This London-set drama is both interesting and moving. Two people – the former boyfriend and mother of a guy who died at a tragically early age – overcome linguistic obstacles to reconnect after his death. It’s a beautifully portrayed narrative of grief and acceptance, with sensitive performances from Ben Whishaw and Cheng Pei-pei.
Claire Denis’ bizarre sci-fi High Life follows the lives of condemned criminals who are thrown adrift in space on a tragic quest to harness the power of black holes. Robert Pattinson delivers one of his best performances as the lost soul tasked with caring for a little child on board the ship. Juliette Binoche also shines as the obsessive Dr. Dibs, who tries to create new life through artificial insemination. The film’s non-linear plot just adds to its perplexing vibe, and there are visuals and sequences that will stick with you for a long time.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
This magnificent film has emerged as one of the year’s most intriguing romances, with director Céline Sciamma crafting something genuinely unique. Noemie Merlant and Adele Haenal both provide outstanding performances as a young painter (Merlant) and her rambunctious subject, who have a passionate connection. David Sexton, a critic for The Standard, described it as “absolutely beautiful from start to end, an exquisite joy.”
When it was released in March of 2020, this 2020 treasure quickly became one of the most renowned foreign-language films of the year. The modern western follows the narrative of Brazilian villagers who are assaulted by gun-wielding tourists, and it was described as “agonizingly tense” and “laugh out loud humorous” in the Standard’s five-star review by Charlotte O’Sullivan. “The movie is in the same class as Parasite,” she continued. ‘Once you break the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more fantastic films,’ says Bong Joon Ho.
The Staggering Girl
This stunning short film from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is one of the fascinating short films available on the site, following a New York-based writer on her quest to recover her mother from Italy. Julianne Moore, Mia Goth, KiKi Layne, and Kyle MacLachlan are among the stellar cast members.
In this historical drama, two young Russian ladies strive to reconstruct their lives following the WWII siege of Leningrad. Amid the midst of collapsing structures and trash, the couple seeks calm, tranquility, and optimism in trying circumstances. Kantemir Balagov, a Russin director, earned the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film in the Un Certain Regard division at Cannes in 2019 for the film.
Take Me Somewhere Nice
This coming-of-age road movie is one of the most recent additions to the service, having been launched in the United Kingdom in May. An adolescent journeys across Europe, from the Netherlands to Bosnia, for the first and only time to visit her father. With eccentricity and deadpan sensibility to spare, Ena Sendijarevi conveys both the enthusiasm and disenchantment of youth.
Céline Sciamma’s directorial debut is a coming-of-age drama set in an otherwise uninteresting French neighborhood, following the narrative of three friends and their first sexual encounters. Adèle Haenel offers an outstanding performance as Floriane, one of three females on the synchronized swimming team whose lives intersect in unexpected ways around the pool. It’s aesthetically daring, delicate, and emotional — the beginnings of a genius that would go on to create Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch’s most recent picture, was a flop, but the film that came before it is far more deserving of praise. In this surreal film, Adam Driver plays the eponymous character (a bus driver and poet named Paterson who resides in the town of Paterson) who travels silently throughout his bus route, visiting New Jersey taverns and spending time with his supporting wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). The film’s muttering tone isn’t for everyone, yet there is a delight to be discovered within it.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Banksy’s film recounts the life of French street artist Thierry Guetta. The Oscar-nominated faux-documentary delves into the clandestine world of street art, tracing its meteoric ascent in popularity in Los Angeles and throughout the world. It’s a touch sloppy with facts and form at times, but it’s still an interesting watch.
Tomboy is another film by French director Céline Sciamma that depicts the narrative of a non-gender-conforming youngster who struggles to find their place after relocating to Paris with their family. It’s a heartfelt coming-of-age narrative that feels more relevant than ever in 2020.
The subject of filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s underestimated thriller is a troop of environmental warriors commanded by Jesse Eisenberg. The film deals with the consequences of a crime committed in the name of mitigating climate change, with the net tightening around them. The picture remained unnoticed during its first release in 2013, grossing less than $1 million (£788,000) globally, yet it’s considerably better than its box office result implies.
Joanna Hogg’s gorgeous, delicate, and moving drama centers on a film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) who falls into a difficult relationship with an addict (Tom Burke), putting her life and other relationships under growing strain. The Standard’s writer David Sexton praised it as “by far [Hogg’s] strongest work yet, as well as her most personally personal: wonderfully cast and almost flawlessly constructed.”
Elizabeth Sankey’s film, an example of one of the outstanding documentaries on MUBI, casts a focus on a genre that is typically underestimated and dismissed by reviewers. Films such as When Harry Met Sally…, The Holiday, and alternatives such as The Big Sick are examined, and Sankley never shies away from pointing out flaws in some of the most successful films ever created.