My Films of the Week #7: Toni Erdmann, The Disaster Artist and More

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week.

Toni Erdmann
(Maren Ade, 2016, Germany/Austria)

Comedy drama about a career woman and her eccentric, near-estranged father. Puts a real depth on escapist tropes and a familiar cinematic subgenre. Surprises with moments of genuine humanity. Stellar performances all around.

 

Lars and the Real Girl
(Craig Gillespie, 2007, Canada/USA)

Interesting modern take on the theme of loneliness and failure to connect with society. Despite its apparently gimmicky presences, it ultimately surprises for its taste and genuine sensibility.

 

The Disaster Artist
(James Franco, 2017, USA)

Inspired by the story of everyone’s favorite worst movie of all time. Beats other films of the kind but ultimately, James Franco may just be a little too reverent to push The Disaster Artist to interesting places.

 

The Penultimate
(Jonas Kærup Hjort, 2020, Denmark)

Absurdist, dark comedy with clear Kafkaesque influences exploring the human condition. Lots of style and enigmatic, cerebral substance, fuelled by tension and anxiety, at times recalling the expressionist movement of early cinema.

 

Old School
(Todd Phillips, 2020)

Granted, the bar is quite low, but this is certainly among the best of the Frat Pack comedies. That’s partly because it both embraces its stupidity and shows little concern for making its leading trio entirely likable.

 

Struggle for Life
(Antonin Peretjatko, 2016, France)

Intellectual comedy inspired by neo-colonialism. Ambitious but not as intelligent as it probably thinks it is. Nor is it that funny.

 

The Life Ahead
(Edoardo Ponti, 2020, United States/Italy)

Multi-cultural story of modern, human connection. Simple, yet timeless and effective. It’s wonderful to see Sophia Loren again and she is wonderful.

 

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya
(Teona Strugar Mitevska, 2019, North Macedonia)

 

Exciting feminist film, powerful in its subtlety. Takes noteworthy digs at the patriarchal society and retrograde mentalities that survive in the name of tradition.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

 

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