OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Thank You, Ottawa!

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The ByTowne is now closed.

It's possible that, after the pandemic has been brought under control,
new management will take over the space and offer big-screen wonderfulness again.

The building is being maintained, with all its facilities and equipment intact,
in preparation for that hoped-for day.
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Arthur Christmas

A new Christmas classic!

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Poster for the Aardman animated comedy Arthur ChristmasThe north pole sure has changed since the days of the first Saint Nick. Twas a time, as 136-year-old Grandsanta (the great Nighy) might tell you, when the ho-ho-hoer of the moment made do with a reindeer-powered sleigh and a drunken elf at his side for all present-delivering duties. Now everything's invisible-spaceship-in-the-sky automated, Father Christmas No. 20 (Broadbent) is a mere figurehead, and Claus-on-deck Steve (Laurie) runs an army of elves like a Wall Street one-percenter. But there's still room for error: A British girl's gift gets lost in the shuffle, and while Steve is perfectly content to send it five-day mail, the black sheep of the Claus family – clumsy, well-meaning Arthur (McAvoy) – just can't stand the thought of one child left behind.

From this clever premise, director-cowriter Sarah Smith and the talented team of artisans at Britain's Aardman Animations have fashioned an entirely delightful 3-D CG fantasy.

Everything from the film's near – Looney Tunes velocity to the character design (an aged Rudolph with plastic protective collar and detachable red nose) is sheer perfection, and even those moments where a lesser movie would tip over into sugary spirit-of-the-season sentimentality – like the climactic coming together of the Clauses – feel entirely earned. 

– Keith Uhlich, Time Out
 

 

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