In January, Friday Night Flicks at the Belfast Free Library is highlighting recent movies that showcase contemporary actresses. Friday Night Flicks are presented free of charge in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St. Screenings begin at 7 p.m.

In “Far From Heaven,” showing Jan. 22, Todd Haynes pays tribute to the melodramas of the 1950s by both honoring and subverting their conventions. Julianne Moore, in an Oscar nominated performance, heads a superlative cast that includes Dennis Quaid, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis and Dennis Haysbert. The film is a perfectly created period piece that manages to address the taboos of not just its period, but also of the present.

Laura Linney gave her breakthrough performance in “You Can Count On Me,” being screened Jan. 29. In this wonderful character-driven drama, she plays a single mother living in a small town whose life is thrown into turmoil when her long absent brother, skillfully played by Mark Ruffalo, reappears. It is a subtle, compelling drama that is well written and brilliantly acted.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.