A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. Director Yojiro Takita and writer Kundo Koyama examine the rituals surrounding death in Japan with this tale of an out-of-work cellist who accepts a job as a "Nokanashi" or "encoffineer" (the Japanese equivalent of an undertaker) in order to provide for himself and his young wife. Winner of an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, Departures is a 2008 Japanese drama film directed by Yōjirō Takita and starring Masahiro Motoki, Ryōko Hirosue, and Tsutomu Yamazaki. The film follows a young man who returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist and stumbles across work as a nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. He is subjected to prejudice from those around him, including from his wife, because of strong social taboos against people who deal with death.
Critic Reviews‘Fascinating, witty and heartfelt.’ Times UK ‘Moments of clarity and pragmatism are contradicted by flashes of inanity and dry, if well-delivered humour.’ Little White Lies ‘Departure's cynicism, ironically, is what makes the optimism of its last act so moving.’ London Evening Standard
AwardsAcademy Awards, USA 2009, winner of an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2009, Asia Pacific Screen Award winner of the Best Performance by an Actor Asian Film Awards 2009, winner of the Asian Film Award for Best Actor Hong Kong Film Awards 2010, winner of best asian film
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Desierto is a 2015 Mexican-French thriller film co-written and directed by Jonás Cuarón. The film stars Gael García Bernal (also executive producer) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It was shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations, and was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.
‘A thriller that happens to be wrapped in political packaging.’ Los Angeles Times
‘Compelling performances come from both Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan with Morgan being the real stand-out here.’ Behind the Lens
‘A powerful, timely exercise in stomach churning suspense.’ Spectrum Culture
Mexican Cinema Journalists 2017 Winner of the Silver Goddess for Best First Work (Ópera Prima)
Toronto International Film Festival 2015 Winner of the International Critics' Award (FIPRESCI) - Special Presentations awarded to Jonás Cuarón
Beast is a 2017 British psychological thriller film written and directed by Michael Pearce, starring Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, and Geraldine James.
The film had its world premiere in the Platform section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. The film has received a positive critical response."Beast plays like bleak poetry, unfurling its psychological thrills while guided by its captivating leads and mesmerizing, visceral visuals."
For The Canadian Press, David Friend called it "a twisty story about the monster that lies within all of us, and struggle to keep it contained.” Peter Howell of the Toronto Star said it was "a jagged but memorable feature... that slowly yields its truths."
‘The leads deliver affecting, nuanced performances, which gives heft to the psychological insights.’ Chicago Reader
‘Immaculately composed yet skittish, edgy and surprising, this impressive debut by writer-director Michael Pearce emanates a chill that will have you hugging your sides.’ Time Out
BAFTA Awards 2019 Winner of the BAFTA Film Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer - Michael Pearce and Lauren Dark
Winner of the British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Jessie Buckley
International Film Festival & Awards Macao 2017 Winner of Best Actress - Jessie Buckley
London Critics Circle Film Awards 2019 Winner of the ALFS Award for British/Irish Actress of the Year - Jessie Buckley and Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker of the Year
Daphne is a 2017 British drama film directed by Peter Mackie Burns and written by Nico Mensinga. The film stars Emily Beecham, Geraldine James, Nathaniel Martello-White, Osy Ikhile, Sinead Matthews and Stuart McQuarrie.
The film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on 29 January 2017 and garnered positive reviews. "Led by Emily Beecham's note-perfect performance, Daphne is a vivid portrait of a woman in flux - and an auspicious narrative debut for director Peter Mackie Burns"
‘The film finally adds up to more than the sum of its well-wrought parts, offering a quietly profound insight into this young woman's attempt to navigate a world that is both familiar and brutally alien.’ Sight and Sound
‘It's one of the best films about London living I can recently recall.’ Daily Telegraph (UK)
‘Mackie Burns handles the tale like a seasoned pro, and Beecham is terrifically watchable throughout.’ The Herald (Scotland)
Dinard British Film Festival 2017 Winner of Best Screenplay - Peter Mackie Burns (director) and The Bureau (production company)
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017 Winner of Best Performance in a British Feature Film Best Performance - Emily Beecham and Anne Reid
Torino Film Festival 2017 Winner of the Prize of the City of Torino for Best Actress - Emily Beecham
Critic Reviews‘For its exuberance and its difference, its fine performances and its devastating finale, Dogville is essential viewing.’ London Evening Standard ‘Bold stylistic decisions reinforce the themes of the narrative, while a strong story and convincing performances prove equal to the task of carrying such an extended running time.’ Empire Magazine ‘Thought provoking with its dense and intense themes, Dogville highlights the best and the worst in us all; the emotions it agitates are hard to shake.’ Urban Cinefile ‘These elements come together to form a movie that is clinically ironic but also unique, inspired, and quite sublime.’ Paste Magazine
AwardsCannes Film Festival 2003 Winner Palm Dog Bodil Awards 2004 Winner Best Film (Bedste danske film) Lars von Trier Cinema Brazil Grand Prize 2005 Winner - Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Foreign Film (Melhor Filme Estrangeiro) Danish Film Awards (Robert) 2004 Winner Robert Best Screenplay (Årets manuskript) Lars von Trier Best Costume Design (Årets kostumer) Manon Rasmussen
AwardsSeattle True Independent Film Festival, 2009. Winner of best feature. Strasbourg International Film Festival, 2019. Winner of best supporting actor.
Francois Ozon's humorous psychological drama The New Girlfriend stars Anais Demoustier as Claire, a young woman whose closest friend since childhood, Lea, passes away leaving behind a husband, David (Romain Duris) and a newborn baby. One day she drops by David's house unexpectedly, and finds him dressed in his dead wife's clothes and feeding their baby with a bottle. He explains that Lea was well aware of his predilection, and eventually, so relieved that he has someone to share his secret with, David and Claire create a female persona for him named Virginia.
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney expressed his compliments on The New Girlfriend: "a delectable riff on transformation, desire and sexuality that blends the heightened reality of melodrama with mischievous humor and an understated strain of Hitchcockian suspense." At Variety, Justin Chang said "even as he (Ozon) heads down any number of tantalizing if borderline-nonsensical alleyways, Ozon maintains his diabolical wit, his infectious sense of play and his essential affection for his characters" and the film was "powered by beautifully controlled performances from Anaïs Demoustier and Romain Duris"
'It's less than it should've been, and a little mild. But Ozon makes it glide with confidence, in or out of heels.' Chicago Tribune
'"The New Girlfriend" never pretends to be more than what it is, a delicious and frothy fantasia with a teasing erotic frisson.' New York Times
'In Ozon's confident hands, "The New Girlfriend" has moments that juxtapose gentle humor and surprising depth of feeling.' Washinton Post
'In The New Girlfriend, viewers are given a piece that walks the tightrope between drama and comedy, thriller and thinkpiece. This is a film that artfully ponders the process of grief while also finding rebirth from within.' CineVue
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2014 Winner of the Sebastiane Award for Best Film
Critic Reviews'A darkly cynical and uncompromising gem.' Film 4 'Best to savour The Grifters for its handsome design -- the picture looks as clean as a Hockney landscape -- and its juicy performances.' TIME Magazine 'A slick and stylish neo-noir crime drama featuring three exceptional performances.' BackSeat Mafia
AwardsBoston Society of Film Critics Awards Winner BSFC Award for Best Actress Edgar Allan Poe Awards Winner Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Film Independent Spirit Awards Winner of theIndependent Spirit Award for Best Feature and Best Female Lead London Critics Circle Film Awards Winner ALFS Award Newcomer of the Year National Board of Review, USA Winner NBR Award for Top Ten Films
My Feral Heart is a beautifully realised, understated character study bolstered by strong performances, distinctive cinematography and a deeply evocative score.
'There's a lot to like here, including the thoughtful portrait of disability, director Jane Gull's knack with performers of all ability, and the shimmering cinematography by Susanne Salavati' The Guardian
'Gull has a keen eye for nature, beautifully captured by cinematographer Susanne Salavati' Eye for Film
'Achingly poignant and beautifully acted' Observer (UK)
Woodstock Film Festival 2016 Winner of the James Lyons Award for Best Editing of a Feature Narrative
Cinequest San Jose Film Festival 2016 Winner of the Audience Award for best Feature Drama
Fargo Film Festival 2016 Winner of the Honourable Mention for best Narrative Feature