Phoebe in Wonderland

  • Directors: Daniel Barnz
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Daniel Barnz
  • Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Elle Fanning, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman, Campbell Scott, Peter Gerety

The movie tells a story of a 9 year old girl, Phoebe (Elle Fanning), with apparent Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.[2] While she deals with being odd and insecure, her mother (Felicity Huffman) and father (Bill Pullman) are dealing with complexities in their relationship with each other and their challenging child. Her little sister (Bailee Madison) feels neglected as Phoebe gains more attention.

Phoebe seeks a role in her school’s play, Alice In Wonderland, directed by her school’s off-beat drama teacher, Miss Dodger (Patricia Clarkson). Phoebe flourishes on stage, relaxing and feeling normal, but her impulsive speech and behavior persist off stage. Her parents hire a therapist for her, but after he proposes medication, Phoebe’s mother fires him. She does not want to accept that there is anything wrong with Phoebe; when the principal questions if Phoebe behaves oddly outside of the classroom, her mother denies it even though she has many times witnessed her daughter’s self-destructive rituals at home. When Phoebe is taken out of the play due to her classroom behavior, her dreams are shattered. Her mother, desperate to help her daughter feel normal, works with the drama teacher to bring Phoebe back on stage.

Although Phoebe is put back into the play, her challenges continue as she is driven to behavior she doesn’t understand. She hurts herself jumping off the catwalk onto the stage, and the drama teacher is fired. Phoebe’s fellow-actors descend into chaos, but Phoebe alone clings to a sense of purpose. She urges her classmates to continue their rehearsals on their own, and they do. Her mother, who has resisted efforts to label Phoebe, tells Phoebe that she has Tourette’s syndrome, and Phoebe helps her classmates understand her by explaining the condition to them.

The Nines

  • Directors: John August
  • Producers:
  • Writers: John August
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis, Melissa McCarthy, Elle Fanning

“Part One – The Prisoner” tells of a troubled actor, Gary, who is wearing the green bracelet on his wrist. Gary is under house arrest living in another person’s house because he burned down his own, the owner of the house is described as a TV writer away on work. While living in the house he is befriended by both a P.R. ‘handler’, Margaret, and the single mom next door, Sarah, who may or may not be interested in him romantically. Over the course of his house arrest, Gary becomes convinced that he is being haunted by the number nine, including finding a note saying “Look for the nines” in his handwriting. He also sees different versions of himself around the house, which freak him out causing him to break out of his house arrest barrier, which in turn causes a blip in reality.

“Part Two – Reality Television” tells of a television writer, Gavin, trying to get his pilot made. He leaves his house to go away and work on his TV show, “Knowing”, about a mother and daughter who are lost, which stars his friend Melissa (Melissa McCarthy possibly playing herself) as the lead actress. In a conversation about reviews and critics Susan, a television executive, tells Gavin to look for the nines which he then writes on a piece of paper, the same piece which Gary found in Part One. He also tells Melissa he thinks he is haunted by himself. During the process of post production, Susan pushes for Gavin to ditch his friend Melissa as the unconventional lead actress of his project, in favor of a more attractive, well-known actress. This causes an argument between him and Melissa, which leads to him confronting Susan. After a heated exchange, he snaps and slaps her in the mouth. She walks away, which leads to him telling the reality TV cameraman to leave him alone. A pedestrian then asks him who he is talking to, and it is shown that the reality television cameraman does not exist, and also that he has the number nine floating above his head.

“Part Three – Knowing” tells of an acclaimed video game designer, Gabriel, whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Gabriel leaves his wife, Mary, and young daughter, Noelle, to try to get a better signal on his phone. He meets a woman, Sierra, who leads him off into the woods to her car, so she can give him a lift to the gas station. Suddenly Gabriel feels weak and Sierra tell him she has poisoned him with the water she gave him. Meanwhile back at the car Noelle watches a video on a digital camera showing Gavin talking to Melissa from Part Two and Margaret talking to Gary in Part One. She is confused and shows her mom, who appears confused as well. Sierra then tells Gabriel about the three parallel universes he has created, and has been living in, and that he forgot who he was, and that he forgot it wasn’t real. Sierra tells Gabriel to go back with her. Back at the car Noelle has gone missing. Gabriel then returns to the car with Noelle in his arms and the family goes home. Mary, who realizes that he is not who he seems, tells Gabriel he needs to go and that the world is not real. Gabriel tells her that there were ninety different variations of the universe and this is the last one. Gabriel then realizes he must go and removes the green bracelet from his wrist, at which point the universe peels away into nothing. The film ends with the woman from all three parts married to Ben, whom she is married to in Part Two, and Noelle as their daughter. Noelle tells her mother that “he’s not coming back” and that “all the pieces have been put together” and that “this is the best of all possible worlds”, Melissa then looks up and says “thank you”, smiles and the credits roll.

Babel

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Steve Golin, Jon Kilik
  • Writers: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Nathan Gamble, Elle Fanning

The movie focuses on four interrelated sets of situations and characters, and many events are revealed out of sequence. The following plot summary has been simplified, and thus does not reflect the exact sequence of the events on screen.

In a remote desert location in southern Morocco, Abdullah, a goatherder, buys a high-powered .270 Winchester M70 rifle and a box of ammunition from his countryman Hassan Ibrahim to shoot the jackals that have been preying on his goats. Abdullah gives the rifle to his two young sons, Yussef and Ahmed (played by local non-professional actors Boubker Ait El Caid and Said Tarchini), and sends them out to tend the herd. Competing gently between themselves and doubtful of the rifle’s purported three-kilometer range, they decide to test it out, aiming first for rocks and then for a bus carrying Western tourists on the highway below. Yussef’s bullet hits the bus, critically wounding Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett), an American woman from San Diego[3][4] who is traveling with her husband Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) on vacation. The two boys realize what has happened and flee the scene, hiding the rifle in the hills that night.

Glimpses of television news programs reveal that the US government holds the shooting to be a terrorist act and is pressuring the Moroccan government to apprehend the culprits. Having traced the rifle back to Hassan, the Moroccan police descend quickly on his house and roughly question him and his wife until they reveal that the rifle was given to him by a Japanese man, and then sold to Abdullah. The two boys see the police on the road and confess to their father what they have done. (They believe at the time that the American woman has died of her wounds.) The three flee from their house, retrieving the rifle as they go. The police corner them on the rocky slope of a hill and open fire. After his brother is hit in the leg, Yussef returns fire, striking one police officer in the shoulder. The police continue shooting, eventually hitting Ahmed in the back, seemingly killing him. As his father rages with grief, Yussef eventually surrenders and confesses to all the crimes, begging clemency for his family and medical assistance for his brother. The police take him into custody. The family’s fate is unresolved.

At the end of the movie, a phone conversation between Amelia and Richard is repeated from Richard’s end of the phone. This is the original phone call at the beginning of Amelia’s story. In this conversation it can be heard that he is allowing Amelia to go to her son’s wedding because Susan’s sister will be able to watch the twins. It is not until the next morning on another phone call they learn that Susan’s sister cannot take care of them and thus Amelia is forced to take the children with her.