A Hero (***)
Iranian-French co-production drama 2021 (127′)
Directed by: Asghar Faradi
Starring: Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabade, Sahar Goldust
Rahim gets two days leave from jail. He will try during this time to convince the man who sent him there, to withdraw his lawsuit. But the repayment of part of the debt to his plaintiff, meets some important obstacles.
In the cinema of two-time Oscar winner (A Separation, The Past) Asghar Faradi, the question is the fate of the ordinary citizen who is crushed under the weight not only of the ruthless state apparatus but also of problematic family relations. As in all the previous works of the famous director, here too the structure of the story is based on a well-designed thriller that unfolds slowly and torturously through fluid interpersonal relationships that have the ultimate goal of searching for the truth. Suspense is maintained exemplary by the master of anthropocentric study Faradi, and his script approach constantly searches the boundaries of truth and falsehood. However, the feeling that we have experienced all this again in the director’s previous works is more intense than ever. Grand Jury Prize at the 2021 Cannes festival.
Where the crawdads sing (**)
American Drama 2022 (126)
Directed by: Olivia Newman
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Hans Dickinson
Little Catherine is abandoned by her family and grows up alone in a swamp in North Carolina during the 50s. The locals treat the “swamp girl” with hostility but she manages to survive thanks to her strength. After years a murder disturbs the area and Katherine is considered a suspect.
The famous best seller of Delia Owens is transferred with due melodramatic care and the necessary commercial imprint on the cloth. Atmospheric and rather nostalgic representation of the magical world of the swamp, positive choice for the role of Catherine by Daisy Edgar-Jones but also a lack of script economy when clichés dominate the finale which .
Three Thousand Years of Longing (**1/2)
Australian-American co-production fantasy 2022 (109)
Directed by: George Miller Starring: Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton, Aamito Lagum, Nicolas Mouwad
A rational, solitary academic who is on a scientific conference in Istanbul buys from the popular Old Market of the city an ancient bottle that hides a genie inside.
Iconoclast George Miller tames his exuberant directorial talent in order to emerge an otherworldly fantasy adventure where the historical background (great figures of History such as King Solomon or Mohammed the Besieger parade among others) meets a tender – but also unequal – human story with love sign. Tamam for the role of the twisted but brilliant academic Alithia Bini who speaks ancient Greek (!), Swindon is hopelessly tender as a genie with a big heart.
Finnish-Swedish co-production thriller 2022 (87)
Director: Hanna Berholm Starring: Siri Solalina, Sofia Heikle, Jani Volanen, Reino Nordin
A young gymnast who is constantly trying to please her mother finds a strange egg in the forest and hides it in her room. When the egg breaks a terrifying creature is released.
Directorial debut for a young Finnish director who treads on familiar clichés of famous horror films (“Let Evil In”, “The Babadook”) in order to tell a coming-of-age story with dozens of symbols mainly related to motherhood. It has some glaring weaknesses (biggest of all some hand-made effects concerning the original image of the monster) but in general it is watched not only pleasantly but also with lively interest.