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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AwardsBroadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2015 Winner Critics' Choice MVP Award Jessica Chastain CINE Golden Eagle Film and Video Competition 2015 Winner Golden Eagle Narrative Content: Feature - Live Action A24 CinEuphoria Awards 2016 Winner CinEuphoria Top Ten of the Year - Audience Award IGN Summer Movie Awards 2014 Winner IGN Award Best Movie Supporting Actress Jessica Chastain
Critic Reviews‘At a time when pressured media budgets are conspiring, with the general preference for escapism over reality, to threaten war reporting's very existence, A Private War unflinchingly reminds us of its value.’ London Evening Standard ‘Transfixing, uncompromisingly visceral and tonally raw, Heineman's A Private War is a powerfully traumatic memoir.’ Flavourmag It's one of the year's best roles, performances, and it's contained in a film that undoubtedly matters. Now, more than ever.’ Creative Screenwriting
AwardsGolden Globes, USA 2019 Nominee Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture - Annie Lennox Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama - Rosamund Pike
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
Critic Reviews‘This tender, detail-filled movie lives for the moment.’ New York Times ‘Welsh has delivered a compelling snapshot of an era and captured a moment in life when friendship is at its most sustaining.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘The script, adapted by Welsh and Kieran Hurley from Hurley's play, is especially good on the preciousness and subjectivity of cultural experience.’ Times UK ‘Funny, as well as emotionally rewarding.’ London Evening Standard
AwardsBAFTA Awards, Scotland 2019 Winner of the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor - Film Lorn Macdonald British Independent Film Awards 2019 Winner of the British Independent Film Award for Best Cinematography - Benjamin Kracun and winner for Best Sound Film by the Sea International Film Festival 2019 Winner of the International Student Jury Award - International Student Jury for Brian Welsh (director) Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards 2019 Winner of the Behind the Camera Award - Torino Film Festival 2019 for Brian Welsh (director)
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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"Firefly Dreams" is a quietly confident and affecting first feature from Japan-based writer-director John Williams. Variety.
AwardsCinequest San Jose Film Festival, 2002. Winner of the audience favourite choice award for best dramatic feature. Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2001. Winner of the special mention prize for John Williams ‘for the human approach to a traditional Asian theme’ Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival, 2001. Winner of best feature.
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