|The English Patient
|GEGEN DIE WAND
|Dune Part One
|Sanjay Leela Bhansali
|HABLE CON ELLA
|La grande bellezza
An exquisitely domestic, personal and keenly observed film that transcends its Punjabi specificity to become a lyrical meditation on family, culture, and home.
Propulsive, restless, deeply moving - and so very highly original.
The English Patient
One of the rare examples of a cinematic adaptation that parallels its literary origins and yet stands apart as its own distinctive expression of a heartbreaking story of transcending boundaries. The images are haunting, and the performances are unparalleled.
The middle portion of the full 'Before' trilogy feels like it captures the series' central questions about liminality and transition into adulthood both precisely - and most poetically. Paris filmed in such a natural golden hour flaneurism doesn't hurt.
GEGEN DIE WAND
As a film about immigrant identity, Akin's portrait of a pair of broken German Turks in Hamburg remains both an extremely kinetic, watchable and compelling film - and a rarely honest portrayal of how violent cultural clashes can be...and just how hypnotic.
Dune Part One
A big-screen IMAX spectacle in the age of Marvel that truly does wonders with the conventions and expectations of spectacle... filmed and scored to perfection, and with a pounding sense of seriousness and grandeur that remains one of the greatest experiences in the cinema I've ever had.
From Bollywood, a spectacle at the scale of an MGM epic that holds extraordinarily true to the narrative, aesthetic, and emotional opera of mainstream Indian cinema. With stunning sets and costumes, Bhansali achieved a film of such aesthetic ambition and musical achievement...that also centers women's voices.
A coming of age story that could have only existed in the remarkable opening of the past decade to new voices, and unheard stories - but also a work of precision filmmaking and remarkable heart.... so beautiful, romantic, lush, and soul-opening.
HABLE CON ELLA
A film that opens the very notion of love stories, of care, loyalty, and devotion to provocative and expansive heights. Written and composed as a symmetrical meditation on two relationships, that brings the body and desire into focus - and takes audiences where only such a distinctive imagination can reach. It remains one of Almodovar's most gorgeous films and so piercingly true about how we love.
La grande bellezza
While it may take its inspiration from La Dolce Vita, Sorrentino's breakthrough masterpiece is also a hyper visual, kinetic, lush meditation on the post-globalized world - set in a gilded 2010s Italy that is also empty at its core, and perhaps the best contemporary film about urban anonymity and artistic responsibility in the face of endless distraction.