10 movies causing a buzz at film festivals around the world


Cape Town – Just in time for awards season the international film festival run has ended. 

From Cannes to Toronto here are ten films that have been causing a buzz at festivals around the world.

1. The Shape of Water

Winner of the 74th Venice Film Festival Guillermo del Toro's monster thriller is an undeniable breakout on the festival circuit.

The film, which stars Sally Hawkins as a mute woman who falls for a captured sea monster, is a loving tribute to outsiders of all kinds.

Watch the trailer here:

The film releases in SA in January 2018.

2. Downsizing

Matt Damon stars in the drama with a science-fiction premise and a humanist heart. The Alexander Payne directed film opened Venice Film Festival. 

The Hollywood Reporter calls it "captivating, funny and a deeply humane film like the best Hollywood classics."

Watch the trailer here:

The film releases in SA in January 2018.

3. Lady Bird

Greta Gerwing's coming of age drama premiered at the Telluride Film Festival to rave reviews.

The film which stars Saoirse Ronan already has a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes. At the Toronto Film Festival it received a standing ovation after it was screened. 

It centres on Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan) who fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf).

It has bagged three nominations at the Gotham awards.

Watch the trailer here:

The film will be released in SA in May 2018.

4. Call Me By Your Name

Another coming-of-age drama that is receiving rave reviews. The Luca Guadagnino film made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

It stars Timothée Chalamet who plays Elio, a young man living in Italy during the 1980s. He meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), an academic who has come to stay at his parents' villa. The two develop a passionate relationship. 

At the New York Film Festival screening it received a 10 minute standing ovation. 

Watch the trailer here:

The film releases in SA in February 2018. 

5. Beats Per Minute (120 Beats Per Minute)

A big festival winner this French drama bagged four awards at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. 

Set in the early 1990s, the film depicts a group of HIV/AIDS activists associated with the Paris chapter of ACT UP.

Vulture's film critic was moved to tears by it and calls it "a unique, intimate portrait of the community from the inside".

Watch the trailer here:

A SA release date is yet to be confirmed. 

6. The Florida Project

Seven-year-old Brooklynn Prince might break an Oscar record if she bags the statuette for her in this drama. (Read more here)

The drama directed by Ken Baker centres on Moonee (Prince), a precocious 6-year-old girl, lives with her mother Halley in a community of extended-stay motel guests in Kissimmee, Florida.

The film has a 96% rating on RottenTomatoes and has bagged three nominations at the Gotham Film awards.

The New York Times says this movie "accomplishes something almost miraculous — two things, actually. It casts a spell and tells the truth."

Watch the trailer here:

A SA release date is yet to be confirmed. 

7. I Am Not a Witch

This British-French drama film directed by Rungano Nyoni was one of the standouts at the Cannes Film Festival.

Maggie Mulubwa plays Shula a young African girl who is declared a witch by her village and exiled.

The Guardian calls Nyoni's debut "bewilderingly strange yet terrifically sure-footed feature debut."

Watch the trailer here:

A SA release date is yet to be confirmed. 

8. The Meyerowitz Stories

Adam Sandler has received the best reviews of his career for his role in the drama directed and written by Noah Baumbach.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Palm Dog Award (a yearly alternative award presented by the international film critics). 

It centres on siblings Danny Meyerowitz (Sandler), Matthew Meyerowitz (Ben Stiller) and Jean Meyerowitz (Elizabeth Marvel) contending with the long shadow their strong-willed father, Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman), has cast over their lives.

Watch the trailer here:

The film is available on Netflix.

9. I, Tonya

The biographical sports black comedy premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

It stars Margot Robbie as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding who infamously hired someone to attack her ice skating rival.

The film has already won two awards at the Hollywood Film Awards with Robbie being tipped for an Oscar nomination. It was also the runner-up at TIFF. 

Watch the trailer here:

The film will be released in SA in February 2018. 

10. Five Fingers for Marseilles

The contemporary South African western set in the rugged badlands of the Eastern Cape premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Directed by Michael Matthews and written by Sean Drummond, the film is a predominantly Sesotho, western-inspired tale of an outlaw who returns home after years on the run, and finds a chance for redemption.

The film has a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes

Variety says, "the film commands attention with a deliberately paced and well-observed story that focuses on, among other things, the inescapable influence of the past and the unavoidable corruption spawned by ambition."

Watch the trailer here:

The film releases in SA in April 2018. 


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