Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, and Albert Delpy
Synopsis: A hapless man finds purpose in his deerskin jacket and chooses to wage war against the other jackets of the world.
Why You Should See It: Isn’t it nice when films self-select their own audience? For some moviegoers, any new feature from the creator of “Rubber” would immediately be one of the most-anticipated movies of the year. For the rest of us, the surreal, quixotic storyline is the kind of disappearing cult cinematic thread we cannot help but pull. Our Bradley Warren called the film a “hilarious and twisted festival amuse-bouche with tremendous cult appeal.” And we did we mention it’s only 77 minutes?
Our Review: B+ (Cannes Film Fesival)
Release Information: “Deerskin” will receive a theatrical release sometime in 2020.
Director: Gabriel Mascaro
Cast: Dira Paes, Julio Machado, and Antonio Pastich |
Synopsis: In the near future, a woman uses her government position to push struggling marriages towards the overly sexual religious gatherings at Divine Love.
Why You Should See It: The clash of religious beliefs and public policy will probably never go away entirely, so why not exorcise some of our demons through film? Like most religious organizations, the message of Divine Love resonates strongest with the most uncertain. That provides Mascaros’ film with plenty of opportunities to explore doubt and the performative actions we accept to keep that doubt at bay. As noted by our Kevin Jagernauth, the result is a “imaginative and sometimes dryly funny” film.
Our Review: B+ (Sundance Film Festival)
Release Information: TBD.
Director: Pablo Larraín
Cast: Mariana Di Girolamo, Gael García Bernal, and Cristián Suárez
Synopsis: When a seven-year-old boy shows signs of disturbing violence, his parents – one a Reggaeton dancer, the other an artistic director – work tirelessly to reclaim him from child services.
Why You Should See It: As perhaps the most important filmmaker and producer in Chilean history, it’s probably not fair to say that Larraín has not been working since 2016’s “Jackie.” After all, he did serve as a producer on four films in the past three years, including the Academy Award-winning “A Fantastic Woman.” Still, Larraín back behind the camera should be notable for film fans everywhere, especially those ready to engage in a pure cinema barrage of sound and image. “‘Ema’ will grate some,” wrote our own Robert Daniel of the film. “Even so, it’s one of the most ambitious and visually stunning films of the year.”
Our Review: A- (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release Information: “Ema” will receive a theatrical release sometime in summer 2020.
“Fire Will Come”
Directors: Oliver Laxe
Cast: Benedicta Sánchez, Amador Arias, and Luis Manuel Guerrero Sánchez
Synopsis: A convinced arsonist returns to his family farm. There he struggles with his mother’s emotional distance and the creeping brutality of nature.
Why You Should See It: If you make a black comedy that combines hapless criminals with small town absurdity, you’d better be sure you know where the Coen Brothers filmography ends and your film begins. Thankfully, Krudy and Savage Cole power their feature with what our own Ally Johnson could only call a “feminist fury.” Just when you think you have “Blow the Man Down” figured out, Johnson wrote, the film “twists and turns to say things about unturning a blind eye, small-town dynamics, family, and something warmer about the legacy of wise women who have seen much more than you know.” Krudy and Savage Cole’s script will compete for a Best First Feature award at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards.
Our Review: B+ (New York Film Festival)
Release Information: “Blow the Man Down” will premiere on Amazon Prime sometime in 2020.
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Cast: John Magaro, Orion Lee, Rene Auberjonois
Synopsis: A loner cook and a Chinese immigrant collaborate on a business, although its longevity is reliant upon stealing the milk from wealthy landowner’s prized cow.
Why You Should See It: Everything filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (“Certain Women,” “Wendy and Lucy”) makes is worth watching. Her latest, “First Cow,” might be, on the surface, her quietest, most tranquil and tiniest movie, in a career dedicated to minimalist, miniature cinema and the tiny moments in life. But in her exploration of the forgotten corners of America, Reichardt always excavates humanist riches. Her latest, is a soulful, serene, simple, but moving tale about unlikely friendship, universal desires, and human connection. It’s an absolutely lovely film that you should track down later this year..
Our Review: B (Telluride Film Festival)
Release Information: A24 releases the film March 6, 2020 (limited). – RP