Things to Do

5 Must-See Movies at AFI’s European Union Film Showcase

The festival runs from December 1 to 20 at AFI Silver Theatre.

A floating corpse in a water well befuddles Benicio Del Toro and company in the dark, post-war dramedy A Perfect Day . Photo courtesy of AFI Silver.

A Perfect Day

Fernando León de Aranoa’s A Perfect Day—based on the Paula Farias novel Dejarse llovergives a darkly comedic look at the end of a Balkan war zone in 1995, following four aid workers (Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, and Mélanie Thierry) who are tasked with removing a dead body from a water well.

December 1, 7:15 PM, $20, AFI Silver Theatre (also includes a Q&A with de Aranoa and a post-screening reception).

December 5, 3:05 PM, $14, AFI Silver Theatre.

The Lady In The Van

The Lady In The Van is the third collaboration between two British drama pioneers: former National Theatre Art Director Nicholas Hytner and playwright Alan Bennett. The star of their cheeky drama, a semi-autobiographical work of Bennett’s, is the irreplaceable Maggie Smith as the erratic, elderly Mary Shepherd, a London vagrant living out of her van who refuses to give up her prime parking spot in Bennett’s driveway.

December 6, 1 PM, $14, AFI Silver Theatre.


Ensemble casts don’t come more robust than the one Italian director Paolo Sorrentino has assembled for Youth, a funny, but sad film about three aging artists—Michael Caine as a retired composer, Harvey Keitel as a filmmaker, and Jane Fonda as an actress—at an alpine spa hotel in Switzerland. Rounding out the group is Rachel Weisz as Caine’s daughter and assistant, and Paul Dano as a young actor researching a role.

December 3, 7 PM, $14, AFI Silver Theatre.


Jacques Audiard’s thrilling film about three Sri Lankan refugees, who pose as a family to move safely to France from their violence-battered homeland, won 2015’s Palme d’Or at Cannes. More importantly, though, this wartime tale gives artistic context to the ongoing Syrian refuge crisis, making Dheepan one of the more timely movies at the festival.

December 5, 5:15 PM, AFI Silver Theatre.

December 8, 7:20 PM, $14, AFI Silver Theatre.

The Treasure/Le Trésor

The Treasure, a Romanian film with English subtitles, is one of the more unlikely buddy pictures in recent memory. Directed with a droll eye by Corneliu Porumboiu, the movie tells the story of Adrian and Costi, who become partners in a hunt for a mysterious fortune spoken about by Adrian’s late grandfather.

December 19, 7:30 PM, $14, AFI Silver Theatre.

AFI’s European Union Film Showcase takes place at AFI Silver Theatre from December 1 to December 20. A full list of movies and showtimes can be found here.