It Comes (Tetsuya Nakashima)
Junichi Okada, Nana Komatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki
It Comes devices a long list of plot twist mechanisms—including anagnorisis, analepsis, peripeteia, red herring, non-linear narrative, false antagonist, to name a few—simultaneously and enticingly in one grand, long-winded horror that demands full attention. Read It Comes review here.
Dark Waters (Todd Haynes)
Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Bill Camp
The true events are heartbreaking and alarming; and, Haynes captures those senses perfectly, presenting us with a riveting dramatization. The docudrama focuses on opening audiences’ eyes about the crime that capitalist moguls are willing to do to get themselves richer. In delivering the message, this whistleblowing story is undeniably tough to watch. Every truth unraveled is unstomachable and every irony is unbearable. Read Dark Waters review here.
Fighting with My Family (Stephen Merchant)
Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Heady
Led by stellar casts cheering for Florence Pugh, the biopic of a recent history-making WWE diva, Paige, is uplifting from start to end. Exploiting all the genre familiarity with spectacles and delightful performances by Pugh and the supporting casts, it feels like a Money in the Bank match that went well. Read Fighting with My Family review here.
Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)
Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern
Baumbach models this dysfunctional marriage drama after his long and painful divorce process. Even the writer-director roots on-screen conflicts in irreconcilable differences, which were cited as the reason for the real-life divorce. The bias is observable; but, so are the sense of atonement and self-reflection. And that only makes the whole conflict more intriguing, especially when Driver and Johansson’s rawest emotions emanate. Read Marriage Story review here.