Love Me/Love Me Not – films for Valentine’s Day at SBS On Demand | Movie News

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LOVE ME 

 

Jowable

M
Philippines, 2020
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Director: Darryl Yap
Starring: Kakai Bautista, Kim Molina, Jerald Napoles
What’s it about?
Despite being surrounded and supported by friends, Elsa (Kim Molina) still feels miserable and envious of every couple she sees. Finally, Lady Luck smiles upon her and she meets a guy, and the mutual attraction is instant. Is this the love she’s been waiting for all her life? Will this be the happiness she has been searching for, or does it lie elsewhere?

 

Song Lang

M
Vietnam, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: Vietnamese
Director: Leon Le
Starring: Isaac, Lien Binh Phat
What’s it about?
Set in 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (V-pop star Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer for a struggling company that performs cai luong, a modern form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera. Soulful and melancholy, this film is a treat for lovers of romance films.

 

Ali’s Wedding

M
Australia, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Language: English, Persian, Arabic
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Starring: Osamah Sami, Don Hany, Helana Sawires, Robert Rabiah, Khaled Khalafalla, Asal Shenaveh, Ryan Corr
What’s it about?
Meet Ali, the charming son of a Muslim cleric who despite the best of intentions, just can’t seem to make the right life choices. Ali dreams big – he wants to be with the girl he loves, but he’s been promised to another girl at his father’s mosque. He wants to be the great doctor the community expects him to be, but he doesn’t get the marks. And above all, he wants to make his father proud. So what will Ali do to live up to impossible expectations? He must fake it, because as the son of the cleric, he doesn’t have a choice. It’s one bad decision after another as Ali’s wayward quest to please his father spirals out of control, with cataclysmic consequences.

How Osamah Sami turned his life into Australian Muslim rom-com, ‘Ali’s Wedding’
Five Faves: ‘Ali’s Wedding’ director Jeffrey Walker picks what to watch in isolation

 

Cold War

M
Poland, 2018
Genre: Romance
Language: Polish
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Starring: Joanna Kulig, Borys Szyc, Tomasz Kot
What’s it about?
Cold War takes place in the ruins of post-WWII Poland. Pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is commissioned by the Soviet state to form a musical ensemble to help rekindle national pride. While touring the villages in search of talent, he falls in love with the beautiful Zula (Joanna Kulig), a fiery and charismatic singer with a past. When a performance in Berlin offers the pair an opportunity to escape to the West, a last-minute decision finds them stranded on either side of the Iron Curtain. An absolute visual treat, the use of Academy ratio (1.37) takes nothing away from the amazing visuals on screen; if anything it makes you feel more immersed in this enduring love story.

Cold War Review
‘Cold War’: An Intimate Epic

 

Gloria

MA15+
Chile, 2012
Genre: Drama
Language: Spanish
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Starring: Paulina García, Sergio Hernández
What’s it about?
Gloria (Paulina García) is a 58-year-old divorcée. Her children have all left home but she has no desire to spend her days and nights alone. Determined to defy old age and loneliness, she rushes headlong into a whirl of singles’ parties, which repeatedly leads to disappointment. But then she meets Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández), an ex-naval officer, and she starts to imagine something more permanent. However, the encounter presents unexpected challenges and Gloria gradually finds herself being forced to confront her own dark secrets. This gorgeous Chilean drama offers a convincing and original account of the older dating scene, and though not a comedy, ensures plenty of laughs.

Gloria: Sebastián Lelio interview
Gloria Review
Why You Should Watch: Gloria

 

I Am Love

MA15+
Italy, 2009
Genre: Drama
Language: Italian, Russian
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Tilda Swinton
What’s it about?
Long-time collaborators Luca Guadagnino and Tilda Swinton worked together for seven years to create this social melodrama. Over two decades ago, Emma (Swinton) left Russia to follow Tancredi Recchi, and become part of a wealthy Milanese family. Now a mother of three, although not unhappy, Emma feels confusedly unfulfilled. As cracks in the family façade appear, she is reawakened to the forces of passion and unconditional love when she meets a chef named Antonio. With the family already divided over the elder Recchi’s unusual plans, Emma’s affair is the wild card that might divide the family for good. 

I Am Love – Review
Why You Should Watch: I Am Love
Dinner and a Movie: I Am Love

 

Three Times

PG
Taiwan, France, 2005
Genre: Romance, Drama
Language: Chinese
Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Starring: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Mei Fang, Su-jen Liao, Mei Di, Chen Shi-Zheng, Lee Pei-Hsuan, Lawrence Ko
What’s it about?
Three Times features three stories of women and men: in “A Time for Love” set in 1966, a soldier searches for a young woman he met one afternoon playing pool; “A Time for Freedom” set in a bordello in 1911, revolves around a singer’s longing to escape her surroundings; in “A Time for Youth” set in 2005 Taipei, there is a love triangle in which a singer has an affair with a photographer while her partner suffers. In the first two stories, letters are crucial to the outcome; in the third, it’s phone calls, text messages and a computer file. Over the years between the tales, as sexual intimacy becomes more likely and words more free, communication recedes.

 

The Face of Love

M
USA, 2014
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Arie Posin
Starring: Robin Williams, Ed Harris, Annette Bening
What’s it about?
The Face of Love is the story of a widow named Nikki (Annette Bening) who, several years after the loss of her husband Garrett, meets a man named Tom (Ed Harris) who looks exactly like her deceased husband. Suddenly, a flood of old feelings rush back to her: she’s met the love of her life. Again. The film is a romantic story filled with humour, surprise and reflections on the mystery of love surrounding us. Bening and Harris star, with an important supporting turn from Robin Williams as Nikki’s confidante and would-be lover.

 

Freeheld

M
USA, 2015
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Peter Sollett
Starring: Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Elliot Page, Michael Shannon 
What’s it about?
When New Jersey police detective Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is diagnosed with a terminal illness, she seeks to secure her pension benefits to her girlfriend car mechanic Stacie Andree (Elliot Page), but they are prevented from doing this by the county officials, Freeholders. Detective Dane Wells (Michael Shannon) and activist Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell), unite in Laurel and Stacie’s defence, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality. A true story of love and injustice.

Freeheld review: A story of substance let down by the telling

Explore more Romance films at SBS On Demand.


 

LOVE ME NOT

 

Harry Brown

MA15+
United Kingdom, 2009
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: Daniel Barber
Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer
What’s it about?
Let’s change things up with this UK vigilante thriller. Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is an elderly ex-marine living in a dingy English housing estate. The escalating crime and violence has made him so frightened that he won’t even use the underpass near his home. Shortly after his wife dies, Harry’s best friend is murdered, prompting Harry to seek revenge on the criminal low-lifes who have made his life hell.

Harry Brown Review
Why You Should Watch: Harry Brown

 

The Villainess

MA15+
South Korea, 2017
Genre: Drama, Action
Language: Korean
Director: Jung Byung-gil
Starring: Kim Ok-bin, Shin Ha-kyun, Bang Sung-Joon, Kim Seo-hyung, Jo Eun-ji, Lee Seung-joo, Jeong Hae-gyun
What’s it about?
If John Wick and Nikita had a love child you would get The Villainess. Since she was a little girl, Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin) was brought up to become a deadly assassin. She gets a second chance in life when South Korea’s Intelligence Agency’s Chief Kwon recruits her to become a sleeper cell. “Work for us for 10 years, you’ll gain freedom.” Her new identity is Chae Yeon-soo, a 27-year-old theatre actress. With this promise of freedom, Sook-hee begins a new life, uncovering secrets of her past and embarking on a rampage of violence and revenge along the way.

 

Fist of Fury

M
Hong Kong, 1972
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Action
Language: English, Chinese
Director: Lo Wei
Starring: Bruce Lee
What’s it about?
Set during the 1930s occupation of Shanghai by Japanese forces, Fist of Fury is a classic revenge tale as Bruce Lee’s Chen Zen seeks out his martial arts teacher’s killers when the law turns a blind eye. Lee expertly handles the frenetic fight choreography as his unstoppable whirlwind of a hero wipes the floor with all-comers to spectacular effect.

 

Wild Tales

MA15+
Argentina, 2014
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Language: Spanish
Director: Damián Szifron
Starring: Rita Cortese, Ricardo Darín, Liliana Ackerman, Luis Manuel Altamirano García, Alejandro Angelini
What’s it about?
Wild Tales is a fresco of rage, fury, deception and revenge. Made up of six stories, it is an entertaining and jaw-dropping film about people crossing the line into madness when faced with perceived injustice. A lover’s betrayal, a return to the repressed past, and the violence woven into everyday encounters drive the characters to lose control and cross the line that divides civilisation and barbarism.

Damian Szifron’s ‘Wild Tales’ sweeps Platino Awards

 

Always Shine

MA15+
USA, 2016
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: Sophia Takal
Starring: Mackenzie Davis, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Lawrence Michael Levine, Alexander Koch, Jane Adams, Khan Baykal
What’s it about?
Two women, both actresses with differing degrees of success, travel north from Los Angeles to Big Sur for a weekend vacation to reconnect in Always Shine, Sophia Takal’s twisty, psychological thriller. Once alone, the women’s suppressed jealousies and deep-seated resentments begin to rise, causing them to lose their grasp on not only the true nature of their relationship, but also their identities. The film wraps itself in an evocative shroud of dread and paranoia that lingers long after the final frame.

 

Tell No One

MA15+
France, 2000
Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery
Language: French
Director: Guillaume Canet
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Marie-Josée Croze, André Dussollier, Marina Hands, François Cluzet
What’s it about?
Eight years ago, Dr Alex Beck’s (François Cluzet) wife Margot (Marie-Josée Croze) was brutally killed and a serial killer was charged with her murder. But the discovery of two bodies on the shores of the lake where Margot was killed and mutilated after a midnight swim forces the police to reopen the case, with new evidence casting suspicion on Alex. At the same time, Dr Beck is receiving strange emails from his presumably dead wife. Winner of four César Awards, including Best Actor and Best Director, Tell No One is an intense, well-crafted thriller and is equal parts heart-pounding and heart-wrenching.

Tell No One Review

Shot Caller

MA15+
USA, 2017
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal, Emory Cohen, Holt McCallany, Benjamin Bratt
What’s it about?
Shot Caller follows the harrowing, often heart-rending journey of successful businessman Jacob Harlon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who is transformed into Money, a stoic, ruthless prison gangster after a DUI sends him down the rabbit hole of the American prison system. As he navigates the brutality of his new home, adapting to its violent codes of ethics and rites of passage that will ensure his survival, he slowly loses his previous identity and his relationship to his former life, including his wife and son. The grip of his new family, the prison gang, extends beyond the prison walls. Upon his release, chased by law enforcement, threatened by his incarcerated “protectors,” Money must orchestrate one last dangerous crime. All is not as it seems. The ruthless process of fulfilling his obligations also becomes his path to sacrifice, retribution and self-definition.

‘Shot Caller’: Authentically Gritty Prison Thriller

 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

MA15+
UK, USA, Ireland, 2017
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic
What’s it about?
Dr Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the doctor’s life in gradually unsettling ways. Yorgos Lanthimos has crafted a sensational thriller brimming with creepy humour and creeping dread, steeped in Greek tragedy, Hitchcockian psychodrama and riveting suspense. The acclaimed director darts confidently between genres to subvert our expectations at every turn.

‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ review: Masterfully Orchestrated, Extremely Discomforting

 

 

Explore more films at SBS On Demand.

 

 

 



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