Cracks

“The most important thing in life,” Miss G tells her students at an elite British boarding school in 1934, “is desire.” She needn’t have spelled it out. As played by the spectacularly cool Eva Green, Miss G is the walking embodiment of desire. She smokes, flouts the headmistress’s rules and hints at dark European adventures in her past. She even wears trousers. Determined to awaken in her girls a yearning for something more, Miss G encourages free thinking, late-night parties and the almost erotic freedom of diving lessons at the lake.

The girls are thrilled at first to have such an inspiring teacher, but cracks begin to appear. Miss G begins to disturb the students’ rigid and remorseless power structure. Top mean girl Di Radfield (Juno Temple) feels especially threatened, and Di does not respond well to threats. Then a new girl arrives from Spain. Even compared to Miss G, Fiamma (Maria Valverde) is exotic. Beautiful, dark and supremely sophisticated, she is a princess among mere pretenders. Everyone begins to compete for her favour. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Queen and Country

1952. Bill Rohan is 18 and wanders, dreamy and happy, along the riverside where his family have a house. His daydreaming is rudely interrupted by the Korean war, the draft, and the harsh reality of the military camp where he trains. There, he meets Percy, who becomes his firm friend.
After their induction, numerous conscripts are sent to Korea. Bill and Percy are lucky enough to find themselves as instructors in a training camp. They plot against an unbearable sergeant. They also make some excursions into the outside world. During one of them, Bill falls in love with a girl who is unattainable. [Synopsis courtesy of Director’s Fortnight]

The Sea

A middle-aged art historian returns to the Irish seaside village where, as a boy, he and his family spent their holidays. His visit triggers a series of memories, some romantic, some disturbing, of a summer that saw the awakening of sexuality and an unexpected tragedy. John Banville adapted his Man Booker Prize-winning novel to provide the script for this haunting and superlatively acted film.