Hi from NYC! I am here for the last week of the New York Film Festival and my first day got off to a fun start. I just have a few minutes this morning so let me quickly share my thoughts on what I watched in day 1
First up was the press screening for Sarah Polley’s new film Women Talking. This film is based on a novel by Miriam Toews about a group of Mennonite women (or Mennonite-like) that meet together after a series of beatings to decide whether they are going to “stay and fight” or “leave the colony.” The cast is star-stacked with Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand and more.
It’s a pretty simple premise and it is well told. I was particularly invested in Foy and Buckley’s characters but the acting was strong throughout. I also thought it was well filmed and used music (particularly one classic pop song) in an interesting way.
That said there is something about the film that felt a little clinical and predictable, which kept me from getting emotionally invested in the story or its outcomes. I’d still recommend it but not a favorite of the year or anything like that.
7 out of 10
The second film Unrest comes out of Switzerland in both Russian, French and Swiss German called Unrest by director Cyril Schäublin. It is about a watchmaking factory in Switzerland in 1870s where a man named Pyotr Kropotkin becomes involved in anarchist and socialist philosophical movements.
The scenes showing the watchmaking were pretty impressive, capturing the sounds and intricacies of that process. However, that can only take you so far and I’m afraid I found the characters and story in this one to be very dry and it struggled to keep my interest. I had to work not to nod off.
5 out of 10
So there is day 1! I’m excited to see what Day 2 has to offer.
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