‘Jules’ is a visitor from a different world


“Jules” is the film playing at the M.V. Film Center on Friday, Sept. 15. Directed by Oscar nominee Marc Turtletaub, this sci-fi comedy features a flying saucer that crashlands in the backyard of Milton, played by Oscar nominee Ben Kingsley. An elderly widower who lives alone in a small Western Pennsylvania town, he is visited by his daughter Denise (Zoe Winters) who comes to check up on him and helps him pay bills. When she discovers a can of beans in his bathroom cabinet, she suspects that he is developing dementia.

After he visits city council meetings multiple times and finds his requests for a new crosswalk and other town elements there ignored, he heads home.

When he arrives there, he is shocked by the flying saucer that’s crash-landed in his backyard, especially when he finds an alien (played by actor and stunt woman Jade Quon) there, mute, surreal white and vaguely human-looking in appearance. After he calls 911 several times about this alien, he finds his concern considered foolish and ignored.

Milton wraps the alien in a blanket and brings it inside his house. Learning that it likes apples, he buys plenty and offers slices. When Milton visits a food market and tells the check-out clerk about his discovery of a flying saucer and alien, the clerk, of course, thinks he’s “coo-coo.” Two fellow counsel neighbors show up at his house, first Sandy (Harriet Sansom Harris), then Joyce (Jane Curtin). When Sandy discovers the alien, she is shocked at first, then gets used to the idea and decides to name him Jules. Joyce arrives next, peeking in the window, and is a bit more outraged by the thought of an alien in Milton’s house. She warns Milton not to mention Jules to anyone.

When the National Security Center, discovering the strange energy waves of an unidentified flying object coming from somewhere in Western Pennsylvania, they begin to investigate. Once the agents arrive at Milton’s house, Milton, Sandy, and Joyce decide to hide Jules. Suspecting the worst when she hears about the alien, Denise takes her father to see a neurologist.

In the meantime, Joyce breaks out comically into song, warbling “Free Bird.” As well as drawing cats, Jules begins to repair the flying saucer.

The low-key humor of “Jules” keeps it from becoming silly or maudlin, especially when played by such accomplished actors.

Information and tickets for “Jules” are available at mvfilmsociety.com.