Atomic Blonde, Brigsby Bear, Menashe
Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (Monster) stars as the crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, Lorraine teams up with embedded station chief David Percival to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. Directed by David Leitch (John Wick) and written by Kurt Johnstad (300), Atomic Blonde is pegged as a “blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style”. Based on graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston & illustrator Sam Hart. James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski), Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds), Eddie Marsan (The Illusionist), Sofia Boutella (The Mummy), and Toby Jones (The Hunger Games) star alongside Theron.
The directorial debut from Dave McCary, Brigsby Bear is billed as “a work of awesome sincerity”. The film centres on a goofy children’s television show produced for an audience of one, James, whose obsession with the show borders on religiosity. But when his world is shattered by the announcement that his favorite series has been cancelled, James decides to take over the reins himself. Kyle Mooney (Zoolander 2), Mark Hamill (Star Wars: A New Hope), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Claire Danes (Homeland), and Ryan Simpkins (A Single Man) star in this “profoundly uplifting love letter to the redemptive power of creativity”.
Filmed entirely in secret within the New York Hasidic community in Brooklyn, Menashe follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to maintain custody of his son after his wife’s passing. Documentary filmmaker Joshua Z Weinstein shines a light on this notoriously private community, where the tradition-bound culture dictates a mother must be present in every household. Based largely on the life of its Hasidic star Menashe Lustig and dubbed as a “a warm, life-affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son”, Menashe is one of the only films to be performed in Yiddish in almost 70 years.
Set over the course of a single day in New York City, Person to Person charts the lives of a ragtag group of characters, each dealing with the mundane, the unexpected, and the larger questions permeating life. An investigative reporter struggles with her first day on the job; a rebellious teenager must confront her feminist ideals in the face of other desires; a young man seeks to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend; and an avid music lover traverses the city in search of a rare record. Shot entirely on 16mm, Person to Person is the second feature film from Dustin Guy Defa (Bad Fever). Stars Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Abbi Jacobson (Broad City), Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty), Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust), Tavi Gevinson (Enough Said), and newcomer Bene Coopersmith (L for Leisure). Read Film Daily’s review here.
Academy Award-winner Holly Hunter (The Piano, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) stars as Darcy, a grieving mother struggling to come to terms with the death of her son. Convinced there’s more behind his apparent suicide, Darcy embarks on an “emotional road trip of self-discovery” through the backroads of the Deep South to uncover the truth and settle old scores. Katherine Dieckmann (Motherhood) directs this poignant drama. Carrie Coon (Gone Girl), Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy), and Shane Jacobsen (American Crime) star alongside Hunter.
The tale of true love in a society that deems it as scandalous, and even a sign of insanity. Gabrielle, a young woman from a small village in the South of France, dreams of marrying her true love. But her parents, mortified by the thought, decide to marry her to José, a Spanish farm worker. Despite his unwavering commitment to her, Gabrielle vows never to love him back. Living like a prisoner, she soon finds a way to escape when she is sent to a spa in the Alps for treatment. There she meets a recovering war veteran, who rekindles the passion buried inside her. Based on the novel by Milena Agus, From the Land of the Moon was co-written and directed by Nicole Garcia (My American Uncle). Stars Marion Cotillard (Ismael’s Ghosts), Àlex Brendemühl (The German Doctor), and Louis Garrel (The Dreamers).