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10. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

Director:  Mouly Surya
Country: Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Thailand | Language: Indonesian
Cast: Egy Fedly, Dea Panendra, Yoga Pratama.

There’s no exact way to categorize Mouly Surya’s “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts.” It’s neither just a western or just a rape-revenge drama. To put it only mildly, I’d call it a cross between the aesthetically pleasing feminist troops of Ana Lily Amirpour‘s “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” & the calmness, subtlety & deadpan humor seen in Jim Jarmusch’s psychedelic-western “Dead Man.” Set in the deserted, picturesque hills of Indonesia, this badass tale of seeking justice is slyly brimmed in a heating pan until it boils up to unmatchable fury.

Also, Read – Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts [2017]: ‘TIFF’ Review.

9. Wonderstruck

Director: Todd Haynes
Country: USA | Language: English
Cast: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Millicent Simmonds.

Ben and Rose are children from two different eras who secretly wish that their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he’s never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue and Rose reads an enticing headline, they both set out on epic quests to find what they’re missing.

8. Ana, Mon Amour

Director: Cãlin Peter Netzer
Country: Romania, Germany, France | Language: Romanian
Cast: Mircea Postelnicu, Diana Cavallioti, Adrian Titieni, Vasile Muraru.

The contemporary relationships that I happen to see around me are mostly built on broken strands. Someone or the other needs to be fixed, and the significant other makes it a mission to do the fixing. While this co-dependence often forms the heart of the relationship – becoming a boon to the ever-growing tenderness towards one another, it, in turn, becomes a curse too.  Calin Peter Netzer’s “Ana, mon amour” explores love, addiction & co-dependency and how each one of them takes a turn in becoming a boon & a curse. Expertly crafted, well-acted, complex & poignant, the film only staples Netzer as one of the best directors working today. It makes love feel like a penance. The film, on the other hand, justifies what makes it one.

Also, Read – Ana, Mon Amour [2017]: ‘TIFF’ Review.

7. The Other Side Of Hope

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Country: Finland, Germany | Language: Finnish, English, Arabic, Swedish
Cast: Ville Virtanen, Sherwan Haji, Dome Karukoski, Kati Outinen.

The master of economic storytelling Aki Kaurismak’s idiosyncratic handling of the formal space and deliberately dismal production design remain his trademark touches. This may be a world far removed from the grim reality, but this is an enriching minimal construction of an atmosphere balanced with everyday kindness and casual cruelty. With The Other Side of Hope, he once again delivers a bittersweet, timeless fable on the unyielding marginalized souls. Although a tad lighter than his previous best works, the Finnish auteur continues to gracefully mix his trademark deadpan humor with an unsentimental display of humanism.

Also, Read – The Other Side Of Hope [2017]: Review.

6. A Fantastic Woman.

Director: Sebastin Lelio
Country: Chile | Language: Spanish
Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Kuppenheim.

After her middle-aged boyfriend passes away, Maria, a young transgender woman, is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando’s family don’t trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. For most of Orlando’s family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.

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