TIFF 2011 BEST OF FEST

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1.
Melancholia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth. (135 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ LARS VON TRIER, DENMARK IN ENGLISH, It's the end of the world but also the start of something new for Lars von Trier, whose mind-blowing "Melancholia" offers perhaps the gentlest depiction of annihilation one could imagine from any director, much less the Danish provocateur. If "Antichrist" was the needle in the eye von Trier needed to shake a bout of pulverizing depression, then "Melancholia" serves as his unexpectedly lucid response, blending grand-scale Hollywood effects with intimate, femme-focused melodrama. ” - matt sloan
 
2.
Pina (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations. (103 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ TIFF, Wim Wenders' dance docu "Pina" reps multidimensional entertainment that will send culture vultures swooning. A tribute to Pina Bausch, one of modern dance's most groundbreaking choreographers, pic lets the artist's work speak for itself via big, juicy slabs of performance. ” - matt sloan
 
3.
House of Tolerance (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Life in an elegant Parisian brothel in the early twentieth century. The madam essentially owns the women: their expenses exceed earnings... (122 mins.)
“ FRANCE, TIFF-VISIONS, BERTRAND BONELLO, In the nineteenth century, much of the Parisian sex trade was confined to grands maisons, populated by elegant madams and a vetted clientele. They were akin to social clubs, with the gentleman participants expected to be as charming and witty as they might be in more respectable draw­ing rooms. The ladies were provocatively dressed and, upstairs, occupied numerous boudoirs ready for carnal pleasures. Even in such a controlled environment, dangers still lurked: disease was rampant and lethal, and sometimes even a gentleman might lose his temper and harm one of the women. ” - matt sloan
 
4.
Café de Flore (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A love story between a man and woman. And between a mother and her son. A mystical and fantastical odyssey on love. (120 mins.)
“ CANADIAN FRENCH, TIFF SP, JEAN-MARC VALLEE,. ” - matt sloan
 
5.
Shame (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life - which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction - is disrupted when his sister arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay. (101 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
“ STEVE McQUEEN, MICHAEL FASSBENDER as sex addict, CAREY MULLIGAN, I PREDICT 4 OSCAR NOMS, Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon's world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. ” - matt sloan
 
6.
Last Winter (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
(103 mins.)
Director: John Shank
“ AKA L'HIVER DERNIER, FRENCH, BELGIUM, JOHN SHANK(USA), TIFF CWC, John Shank, an American living in Belgium, has made a stark and beautiful feature debut that, though shot in a small farming com­munity in France, owes much to Steinbeck, Faulkner and countless other American writ­ers, artists and filmmakers who have placed the land at the centre of their work. This is a stirring homage to the people who work the earth despite countless natural challenges, and who also learn how difficult it is to sur­vive in the face of modern forces that have no truck with their values. ” - matt sloan
 
7.
Chicken with Plums (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Since his beloved violin was broken, Nasser Ali Khan, one of the most renowned musicians of his day, has lost all taste for life. Finding no instrument worthy of replacing it, he decides to confine himself to bed to await death. (93 mins.)
“ AKA CHICKEN WITH PLUMS, FRANCE, TIFF SP, MARJANE SATRAPI, VINCENT PARONNAUD, MATHIEU AMALRIC, MARIA DE MEDEIROS, AND NEW BEAUTIFUL GOLSHIFTEH FARAHANI, Nasser-Ali, a talented musician, loses the will to live after his wife breaks his beloved Tar (Iranian Instrument similar to a violin) during an argument. He searches for a replacement, and finding none that sounds quite the same, he vows to die. Eight days later, he does. This is the story of his last week of life, where we see flashbacks and flash forwards of his previous life and his children's futures. We also see appearances of a nude Sophia Loren as well as the angel of death, Azarel. As we see his life, we realize exactly why he chose to end it and the profundity of this choice. ” - matt sloan
 
8.
Hotel Swooni (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
In a luxurious hotel, the lives of 6 people cross. A story about love, life and the search for happiness. (83 mins.)
Director: Kaat Beels
“ BELGIUM IN FRENCH AND DUTCH, KAAT BEELS, TIFF CWC, In the midst of a summer heat wave, tourists descend upon the Hotel Swooni, an oasis where the wealthy spend idyllic sunny afternoons lounging by the rooftop pool. The hotel may seem like the epitome of paradise, but one day in the lives of six seemingly unrelated individuals reveals a darker picture lurking beneath the surface. Kaat Beels’ debut feature explores the destructive consequences of living a lie. ” - matt sloan
 
9.
The Turin Horse (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A rural farmer is forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse. (146 mins.)
“ BELA TARR, HUNGARY, TIFF MASTERS, The Turin Horse, the latest and reportedly last film from Hungarian maestro Béla Tarr, plunges us into a feat of speechless, spellbinding storytelling. In a film so rich in atmosphere and sensi­tive to the forces of nature, the howling wind itself constitutes a character, deepening the wrinkles upon the weathered faces of our co-protagonists, an aging farmer and his daughter. Clinging to daily ritual, the pair refuses to let go of life as they know it, even as omens abound that the world might be coming to an end. Only the ailing horse, the pair’s sole means of subsistence, seems to sense the inevitable: he refuses to eat, drink or carry them where they need to go. Nevertheless, the man and his daughter forge ahead with their tasks, even after their one attempt to escape confirms there is nowhere left to go. Tarr, sharing the director’s chair for the fourth time with his wife and long-time editor Ágnes Hranitzky, has crafted a mostly dialogue-free meditation on how humans refuse to give up the fight even when there’s no battle left to win. ” - matt sloan
 
10.
Moneyball (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. (133 mins.)
Director: Bennett Miller
“ TIFF GALA, AS A SPORTS ENTHUSIAST, THE HISTORY THAT I HAVE WITNESSED MADE THIS VERY ENJOYABLE CINEMA. BRAD PITT AND PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN WERE TERRIFIC. ” - matt sloan
 
11.
The Ides of March (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. (101 mins.)
Director: George Clooney
“ TIFF GALA, D&A GEORGE CLOONEY, GREAT CAST WITH MANY POSSIBLE OSCAR NOMS, THIS FILM SEEMS SO CONTEMPORARY AND PROBABLY REPRESENTS GEORGE'S POLITICAL RELEVANCE. NO PUNCHES ARE PULLED ON THE WORST IN OUR CURRENT SYSTEM. ” - matt sloan
 
12.
The Kid with a Bike (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hair-dresser agrees to foster him on week-ends. (84 mins.)
“ TIFF MASTERS, BELGIUM IN FRENCH, JEAN-PIERRE AND LUC DARDENNE, THE PROMISE, ROSETTA, LORNA'S SILENCE, L'ENFANT...AND OTHERS THAT ARE ALSO EXCELLENT. THESE BROTHERS ARE TWO OF THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS ALTHOUGH POORLY KNOWN IN U.S. ” - matt sloan
 
13.
The Artist (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. (100 mins.)
“ TIFF SP, FRANCE, HUGE APPROVAL FROM CANNES, TORONTO AND TELLURIDE THAT I PREDICT WORLDWIDE SUCCESS AND OSCAR CONSIDERATION. THE NAMES MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS, JEAN DUJARDIN, BERENICE BEJO WILL BECOME WELL KNOWN TO U.S.A. AUDIENCES. THEY ALREADY KNOW THE EXCELLENT JAMES CROMWELL AND JOHN GOODMAN. REMEMBER THIS FEEL GOOD FILM IS SILENT. ” - matt sloan
 
14.
Superclásico (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Christian is a Copenhagen wine seller on the brink of bankruptcy. Equally unsuccessful in just about every other aspect of life... (99 mins.)
“ DENMARK, OLE CHRISTIAN MADSEN(PRAGUE, FLAME & CITRON), TIFF CWC, YOU WILL END UP LOVING ALL THE CHARACTERS IN THIS ROMANTIC HILARIOUS FEATURE. THE MAID WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. ” - matt sloan
 
15.
Elles (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
On her latest assignment, a journalist for Elle immerses herself in a prostitution ring run by university students. (99 mins.)
“ TIFF SP, FRANCE/POLAND MALGOSKA SZUMOWSKA, JULIET BINOCHE SPEAKING FRENCH AND POLISH IS OUTSTANDING AND TO ME ONE OF THE MOST DARING ACTORS WORKING IN CINEMA TODAY. THE SUBJECT OF STUDENT PROSTITUTION IS EXPLORED IN AN INTERESTING WAY. THE SUBJECT OF SEXUALITY IN ALL ITS COMPLEXITY IS EXAMINED. ” - matt sloan
 
16.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes. (157 mins.)
“ AKA BIR ZAMANLAR ANADOLU'DA, TURKEY/BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVNIA, TURKISH LANGUAGE, NURI BILGE CEYLAN IS ONE OF THE VERY BEST OF THE CURRENT WORLD AUTEUR FILM MAKERS. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT HE MADE THREE MONKEYS WHICH MOST OF MY CINEPHILES HATED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HOWARD VOGEL, MAYBE ALSO LINDA. A VERY SIMPLE MURDER CASE IS EXPLORED ONE NIGHT IS THE NARRATIVE. ” - matt sloan
 
17.
Rebellion (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Dissidents in a French colony attack a police station and take hostages. (136 mins.)
“ FRANCE, THE FRENCH COLONIALISTS OF NEW CALEDONIA SUBJUGATE THE HUMAN CONDITION OF THE NATIVES. The incident in question centres on a group of local Kanak separatists who attack a French police post, killing three gendarmes and taking another twenty-six hostage. The French respond by sending their elite counter-terrorism group, the GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group), who operate under Captain Philippe Legorjus (Kassovitz). Arriving after a thirty-hour flight, Legorjus and his small band of men are horri­fied to discover that the French army has also been deployed in considerable force. The captain is determined to negotiate a peaceful and bloodless resolution to the crisis, but it soon becomes evident that numerous forces threaten to undermine him. An election in France that pits left against right, Mitterrand against Chirac, means that the hostage crisis half a world away gets turned into a political football. ” - matt sloan
 
18.
Lena (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Lena is a lonely, plump adolescent girl. Much to her surprise she gets a relationship with the popular but unreliable Daan. Lena moves in with Daan and his strange father Tom and is willing to do a lot for his love. More than a lot. (119 mins.)
“ BELGIUM, TRULY A PERF FILM....Driven by a telling performance by Emma Levie in the title role, Christophe Van Rompaey’s Lena follows its heroine as she struggles to find a place in the world despite a cross-addicted mother who considers her nothing more than a burden and constantly berates her about her weight. Lena’s only outlets are dancing and sex until she meets Daan, whom she rescues as he’s running from the police. But is Daan really all he claims to be? Lena thoughtfully and powerfully examines divides of class, gender and body type. ” - matt sloan
 
19.
A Simple Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After suffering a stroke, an altruistic maid announces that she wants to quit her job and move into an old people's home. (118 mins.)
Director: Ann Hui
“ CHINA, A VERY MOVING FILM REFLECTING AN EXCELLENT LIFE LESSON. FIND THE BEST IN EVERYTHING AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS. THE EMOTIONS OF LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, THOUGHTFULNESS AND TENDERNESS ARE FRONT AND CENTER. Based on a true story, the film centres on Ah Tao (Ip), an amah (servant and nanny) who has worked for the Leung family for four generations. She lives with and takes care of Roger (Lau), a film producer who is the only member of the Leung household still living in Hong Kong. Roger returns home one day and finds Ah Tao unconscious after a stroke. Convinced she has becoming a burden, Tao resigns and moves into a retirement home. But upon her arrival, she continues to be taken care of by Roger, who realizes just how important she is to him. He decides to do his best to watch after the person who has nurtured him all his life. But Ah Tao’s health is fast deteriorating. ” - matt sloan
 
20.
Omar Killed Me (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In the summer of 1991 an elderly woman Ghislaine Marchal is found murdered in the basement of her home... (85 mins.)
Director: Roschdy Zem
“ FRANCE, ANOTHER RUSH TO JUDGMENT WITH TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES. What if you woke up one day and found the police at your door? What if they told you that the woman you had always thought of as a mother was murdered and that, moments before she died, she wrote in her own blood that it was you who killed her? Those were the bewildering facts presented to Omar Raddad (Sami Bouajila) on June 23, 1991, when the body of a rich widow — 65-year-old Ghislaine Marchal (Liliane Nataf) — was found brutally stabbed and beaten to death in the basement of her villa in the south of France. Marchal’s gardener Omar, a young Moroccan who spoke little French, was immediately arrested for the crime. Despite a complete lack of forensic evidence and gaping holes in the investigation — one of the only clues was the inscription “Omar m’a tuer,” written in incorrect French with the blood of the victim — Omar was ultimately convicted of the murder and sentenced to eighteen years in prison ” - matt sloan
 
21.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis. (99 mins.)
“ CANADA, A FASCINATING STORY OF EARLY PSYCHIATRY, AND AS USUAL FOR DAVID CRONENBERG, EXTREMELY WELL DONE. THIS FILM AND SHAME HIGHLIGHTS THE AMAZING TALENT OF MICHAEL FASSBENDER WHO I WOULD NOW GIVE HIM THE OSCAR FOR BEST PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR. I AM AFRAID THAT HE WILL NOW BECOME THE INTERNATIONAL HEARTTHROB OF THE LADIES. KEEP YOUR WOMAN AWAY FROM HIM OR YOU A GONER. The premise of David Cronenberg’s lat­est effort will be familiar to his fans. A Dangerous Method is a brooding tale of dark desire and the dread that lurks behind genius, experienced by intellectual misfits in conventional society. Yet the director brings these recognizable obsessions to a new genre: the historical period piece. Set in Vienna on the eve of the First World War, the film explores the complex relationship between novice psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen, in his third consecutive collaboration with Cronenberg). Studying under the already well-established Freud, Jung practices his teacher’s methods while developing his own theories based on the clinical study of psy­chologically disturbed patients. When a sick young Russian woman arrives at the clinic, both Jung and Freud are fascinated by her case and spellbound by her vulnerable yet dangerous sexuality. ” - matt sloan
 
22.
Headhunters (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary. (100 mins.)
Director: Morten Tyldum
“ NORWAY, TIFF, Intense and entertaining thriller packed with twists and based on award winning mystery writer Jo Nesbo's novel, Headhunters' stars Aksel Hennie (Max Manus) as an elite headhunter who finances his lavish lifestyle by stealing art from his own clients. Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) lives a fantasy life of the early twenty-first century variety. He’s a successful headhunter for Fortune 500 inductees and lives in an opulent modern home. Though he’s happily married to Diana, a statuesque art gallery owner, he spends his few spare moments with his enthusiastic mistress Lotte (Julie Ølgaard). The only problem is that Roger suffers from a crippling Napoleon complex. He’s so terrified of losing Diana that he continually lavishes her with absurdly extravagant gifts. He blows so much cash he’s been forced to moonlight, stealing rare artworks from his clientele. But this latest job uncovers something that could bring his frantically maintained lifestyle crashing down around him. ” - matt sloan
 
23.
Rose (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A harrowing tale of survival centers on Rose, a Masurian woman, whose husband, a German soldier, was killed in the war... (90 mins.)
“ POLAND, WOJCIECH SMARZOWSKI, Smarzowski’s harrowing tale of survival centres on Rose, a Polish woman, whose husband, a German soldier, was killed in the war, leaving her alone on their farm. A single woman had no defence against Russian soldiers who raped as a form of revenge, nor against plundering Poles who found themselves in desperate straits. The law of the jungle had replaced the rule of law. Help arrives for Rose in the form of Tadeusz, a former officer in the Polish Home Army who survived the Warsaw uprising and is attempting to hide his ident ” - matt sloan
 
24.
Crazy Horse (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A cinéma vérité look inside Paris' Crazy Horse, a club that boasts the greatest and most chic nude dancing in the world. (134 mins.)
“ MISTER WEISMAN IS THE MASTER OF NON-NARRATIVE DOCUMENTARIES, For Crazy Horse, Wiseman turns to High-Definition video after four decades of shooting primarily on 16mm film. The format proves well matched for Le Crazy Horse’s colourful decor and flesh without flaws. Wiseman and cinematographer John Davey embed in this fantasy factory for eleven weeks to document all its components. During their stay, Le Crazy Horse choreographer Philippe Decouflé seeks to revitalize the repertoire. Even if an act like “Baby Buns” sounds silly, Decouflé takes his work very seriously. Like any theatre director, he yearns for more resources and strains against the company’s shareholders. ” - matt sloan
 
25.
O Abismo Prateado (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In "The Silver Cliff" Violeta (Alessandra Negrini) is a married dentist in a normal working day. While... (83 mins.)
Director: Karim Ainouz
“ aka THE SILVER CLIFF, BRAZIL, KARIM AINOUZ, Crushed, Violeta experiences a catharsis, by way of a nocturnal ramble through Rio, as she comes to terms with her abandonment. From its nightclubs to its bustling avenues to the breaking waves on Copacabana Beach, the cityscape provides a distinctive backdrop to accompany her on her journey. Brought further to life by a gorgeous colour palette that highlights the textures and natural beauty of Rio, The Silver Cliff has a strong visceral impact. Sparse dialogue, precise camera work and Negrini’s standout performance add vitality to this poignant tale about the tempestuous nature of human relationships. ” - matt sloan
 
26.
The Woman in the Fifth (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Light, he meets a widow who might be involved in a series of murders. (84 mins.)
“ FRANCE/POLAND/UK PRODUCTION IN FRENCE AND ENGLISH, D-PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI(THE LAST RESORT, MY SUMMER OF LOVE), with KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, ETHAN HAWKE, Ethan Hawke plays Tom Ricks, a novelist who comes to Paris to be closer to his young daughter. Robbed upon arrival, he sets out with nothing to his name to find a place to stay. To add insult to injury, his estranged wife turns her back on his plight. Eventually Tom finds himself installed in a small, dingy hotel, whose owner offers him a job so he can pay his way. Events begin to take another turn when Tom falls into the clutches of the beguiling Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas). She seems eager for distraction, and Tom is keen to make friends, but life becomes even more complicated when the voluptuous young hotel chambermaid starts to turn her attention to the by now genuinely confused American. ” - matt sloan
 
27.
Michael (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Set in Kolkata, this is a character-driven psychological drama in which MICHAEL (Naseeruddin Shah), a loyal... (97 mins.)
Director: Ribhu Dasgupta
“ INDIA, RIBHU DASGUPTA, W/D DEBUT, In the film’s opening shots, Michael (Naseeruddin Shah) stands paralyzed as Kolkata traffic swirls around him. The film then flashes back to a younger Michael, in the days when he was a police officer. We find him nervously surveying a swell­ing crowd of protesters. When the order comes down to open fire on the peaceful demonstration, Michael shoots low to avoid causing death. Nonetheless, a ricochet strikes and kills a twelve-year-old boy. At this point Michael’s life begins to unravel. His eyesight worsens, he loses his job and he struggles to care for his son. When Michael finds work illegally pirating Bollywood films, he starts receiving phone calls from the father of the boy he accidentally killed, threatening to kill his own son when the boy turns twelve. Michael is sent into a paranoid race against the clock. ” - matt sloan
 
28.
Love and Bruises (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
In Paris, the Chinese university student Hua is dumped by her lover. Hua wanders on the streets and... (105 mins.)
Director: Ye Lou
“ CHINA/FRANCE, TIFF VANGUARD, LOU YE(SUZHOU RIVER, PURPLE BUTTERFLY, SUMMER PALACE), THE DOGME IN YOUR FACE CAMERA STYLE INTENSIFIES THE ANGST OF THE PROTAGONISTS. Hua (Corinne Yam) is a young teacher from Beijing. She is fluent in French, and journeys to Paris in the hopes of abandoning her former life back home. Mathieu (Tahar Rahim) is a construction worker who lacks culture and sophistication. The two literally meet by accident — Mathieu involuntarily hits Hua with a pole he is carrying at work — and seem to instantly recognize each other as misplaced children of society. An inexplicable drive pushes Hua towards this man who represents the unknown, and they fall into a frenzied relationship comprised of passion, sex and verbal abuse. ” - matt sloan
 
29.
Alps (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A group of people start a business where they impersonate the recently deceased in order to help their clients through the grieving process. (93 mins.)
“ GREECE, TIFF VISIONS, YORGOS LANTHIMOS(DOGTOOTH), VERY STRANGE NARRATIVE, UNUSUAL STYLE, METICULOUSLY CREATED, ” - matt sloan
 
30.
Trishna (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The story of the tragic relationship between the son of a property developer and the daughter of an auto rickshaw owner. (117 mins.)
“ MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM'S DIVERSITY AND ABILITY TO ELICIT THE WORLD'S INJUSTICES MAKES HIM ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTEUR FILM MAKERS.. TRISHNA is a fascinating, intelligent film about a relationship turned sour on the back of withheld secrets and unequal material power, centred on Freida Pinto's first performance of real merit. She plays a poor, naive village girl called Trishna - who in her society is simply a commodity to earn to support her family, and conditioned to obey. A chance meeting with a rich young man, Jay (Riz Ahmed, FOUR LIONS), prises her away from her family and strict values. They approximate the life of two lovers in the freeing atmosphere of big city Mumbai. Given the differences in their social status, it is a measure of Jay's belief that he loves Trishna, that he's willing to broach the subject of marriage, but the revelation of secrets and the return to a cloying small-town hotel serve to subtly alter their relationship, step by step, into one of master-servant, and sexual exploitation, with alarming results. ” - matt sloan
 
31.
Wuthering Heights (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy. Based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte. (129 mins.)
Director: Andrea Arnold
“ ANDREA ARNOLDS "RED ROAD" ANNOUNCED A NEW TALENT AND THIS FILM CONFIRMS IT. Emily Brontë’s famous novel is rugged terrain that’s been tramped enthusiastically by film adapters as various as silent director A.V. Bramble (no prints of his 1920 version are known to survive, sadly), Luis Buñuel and Jacques Rivette, its most famous incarnation being William Wyler’s 1939 Hollywood romance. It’s even been transplanted to California as an MTV teen musical, and has appeared as numerous period TV adaptations. Yet Andrea Arnold’s stark, defiantly naturalistic new version succeeds brilliantly in injecting the shock of the new into this well-thumbed English classic. KATE STABLES ” - matt sloan