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Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - KAREN MARTIN

Nor­man, di­rected by Joseph Cedar (R, 1 hour, 58 min­utes) Nor­man Op­pen­heimer is a guy who claims to have more in­side in­for­ma­tion than you fig­ure he can, who only wants a minute of your time to pitch you on a deal that could work out for every­one. He’s a name drop­per who tends to ex­ag­ger­ate his im­por­tance. Maybe you’ve lis­tened po­litely to Nor­man, maybe you’ve brushed him off.

He’s not a bad guy. It’s just that he pushes a lit­tle too hard.

We meet Nor­man do­ing what he does. He tries to trade on the slight­est con­nec­tion, he am­bushes cap­tains of in­dus­try in the streets, and he is, some­times kindly but al­ways firmly, re­buffed.

But then he catches low-level Is­raeli politi­cian Micha Eshel (Is­raeli ac­tor Lior Ashke­nazi) — the deputy of a deputy min­is­ter — at a vul­ner­a­ble time.

Three years later, that politi­cian is elected prime min­is­ter of Is­rael. Nor­man is in the crowd,

clap­ping and smil­ing be­at­if­i­cally. Maybe that vul­ner­a­bil­ity will pay off for him.

Nor­man is re­mark­able for the gen­tle and pre­cisely cal­i­brated per­for­mances of Richard Gere, who plays (once again) against his dash­ing type as the def­er­en­tial yet dig­ni­fied would-be deal maker, and Ashke­nazi, who as Eshel dis­plays gen­uine af­fec­tion and grat­i­tude for Nor­man.

Di­rec­tor Cedar has crafted a bright and mod­est movie about or­di­nary peo­ple run­ning up against their lim­i­ta­tions. That might sound like a weak re­sponse to the su­per­heroes on the loose this sum­mer, but if you’re look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle more grown up, a lit­tle less sweet, have I got a deal for you.

With Char­lotte Gains­bourg, Steve Buscemi, Michael Sheen.

Their Finest (R, 1 hour, 57 min­utes) This witty, me­an­der­ing, in­tel­li­gent comedic drama, set in Lon­don in 1940, con­cerns the hir­ing of Catrin Cole (Gemma Arter­ton) to write fe­male di­a­logue for morale-boost­ing pro­pa­ganda films pro­duced by the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment, which leads her to work on an epic fea­ture based on the Dunkirk res­cue star­ring former mati­nee idol Am­brose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). With Sam Claflin. Richard E. Grant, Jake Lacy;

di­rected by Lone Scher­fig.

The Fate of the Fu­ri­ous (PG-13, 2 hours, 16 min­utes) The ki­netic horse­power-fu­eled fran­chise re­turns for the eighth time, pre­dictable as ever, with the classy ad­di­tion of Char­l­ize Theron as a coolly com­pe­tent vil­lain named Ci­pher and a cameo by He­len Mir­ren. With Vin Diesel, Dwayne John­son, Michelle Ro­driguez, Tyrese Gib­son, Lu­dacris, Kurt Rus­sell, Ja­son Statham and Scott East­wood; di­rected by F. Gary Gray.

Vi­o­let (not rated, 1 hour, 25 min­utes) An am­bi­tious, quiet, and tautly fo­cused psy­cho­log­i­cal drama, set in a ru­ral area of Bel­gium. A vi­cious at­tack on a teenager at a mall forces the kid’s 15-year-old friend, Jesse (Cesar De Sut­ter), to try to come to grips with sense­less trauma. Could he have pre­vented the vi­o­lence? With Mira Helmer; di­rected by Bas Devos.

The Lost City of Z (PG13, 2 hours, 21 min­utes) A long-winded yet spir­ited and el­e­gant por­trayal of am­bi­tious Bri­tish 20th-cen­tury ex­plorer Percy Fawcett (a fine per­for­mance by Char­lie Hun­nam) who, while ex­plor­ing re­mote reaches of the lush Ama­zon jun­gle in Bo­livia, en­coun­ters signs of a pre­vi­ously undis­cov­ered civ­i­liza­tion and hears ru­mors of a city no white man has ever seen. Based on the non­fic­tion book by David Grann. With Tom Hol­land, Si­enna Miller, Robert Pat­tin­son; di­rected by James Gray.

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