This weekend we showcase five new films from around the globe that take us into the lives of others with experiences remotely different to most of us. From Russian ballerinas to Parisian authors to Mid-West skateboarders and cystic fibrosis sufferers, these films expand on such themes as dreams, love, adolescence and political freedom.
Jordan Peele’s first film since his Oscar-winning smash Get Out is another cleverly-constructed horror-tinged tale. Lupita Nyong’o plays Adelaide, a married mother-of-two haunted by an incident from her past where she saw her doppelgänger. With Peele toying with horror tropes – scary funfairs loom large – it’s a film bursting with ideas, even if it’s not quite as provocative as its predecessor. Winston Duke and Elisabeth Moss co-star, though it’s Nyong’o who must take all the plaudits.
Marking his third film as director, Ralph Fiennes takes on the story of Russian ballet virtuoso Rudolph Nureyev, tackling his early student years up until his famed defection in Paris in 1961. Playing Nureyev is Ukrainian-born dancer Oleg Ivenko, impressive in his first ever acting role. Opposite him, a Russian-speaking Fiennes co-stars as the egotistical Nureyev’s tutor Alexander Pushkin, while Adèle Exarchopoulos features as French socialite Clara Saint, who was instrumental in the dancer’s defection from Mother Russia.
This year’s answer to The Fault In Our Stars, Justin Baldoni’s teenage romantic drama stars Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse as two hospital-bound sufferers of cystic fibrosis who fall in love – not easy when those with CF are instructed to stay at a safe distance from each other for fear of passing on deadly bacteria. While this could easily have been an exploitative disease-of-the-week movie, the film delivers an unflinching portrayal of a very troubling illness.
Sneaking in just ahead of Jonah Hill’s skate-influenced directorial debut Mid90s is the real thing. Directed by Bing Liu, this doc chronicles the lives and friendships of three young men. Growing up in Rockford, Illinois, they’re bonded by their love of skateboarding as they dream of leaving behind their Rustbelt existence. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, Liu’s film also won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival.
French director Christophe Honoré (Les Chanson d’Amour) returns with a drama set in Paris in 1993 at the height of the AIDS crisis. Circling the story around Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps), a 39-year-old gay author whose health is in decline, the film follows his relationships, from his ex-lover Marco to the 22 year-old freewheeling Arthur. While it may not be as hard-hitting as Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute, Honoré’s film still proves to be an emotional experience.
All films released on 22 March.