BS. The thing that bothered me about this movie is that it trivializes mental illness. Yes, when people are mentally ill (and even when they are not) they have issues with expressing themselves....BUT...I couldn't decide if this movie was trying to be a dramedy or if it was trying to show how ridiculous the actions of mentally ill people seem to others or what...I just thought it was a hot mess, except for the fact that is illustrated that mental illness affects more than just the patient.
Another Earth is a good science fiction film, with many implausible theories, but still good. Another Earth appears in the sky. Rhoda gets accepted to MIT in astrophysics. After a night of celebration, she drives home under the influence, and while gazing up at the other Earth, she slams into a minivan carrying a couple and their child. Only the father survives. Years later, Rhoda wants to make some kind of amends. She also wants to visit the other Earth to find her double there and see if that one is on a different path. The story had holes...mostly regarding scientific facts, but it was good. I liked it.