If you’re fond of elevated melodrama, then pencil this one in. By turns brutal and tender, the plot is a bullet train that refuses to derail. Suiting up for the demi-monde is Ali: single father, petty thief, back-alley boxer and soon the burly half of a star-crossed romance. From the other side of the tracks hails Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a trainer at a SeaWorld-style aquarium until a whale goes killer, reshaping her anatomy and her psyche in one chomp. Their ensuing relationship and complications demand, like all melodrama, a major suspension of disbelief. So bring along a crane, but know that both the cast and director Jacques Audiard do some impressive hefting themselves. The principals deliver a matched set of raw performances while the direction, like the script, moves shamelessly from stark to lyrical and back again. That’s quite the agenda – no one could possibly accuse this picture of idleness.
Sept. 29, 6:30 pm Granville 7; Oct. 6, 3:15 pm Granville 7