by Rob DiCristino
Note: I’m going to try to stick to stuff I haven’t already written about or that won’t make my official “honorable mentions” next week. Ok. Here we go.
1. Ready or Not (Dirs. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett)
2. The Perfection (Dir. Richard Shepard)
Blue Velvet or The Handmaiden. Standing out especially is Allison Williams, who — from Girls to Get Out — has shown a real on-screen swagger, a (dare I say) Kristen Stewart-esque naturalism that always makes me excited to see what she’ll do next. And it’s not just the hair thing, okay? I mean, the hair thing helps, but it’s not just that. Not JUST that.
3. Her Smell (Dir. Alex Ross Perry)
4. Apollo 11 (Dir. Todd Douglas Miller)
Apollo 13 (1995). If the techno-engineering drama (“CAPCOM?” “Go!” “FIDO?” Go!” “ECOM?” “We’re go, Flight!”) doesn’t juice you up, the existential wonder of seeing Earth from the far side of the moon will be a feeling you’ll never forget.
5. The Nightingale (Dir. Jennifer Kent)
Award Season podcast discussion a few weeks back, I mentioned to Patrick that Jennifer Kent’s (The Babadook) new film is the kind of thing I can appreciate on an emotional and technical level without being entirely able to call it a “favorite of the year.” The Nightingale is a deeply unpleasant film. It is not fun. It will ruin your week. But it is a necessary story, and Jennifer Kent tells it with careful intelligence and brutal empathy. The 19th century drama features Aisling Franciosi as Claire, an Irish prisoner working off her debt to the British government on the Tasmanian frontier. Horrible, reprehensibly evil things happen to Claire, which, in turn, drive her to commit atrocities of her own. Along with Franciosi, Baykali Ganambarr gives a tremendous performance as Billy, the Aboriginal tracker who aids Claire on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Gut-wrenching though it may be, The Nightingale is an important story that deserves our attention.