Four lifelong friends convene over winter break for their last Christmas at home together.
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An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged.
During the run of a particularly awful interpretation of Richard III, the star, Anthony O’Malley, begins to frequent a rough pub to develop his character. He meets Barreller who he discovers owes someone he’s never met a considerable sum of money. Seeing an opportunity to make some fast money, O’Malley convinces hapless extra, Tom, to meet Barreller as the debt collector.
Roy Parmenter is an FBI agent in San Diego; 20 years ago his partner was killed by a Soviet spy, nicknamed Scuba, still at large. Scuba is now trying to extort the Soviets; to prove he’s serious, he’s killing their agents one by one, including “sleepers,” agents under deep cover awaiting orders. Roy interviews a high school lad, Jeff Grant, an applicant to the Air Force Academy. In a routine background check, Roy discovers that Jeff’s parents are sleepers. He must see if Jeff is also a spy, confront the parents yet protect them, and catch his nemesis. Meanwhile, the Soviets have sent their own spy-catcher, the loner Karpov, to reel in Scuba. Alliances shift; it’s cat and mouse.
70-year-old Mati is a passionate bibliophile whose job is his hobby – he´s got a job at the library. The rest of his little time he shares with his sweet wife. Then one sudden day death comes to his spouse. A whole life of stability crashes. Neither his adolescent daughter nor his dear books are of any help. Loneliness and indifference overrun his life and Mati plots his suicide. A strange 60-year- old wayfarer, Sass, who travels with a backpack of books and frequents public libraries to read the newspapers, brings forth a change. Bit by bit he starts to provide Mati with an interest in life again. “A Friend of Mine” is a warm expression of solitude and friendship, which helps us to overcome the bleakest periods of life.
Sascha lives in a village on the Kola Peninsular in northern Russia and dedicatedly manages what is left of an old collective farm. He gets on well with his farm workers who respect him and also tolerate his more or less clandestine love-affair with Anya, a secretary at the local government office. But then Sascha is suddenly faced with a dilemma: the district’s self-seeking administrators, none of whom could be termed squeamish, offer him a lucrative deal for the farm. In legal terms, Sascha doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on since his lease on the farm was only agreed with a handshake. The pressure mounts, and even more so when his employees convince him to stand firm. Against the backdrop of a landscape exposed to the elements, this unflinching man’s destiny takes its course.
After several years of living with a cult, Martha finally escapes and calls her estranged sister, Lucy, for help. Martha finds herself at the quiet Connecticut home Lucy shares with her new husband, Ted, but the memories of what she experienced in the cult make peace hard to find. As flashbacks continue to torment her, Martha fails to shake a terrible sense of dread, especially in regard to the cult’s manipulative leader.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive-a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.