“I Was Home, But…”
Director: Angela Schanelec
Cast: Thorbjörn Björnsson, Esther Buss, and Martin Clausen
Synopsis: When a woman’s child disappears and reappears, she is forced to finally confront the uncertainty of her life’s choices – including her choice to become a mother.
Why You Should See It: Weaving together disparate narrative threads, modes of performance, and painterly images, “I Was Home, But…” will appeal to those more interested in cinema’s ability to break from convention than conform to it. Our Joe Blessing praised Schanelec’s latest film for its “highly unique, emotionally oblique, and gently radical style” while noting that it is best consumed by those with an appetite for formalistic experimentation.
Our Review: A- (New York Film Festival)
Release Information: “I Was Home, But…” will receive a theatrical release on February 14, 2020.
Director: Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
Cast: Riley Keough, Richard Armitage, and Alicia Silverstone
Synopsis: After escaping certain death at the hands of a religious cult, a young woman immerses herself in building a relationship with her soon-to-be stepchildren.
Why You Should See It: Every self-respecting horror fan has had “The Lodge” circled on their release calendar since the film’s trailer debuted last May. Building on the, ah, celebrated discomfort of Fiala and Franz’s disturbing “Goodnight Mommy,” “The Lodge” seems poised to take the title of Most A24-y Horror Film of 2020. Our Jordan Ruimy described the film as “freakish, psychologically traumatizing and formally audacious,” enough to earn a winning combination on anyone’s arthouse horror bingo board.
Our Review: A- (Sundance Film Festival)
Release Information: “The Lodge” will receive a theatrical release on February 7, 2020.
Director: Pietro Marcello
Cast: Luca Marinelli, Jessica Cressy, and Vincenzo Nemolato
Synopsis: A poor sailor dreams of crossing over into the artistic and educational pursuits of his country’s ruling class.
Why You Should See It: In continuing his journey from documentarian to narrative filmmaker, Marcello has translated the titular Jack London novel to the Italian countryside. The film presents the pursuit of education – indeed, of self-betterment – as a predetermination of class; with no upward mobility, one can only hit your head against a societal wall for so long before madness sets in. The result is a film that our Luke Hicks called “expressive, dynamic, and experimental.”
Our Review: A (New York Film Festival)
Release Information: “Martin Eden” will receive a theatrical release on April 17, 2020.
Director: Julie Delpy
Cast: Julie Delpy, Daniel Brühl, Gemma Arterton, Richard Armitage, Sophia Ally
Synopsis: A divorced mother looks to protect her daughter after an unexpected tragedy.
Why You Should See It: Writer/director/star Julie Delpy makes charming movies nearly as endearing as she is in person. They are garrulous, funny, witty comedies perhaps a little Woody Allen inspired neurosis with a French feminist bent. But for her seventh feature, Delpy over turns everything you think you might know about her voice and sensibilities. Taking a page out of Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski’s playbook, Delpy plays with the idea of fate, not accepting loss, and the incredible existential fear that comes with parenthood and complicates life. “There are moments in ‘My Zoe’ that are hard to watch, unthinkable in their emotional brutality,” our TIFF review wrote. “That Delpy finds her way to the ending she does—and earns it is—no small accomplishment.” We’re so in.
Our Review: B (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release Information: TBD 2020 – RP
— The Playlist ???? (@ThePlaylist) September 8, 2019
Director: Katrin Gebbe
Cast: Nina Hoss, Yana Marinova, and Murathan Muslu
Synopsis: When a professional horse trainer grants her daughter’s wish for a younger sister, she discovers too late that her latest ward has a darkness in her that may doom them all to violence.
Why You Should See It: Comparisons to Jennifer Kent‘s “The Babadook” abound for this German feature, which posits difficult questions about parenthood against a backdrop of supernatural dread. In his review, our own Steven Allison notes that the film seems destined to resonate with fans of arthouse horror, noting that Gebbe’s feature relies “heavily on symbolism, [its] metaphorical imperatives equally engrossing and arguable until the end credits roll.” If you are just now recovering from Noah Wiseman‘s unearthly shrieks in the former, you might be in a position to take on another grim (Grimm?) thriller.
Our Review: A- (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release Information: No release information is available at this time.