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Mads Mikkelsen – The Hunt

MA15+
Sweden, Denmark, 2012
Genre: Drama
Language: Danish
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
What’s it about?
Mads puts in a career-best performance a teacher defending himself against a false accusation, and enduring the scorn of his friends and colleagues. The shock and mistrust gets out of hand, and the small community is in the grip of a collective state of hysteria.

The Hunt review: Group hysteria drama gets it right

 

Irrfan Khan – The Lunchbox

PG
France, Germany, India, 2013
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English, Hindi
Director: Ritesh Batra
What’s it about?
It’s almost one year since we lost the Indian cinema great, but his work stands as a testament to his enduring on- screen presence and global appeal. This gorgeous, shy romantic drama demonstrates his range and be sure to can catch him in The Puzzle, too (also streaming). 

The Lunchbox review: Gentle romance gets the flavours just right
Irrfan Khan opens up about The Lunchbox, love letters and his favourite foods (interview)
Dinner and a Movie: The Lunchbox

Puzzle

 

Peyman Maadi – A Separation 

PG
Iran, 2000
Genre: Drama
Language: Persian-Farsi
Director: Asghar Farhadi
What’s it about?
This Iranian Oscar-winner puts Peyman Maadi in a bind, as he faces a reluctant divorce from his wife (played by Leila Hatami), and a series of compounding problems at home in Tehran. There are outstanding performances from everyone as events spiral out of control. 

A Separation Review

 

Pauline Garcia – Gloria

MA15+
Chile, 2012
Genre: Drama
Language: Spanish
Director: Sebastián Lelio
What’s it about?
Pauline Garcia embodies the ‘over 50 and fabulous’ ethos of this collection, in this turn as a sexy single putting herself ‘out there’. Gloria’s efforts to land herself a man are bittersweet, cheeky, devastating, and life-affirming all at once. 

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

 

Sam Neill – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

PG
New Zealand, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Adventure
Language: English
Director: Taika Waititi
What’s it about?
We’ve waxed lyrical about Sam Neill’s charms before, and you see them on full display – albeit under a gruff and let’s say ‘dishevelled’ exterior – as a cantankerous foster-uncle on the run with his defiant charge, city kid Ricky.  

Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Interview with Sam Neill
Hunt for the Wilderpeople review: Superbly written, beautifully performed and quite frankly hilarious
Dinner and a Movie: ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ paired with smoked eel

My Brilliant Career

Dean Spanley

 

Donnie Yen – Ip Man

M
Hong Kong, 2008
Genre: Drama, History, Biography, Action
Language: Cantonese, Japanese, Mandarin
Director: Wilson Yip
What’s it about?
The legendary martial arts champion and multi-hyphenate is the Ip Man, having returned to the coolly impassive role, over and over in this storied career. He’s the gift that keeps on giving, as over at SBS On Demand there’s always a selection of Donnie Yen to discover. 

 

 

Wu Xia

 

Bodyguards and Assassins

Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life

PG
USA, 2011
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Language: English
Director: Terrence Malick
What’s it about?
A broad exploration of faith and family, Terrence Malick’s film sees Pitt play an overbearing father in the ’60s, whose parenting is laced with resentment about his own failed ambitions; he tempers their youthful optimism with his soured adult worldview.  Jessica Chastain offers a welcome, loving counter-perspective. This, and others you can stream at SBS On Demand (below), chart Pitt’s evolution from ’90s heart-throb to thoughtful actor/producer of purpose-led films. 

The Tree of Life Review: Malick ponders our place in the universe
Why You Should Watch: The Tree of Life

The Big Short

12 Years a Slave

 

Glenn Close – The Wife

M, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: English, Swedish
Director: Bjorn Runge
What’s it about?
It looked as though seven-time nominee Glenn Close might finally win an Oscar for her role as the spouse of a Nobel Prize-winner, whose own (considerable) accomplishments continue to go unrecognised. Somewhat ironically, it was not to be.  It’s a great performance, loaded with silent fury.  

 

Viggo Mortensen – Far from Men 

M
France, 2015
Genre: Drama
Language: French, Spanish, Arabic
What’s it about?
Viggo’s stock in trade is bringing quiet intensity to his roles, sometimes mixed with the occasional naked, ferocious, fight to the death, for balance.  In Far From Men it’s more of the former, in the role of a teacher at the start of the Algerian War, who is tasked with escorting a dissident, Mohamed (Reda Kateb), to face certain death for murder. His loyalties are tested along the way.  Also catch Viggo in A Dangerous Method.

Far From Men review: Algerian war told powerfully through quiet intensity
Far From Men’s David Oelhoffen and Warren Ellis on Viggo Mortensen, displacement, and scoring westerns with Nick Cave

 

A Dangerous Method 

 

Don Cheadle – Miles Ahead

MA 
United States of America, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Don Cheadle
What’s it about?
Cheadle is first-time director and star in this inventive depiction of jazz legend Miles Davis in the grip of a creative drought, when his glory days look to be behind him. The film was a decade-long passion project for Cheadle, who deftly uses his Marvel exposure to throw his weight behind smaller projects that benefit from the spotlight. 

 

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Marc Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

MA 15+
USA, 2010
Genre: Comedy drama
Language: English
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
What’s it about?
A real triple threat of silver fox* star power here (*it’s an expression, not strictly the hair colour, okay?), as Bening and Moore play a couple whose kids are curious about the missing aspect of their DNA, and track down their biological father (Ruffalo). Chaos ensues.

The Kids Are All Right Review
Dinner and a Movie: ‘The Kids Are All Right’ and kimchi hot dogs

 

Juliette Binoche – Let the Sunshine In

Belgium, France, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director: Claire Denis
What’s it about?
La Binoche is in her element (isn’t she always?) in this film, directed by Claire Denis (High Life), in which she plays Parisian artist Isabelle, who, since her divorce, bounces from one flimsy relationship to the next, including with her ex. Afraid of being alone, Isabelle constantly chases fulfilment outside herself without working out what it is she actually wants.   

 

Clouds of Sils Maria

 

 

Of course there are so many other great performers we haven’t mentioned. Go have a browse at SBS On Demand, and keep enjoying the Summer of Discovery on SBS World Movies. 

 



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