5 to See: This Weekend

This weekend ASFF selects five new feature films that are being released in theatres. Amid stories of crime, cowboys and coming-of-age, some set out to play with notions of truth versus fiction, as biopics are given a cinematic twist, while others set to break down racial barriers.

The Rider (Altitude)


Written, produced and directed by Chloé Zhao, The Rider is just the second film by this Beijing-born filmmaker, who began her career in America. You’d think by its authenticity, Zhao had spent her life on horseback. Instead, she drew from the life of Brady Jandreau, a South Dakota rodeo rider who was bucked from his steed and fractured his skull. With Jandreau starring in a version of his own story, it’s a beautifully poetic ride.

Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.)

The publishing phenomenon has just become a film sensation. Kevin Kwan’s best-selling 2013 novel is brought to the screen by director Jon M. Chu, marking the first time a Hollywood studio has utilized a majority Asian-American cast since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club. A glitzy rom-com, Constance Wu plays Rachel, an economics professor who discovers that her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) comes from a super-wealthy Singapore family.

Lucky (Eureka Entertainment)

Harry Dean Stanton was one of America’s great character actors, starring in everything from Alien to Repo Men and Wild At Heart. So it’s fitting that Lucky, his final film, is being released in the UK just one day shy of the first anniversary of his death. Directed by actor John Carroll Lynch, it also offers Stanton his most substantial character since Wim Wenders’ masterpiece Paris, Texas, playing the titular loner living in a desert town.

King of Thieves (Studiocanal)

The 2015 Hatton Garden robbery – when a bunch of ageing crooks nicknamed the ‘Diamond Wheezers’ raided a safety deposit facility, getting away with untold millions – has gone down in British crime history. It’s already inspired two movies and a forthcoming TV show. Now comes the big-budget version, with Michael Caine as ringleader Brian Reader joined by Tom Courtenay, Ray Winstone and Paul Whitehouse and directed by The Theory of Everything’s James Marsh.

Reinventing Marvin (Peccadillo Pictures)

French director Anne Fontaine, who is best known for her fashion legend bio Coco Before Chanel, returns with this tale of adolescent coming-of-age. Inspired to some degree by Edouard Louis’ best-selling 2014 autobiography The End of Eddie, Marvin is seen in his teens (in rural France) and Paris (in his twenties) as he navigates the difficulties of coming out. Jules Porier and Finnegan Oldfield play him at the different stages, while Isabelle Huppert turns up in a surprising cameo – as herself!

All films released on 14 September.

James Mottram

1. Still from Reinventing Marvin.
2. Still from The Rider.
3. Still from Crazy Rich Asians.
4. Still from Lucky.
5. Still from King of Thieves.
6. Still from Reinventing Marvin.