The great Todd Haynes (FAR FROM HEAVEN, I’M NOT THERE), arguably the contemporary American cinema’s most original and finest voice, gives us something very unexpected—wonderstriking, even! “An adaptation of a young adult novel by Brian Selznick (who also wrote the book that inspired Martin Scorsese’s HUGO), Haynes’s film follows two timelines: In one, 12-year-old Ben, living in small-town Minnesota in 1977 and mourning the death of his librarian mother (Michelle Williams), finds a stray bookmark that may hold a clue to the identity of the father he never knew. Rendered deaf by a lightning strike (no, really), and feeling more and more like an outcast, Ben hops a bus for New York City. Intercut with his story is that of Rose (an incredible Millicent Simmonds), a deaf girl living in Hoboken in 1927 and obsessed with a silent movie star (Julianne Moore). Frustrated with her sheltered life and her domineering father, she, too, heads to the city, where she hopes to find this mysterious woman…. (We wonder how these two stories will come together, but) Haynes gives us an extended finale that not only offers emotional payoff to the held-breath anticipation of the story, but also serves as a tribute to storytelling itself—and to the wonders of following your dreams and maybe even your nightmares”—Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice. PG. 117 Min.
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