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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' October 13-15

Focus Features
In 'Victoria and Abdul,' veteran actress Judi Dench portrays an aging Queen Victoria, who becomes fast friends with a young clerk from India (Ali Fazal) despite disapproval from her family.

If Friday the 13th has you feeling down on your luck, Up To Date's  indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to set you back on the path to good fortune. From a royally heartwarming tale of unlikely friendship to an in-depth documentary about one of the largest public libraries in the United States, checking out any of these recommendations are sure to undo bad mojo accumulated from walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, or even opening your umbrella indoors.

Steve Walker

Victoria and Abdul, PG-13

  • Twenty years after she first played Queen Victoria in “Mrs. Brown,” Judi Dench again reigns supreme playing the monarch at 81 who, despite intense opposition, befriends a Muslim man from India as her tutor and confidante.

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, Not rated

  • Master documentarian Frederick Wiseman tells the story of the rich cultural mosaic that is New York City as filtered through the title institution’s varied branches trying to define what a library means in 2017.

Brawl in Cell Block 99, Not rated

  • In this brutal yet superbly executed prison drama, Vince Vaughn is scary and riveting as a maximum security prisoner fighting from inside to free his pregnant wife from vicious kidnappers on the outside.

Cynthia Haines

Viceroy's House, Not rated

  • Britain's last viceroy of India is tasked with overseeing the territory's transition to an independent nation. All hopes for a peaceful transfer of power are blown apart by a riddling conflict of race, religion and ideology.

Stronger, R

  • The tragic story of Jeff Bauman, who lost both his legs below the knees in the Boston Marathon bombing, is brought to life in a powerful performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, who is at once contentious, fatalistic, flawed and inspirational.

Ingrid Goes West, R

  • Unable to tell online "likes" from truly meaningful relationships, a social media stalker moves to Los Angeles to meet her Instagram idol IRL. Aubrey Plaza stars in this lol-worthy satire of technology's role in modern life. Reprise screening available at Liberty Hall in Lawrence.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.