ASFF selects five films for release this week both digitally and in cinemas, each destined to zoom you around the globe. From the lush globe-trotting of Tenet to the flights-of-fancy in Away and The Lost Prince, these singular efforts tackle everything from estranged marriages to the on-rush of puberty to the very principles of time.
Hope Gap (Curzon Artificial Eye)
Oscar-nominated for his scripts for Gladiator and Shadowlands, William Nicholson makes only his second film as director in 23 years with this familial drama. Annette Bening and Bill Nighy play a long-term married couple set for a bitter divorce, with The Crown’s Josh O’Connor featuring as their son – and go-between – Jamie. Inspired by Nicholson’s own memories of his parents’ separation, which he first chronicled in the play The Retreat From Moscow, it’s a poignant and resonant piece.
One of the sadder things about cinemas shutting during lockdown is the lack of big-screen animation. So here’s a chance to catch Latvian director Gints Zilbalodis’ Away, a minimalist 3D tale of a young man trapped on a mysterious island. Immediately, The Red Turtle will spring to mind, with its similarly contemplative vibe, as this youngster tries to make his escape, pursued by strange and foreboding creatures. Remarkably, Zilbalodis wrote, directed, produced, edited, animated and scored the film.
Inception director Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated blockbuster finally arrives. A dazzling espionage tale, with a time-bending narrative, John David Washington stars as an agent on a world-saving mission. Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and a terrifying Kenneth Branagh also feature, but as ever, Nolan is the real star of the show, offering up a hugely ambitious narrative that will leave you pondering, puzzling and keen for a second (and third) viewing.
The prolific Xavier Dolan has turned 30 last December, and yet Matthias & Maxime is his eighth film. After the flop of his English-language tale The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, he returns to something more in his wheelhouse, with this tale of a group of peers in their late twenties and what happens in the aftermath of an unexpected and shared kiss. Co-starring as Maxime to Gabriel D’Almeida Freitas’ Matthias, Dolan creates a raw and rambunctious look at friendship.
The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius delivers a French fairytale coming-of-age story starring Omar Sy (Intouchables, Jurassic World) as a widowed father who retreats into a fantasy world, unable to deal with the notion of his young daughter (Sarah Gaye) growing up. Co-starring Hazanavicius’s own spouse, Bérénice Bejo, this glossy Gallic tale is a candy-coloured ride that even features a score from Howard Shore, the esteemed Hollywood composer behind Lord of the Rings.
All films released by 28 August.