They have become the exception – cinema films that get under your skin. Especially since the last twelve months have been almost universally banned from going to the movies. Conversely, anything else is a lie, the majority of classic Hollywood has been on the ropes like a counted-out boxer for quite some time. Nevertheless, great new films are still being made for the big screen. Here are 3 must-see feature films.
This best-of list presents three recent feature films that have it all. They are gems that prove how powerful, grand and impactful cinema can be. “The Rush,” “Nomadland” and “The Father” are cinematic experiences that show what smart cinema is and can be, and why the swan song of faith in the big screen is unwarranted.
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zz. “The Rush” (original title “Druk”, in English cinemas under the name “Another Round”) is a film like a trap. For its makers, too. Actually, the first thought, you can only lose with a film about teachers who secretly get drunk before class. Especially since this feature film by director Thomas Winterberg is not an adolescent slapstick, but meant seriously.
Still, this is the first of a whole bunch of big and small wonders in “The Rush”, this Danish feature film manages to confidently get past all the trapdoors and landmines it puts in its own way. More importantly, this motion picture is touching, thought-provoking, and combines cleverness with entertainment. Lead actor Mads Mikkelsen (who became known worldwide with the 007 spectacle “Casino Royal” in 2006) plays with a force that seems to have infected everyone involved. This is all the more remarkable because shortly after filming began, the director lost his daughter, who should have been in a role in the film, in a tragic car accident. Mikkelsen said in an interview that it was decided among the actors at the request of director Thomas Vinterberg to continue filming “because it was what helped him the most at the time”.
“The Rush” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this year – against the odds, but more than deserved. It’s one of the three must-see feature films in theaters this year.
cpo. Nomadland” has also been rewarded for its quality: the feature film, which was nominated in an unheard-of eight (!) categories, won no less than three Academy Awards (Oscars): best film, best director (Chloé Zhao), best leading actress (Frances McDormand).
The fact that this film could exist is primarily due to the protagonist. It was Frances McDormand, who had already won two Oscars, who acquired the film rights to the book “Nomadland” and had it adapted into a screenplay by director Chloé Zhao. Consequently, McDormand also co-produced “Nomadland” with herself in the lead role. She is adapting for the big screen the successful formula of strong women in the streaming business. There long ago Reese Witherspoon with the great series “Big Little Lies” (2017-2019) or Julia Roberts in “Homecoming” (2018) as initiators and leading actresses proved that there is also a large audience for material beyond bubblegum storytelling and superheroines.
With her terrific performance in “Nomadland” Frances McDormann has definitely become in Hollywood what Meryll Streep was until ten years ago: d-i-e acting icon of our days. In the film, her character bows just as authentically and respectfully as impressively to the realisation – also a sign of our times – that our world has long since ceased to be OK. but it’s still kind of okay that she’s not okay.
apr. Films about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are already quite a lot. Among the more impressive of these are “Still Alice – My Life Without Yesterday” (2015, with Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin) or “Honig im Kopf” (2014, with Dieter Hallervorden and Til Schweiger). These films, like many others, primarily show what memory loss means. The feature film “The Father” is different. He doesn’t show what dementia is. It’s what it’s like to have dementia. The film does this with a force that can’t be solely attributed to Anthony Hopkins.
Although “The Father” is director Florian Zeller’s first film work, or perhaps because of it, he seduces his viewers with his very own narrative-dramaturgical trick. Which one that is is not to be revealed here, because as a spoiler it would lessen the impact. If you want to deal with dementia in any way, near or far, if you’re not afraid of movies that resonate inside and get deep under your skin, you absolutely must see “The Father” with Anthony Hopkins in theaters on the big screen.
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