Ten titles that may have escaped notice among the blockbusters, but are worth checking out.
Enough talking, the year is nearly over. Have a look at these films and buckle down on the sofa before you need to go back to work reality.
Here we go:
A Ghost Story:
A unique and touching exploration of time, memory, and attachment. It is the story of a haunted house, but told through the eyes of the ghost himself. The weirdly literal figure in a sheet, which could easily have been laughable, is instead poignant.
A mystery set on a remote Wyoming native reserve. A tracker assisting the local police seeks to vindicate himself by finding the murderer of a young native woman, in this grim story of injustice, desperation, and resilience.
The Big Sick:
Director Michael Showalter’s follow-up to Hello, My Name Is Doris, and in the same engaging style. A simple but charming romantic comedy about a cross-culture couple, whose challenging relationship, with each other and their respective families, comes to a head when the young woman becomes ill and is placed in a coma.
It Comes At Night:
What begins as the standard horror film about an apocalyptic virus, gradually turns into a character study of the effects of danger and mistrust on human society, in this case represented by a small group of people taking refuge together in a remote cabin in the woods.
A portrait of Vincent Van Gogh done as a literal portrait. Thousands of paintings in the style of Van Gogh were used to construct this strikingly beautiful animated film about the artist’s last days. Nominated for countless critics’ and film festival awards; worth seeing for the visual effects alone.
Rebel In The Rye:
A mini-biography of the late J D Salinger, covering the period from a year or two before the publication of A Catcher In The Rye, through his eventual withdrawal from writing. A little dull for all but the most devoted Salinger fan, but an interesting study of the unforeseen effects of overnight success.
I Am Not Your Negro:
“The story of the Negro in America is the story of America, and it is not a pretty story.” A well made and thoughtful documentary about racial issue in America, centred on longtime activist James Baldwin, and based on Baldwin’s writings.
The King’s Choice:
An account of a painful event during WWII, in which the king of Norway is presented with a painful ultimatum by Hitler: surrender voluntarily, or have his people bear the punishment for his opposition. The plot is tightly woven and often suspenseful, the characters well developed, and the lesser-known historic incidents fascinating.
This modest biography, of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis, was an enormous hit at film festivals everywhere. Sally Hawkins is wonderful as the endlessly determined and optimistic painter, who struggled against poverty, hardship, and physical disability, but retained her devotion to her art.
The Glass Castle:
Based on the memoir by Jeannette Walls, the film deals with the complicated relationship between the Walls children and their wildly eccentric, loving but often neglectful parents. An excellent ensemble cast manage the delicate subject matter commendably.