With cinemas re-opening, the release schedules are beginning to bulge with some hugely impressive late-summer titles. ASFF recommends five films, both in theatres and on streaming, to look forward to over the next five weeks.
A sensation when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, with Apple TV+ paying $25 million for the rights, CODA stars British actress Emilia Jones as a teenager whose entire family are deaf. She’s the only one who can hear, and they rely on her to help them in their Maine fishing business, which inevitably causes strife. Co-starring Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur as the parents, this is a genuine feelgood work from writer-director Sian Heder (Tallulah).
Like Rose Glass’s Saint Maud last year, Censor has already become one of the year’s most feted horror films. First-time director Prano Bailey-Bond has crafted a cunning story set, initially, in the world of video nasties and film classification, circa 1985. Starring The Virtues’ Niamh Algar as a censor who seeks out her missing sister after viewing an eerie horror at work, it’s a film that ripples with atmosphere as reality and nightmare collide.
A contemporary Egyptian tale of two sisters living in a conservative family, Ayten Amin’s Souad spearheads the British Film Institute’s new season ‘The Time Is New: Selections From Contemporary Arab Cinema’. Previously, it was selected for Cannes 2020 – making Amin the first Egyptian female director to be bestowed with this honour. Drawing impressive performances from Bassant Ahmed, who plays Souad, and Basmala Elghaiesh, cast as her younger sibling Rabab, it’s an eye-opening exploration of the female experience in the Middle East.
After opening this year’s Cannes, Leos Carax’s musical comes to the UK. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard play a couple – he’s a comedian, she’s an opera singer – falling apart in the public eye. The songs, which are glorious, are by Ron and Russell Maels, better known as the duo Sparks, while Carax (Holy Motors) assembles it all in his own inimitable off-the-wall style. A very bizarre odyssey that stumbles and soars in equal measure.
Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady) directs this powerful Irish-set tale of a single mother (Claire Dunne, who co-wrote) who escapes her abusive husband and, thanks to the kindness of strangers, resolves to build her own home on a plot of land. Harriet Walter and Game of Thrones star Conleth Hill feature in a film about finding refuge and a room of one’s own.
Words: James Mottram