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Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is an African-American maid who has often offended her employers despite her family’s struggles with money and her desperate need for jobs; and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating college to find out her childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around “the help”; yet they are always kept at a certain distance because of racial lines.
In an innocent heartland city, five are shot dead by an expert sniper. The police quickly identify and arrest the culprit, and build a slam-dunk case. But the accused man claims he’s innocent and says “Get Jack Reacher.” Reacher himself sees the news report and turns up in the city. The defense is immensely relieved, but Reacher has come to bury the guy. Shocked at the accused’s request, Reacher sets out to confirm for himself the absolute certainty of the man’s guilt, but comes up with more than he bargained for.
Scientist Will Rodman is determined to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease which has slowly consumed his father Charles. Will feels certain he is close to a breakthrough and tests his latest serum on apes, noticing dramatic increases in intelligence and brain activity in the primate subjects… Especially Caesar, his pet chimpanzee.
She was one of the century’s most extraordinary talents, a 15-time Grammy nominee and Grammy Hall of Fame Recipient; her mesmerizing songs and passionate politics combined to make her the unforgettable Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana). But fame and fortune came with a price, and her later years were riddled with depression, alcohol abuse and isolation. Rediscovering the meaning of her life and work took courage, strength and one true friend: Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo), the man who started out as her assistant and eventually became her loyal manager. With Clifton’s encouragement, the “high priestess of soul” began a courageous journey back to her music … and, eventually, herself.
The last voicemail Sherwin Owens (Oyelowo) received from his beloved wife, Fiona, before she died in a car accident implored him: “meet her, before it’s too late.” The “her” in question is Fiona’s mother Lucinda (Wiest), whom Fiona had just visited after many years of estrangement. After spending several solitary days blunting his grief with alcohol, Sherwin makes the long drive to Lucinda’s home in rural Maine. Lucinda lives up to her reputation as ornery, bullying, and cruel, but she is dying from cancer. As Sherwin endeavours to bridge a divide widened by age and race, there ensues an unspoken competition as to who bears the greater loss. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]