Film-Forward

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Book adaptation

Lion | Toronto 2016

Inspired by a real-life story, Lion is an intimate contemporary weepie with an epic sweep.

The Light Between Oceans

Behind the film’s sweeping vistas lies the spirit of a micromanager, an entity that does not trust us with our own emotions and wants to steer us firmly where it thinks they should lie.

A Tale of Love and Darkness

A lovely tribute to a great writer and his Jewish mother-muse.

Indignation

More powerful and impactful than its polish, deliberate pacing, and academic focus may suggest, Indignation is a haunting tragedy whose effects are not quickly shaken off.

Our Kind of Traitor

The performances by the likes of Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, and Naomie Harris are so graceful that it’s tempting to overlook some of the more bizarre plot turns.

Diary of a Chambermaid

Followed by a smitten camera, Léa Seydoux’s face combines a Mary Cassatt apple-cheeked purity with the sullen roughness of a young Kate Moss in the latest take on the French classic novel by Octave Mirbeau.

Elle | Cannes 2016

Though rife with sexual violence and graphic dialogue, the last film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival was also the most elegantly made in the competition: Paul Verhoeven’s blunt, button-pushing, stinging comedy.

Love & Friendship

Whit Stillman’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, a posthumously published novella about a devious widow who goes husband-hunting for both herself and her daughter. It has intrigue, musings on marriage, and a fascinating female lead.

High-Rise

Director Ben Wheatley adapts J.G. Ballard’s dystopian and predictive novel into a strikingly stylish film, heightening the tone of the book and its excesses.