Six of the best movies to see on the big screen this weekend

The best film of the week is an Oscar-nominated animation that's basically social realism for kids

My Life as a Courgette

My Life as a Courgette

 

MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE  ★★★★★
Directed by Claude Barras. Voices of Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud, Michel Vuillermoz, Raul Ribera, Estelle Hennard, Elliot Sanchez. 12A cert, limited release, 66 min
For much of its duration, Claude Barras’s lovely French animation – a nominee at this year’s Oscars – looks to be telling the saddest story ever told.  The film follows the story of a young, blue-haired boy who finds himself in  foster care amongst kids who are all damaged, but all have something to give. The film is a beautifully balanced, visual marvel. There is always something fascinating happening in the corner of every frame. DC  Review/Trailer

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST ★★★★★
Directed by Julie Dash. Starring Cora Lee Day, Barbara O, Alva Rogers, Trula Hoosier, Umar Abdurrahamn, Adisa Anderson, Kaycee Moore Club/12A, IFI Dublin, QFT Belfast, 108mins

Daughters of the Dust
Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash’s lavish, poetic 1991 film became the first movie directed by a black woman to get a wide theatrical release. Made for $800,000 (funded by PBS’s American Playhouse), after every studio had turned Dash down, this extraordinary film augurs contemporary voguish debates within feminism and Afrocentrism. Catch it while you can on the big screen. TB Review/Trailer 

THE RED TURTLE ★★★★
Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. PG cert, limited release, 81 min

Beautiful, tricky, wordless: Michaël Dudok de Wit's The Red Turtle

Rumours of Studio Ghibli’s death have been greatly exaggerated time and time again. The great Japanese animation house emerged from semi-retirement at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with this beautiful, tricky, wordless film from Dutchman Michaël Dudok de Wit. The film’s magic is of a less exuberant stripe than the work of Ghibli’s master Hayao Miyazaki. But the damp washes and elegant story are right up to Ghibli’s consistently high standard. The picture’s baffling swerves do nothing to deflate its final emotional payoff. A truly delightful film that does its parent company proud. Hugely recommended.. DC Review/Trailer

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE  ★★★★ 
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki. Starring Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen. Cert 12A, limited release, 98mins

Following on from 2011’s Le Havre, in which an elderly shoe-shine merchant harboured a young African migrant, the second instalment of a proposed port city trilogy follows the migrant trail to Helsinki. Or rather the director’s Helsinki, a city  defined by candy-coloured formica, old rock’n’rollers, and fish. For the director’s  many  fans, the dry dialogue, winning performances, musical interludes, and DOP Timo Salminens still tableaux will feel wonderfully familiar. But the urgent subject matter lends weight to a lovely-looking, slow-cooked confection. TB  Review/Trailer

COLOSSAL ★★★★
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo. Starring Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson. Cert 15A, limited release, 109mins

Anne Hathaway in Colossal

Colossal begins with a classic Kaiju stomp-about, as a giant monster dominates the skyline of Seoul. We cut across continents to Gloria (Hathaway), an unemployed writer struggling with alcoholism and a long-suffering boyfriend (Stevens) heads for the generic sleepy Midwestern town where she grew up. Once there, she’s reunited with her childhood best pal Oscar (Sudeikis). The plot twist that links monster and drunk is a doozy, but Colossal has even more surprises up its sleeve. Take note DCEU and Marvelverse. TB Review/Trailer

FRANTZ ★★★
Directed by François Ozon. Starring Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber. Cert 12A, limited release, 114mins

A Frenchman in the inter-war years visits the grave of a slain German soldier in Ozon’s tricky, clever remake of an obscure 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film. He becomes friends with the family. But what is he hiding? Such gameplaying is typical for the post-Hitchcockian Ozon, who, throughout Frantz teases with disingenuous epistolary voiceover and untrustworthy images. Even the title serves as a twisty political homonym: France is victorious, but at the cost of Frantz. Lovely b&w images. TB Review/Trailer

  • For reviews of all films currently on release, see our Film Reviews page
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