10 movie gems of 2021 chosen by Hollywood Reporter movie critics – the Hollywood Reporter


Ephraim Asili calls his first feature film a remix of The Chinese, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 mix of Maoist politics among young idealist Parisians. With energy and spirit, he achieves his goal of creating “a review and a tribute at the same time”, but it is not necessary to know the previous work to appreciate it. It stands out solidly as a dynamic investigation into revolutionary culture and black identity, not to mention the challenge of living with roommates. – SHERI lime tree

The murder of two lovers
Examining the excruciating uncertainty of a broken union slipping on the verge of definitive eruption, this gripping drama does not have a lost word or an inessential scene. Driven by a viscerally raw performance by Clayne Crawford as a man working through fragile feelings as he and his wife experience a trial separation, this is a knockout solo narrative feature debut for the writer-director. Robert Machoian. – DAVID ROONEY

No man is an island in this comedic drama about a group of refugees stranded in a remote Scottish town. With the promise of its beginnings, Pikadero (2016), writer-director Ben Sharrock shows a winning flair for observation detail and minor cheerfulness in his warm second feature film, whose tongue-in-cheek tone invites comparison with Aki Kaurismaki or Jim Jarmusch. – STEPHEN DALTON

The latest surrealist offer from French director Quentin Dupieux, on two dolts and a giant fly, is carried by the alchemy of chefs David Marsais and Grégoire Ludig, who seem to be directly imported to France from the world of Stupid and even more stupid. In the otherwise obsolete universe of French comedies, Dupieux sits so far into left field that it has become a genre on its own, but this one has a simpler appeal: it’s short, sweet, and often really. funny. – JORDAN MINTZER

Oliver Hermanus explores the toxic masculinity of apartheid-era South Africa and the twin forces of racism and homophobia that fueled it in his magnificent brutal drama about a gay military conscript (played with a fascinating internalized anxiety by Kai Luke Brümmer) trying to stay invisible. It is sometimes difficult to watch, but the harshness is softened by painful moments of tenderness and desire. – DR

Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough, both intense and committed, embody young Americans in love and living on weekends in Athens in the anti-rom-com of Argyris Papadimitropoulos. There will be viewers who shrink from the wild, exhibitionist carnality and drugged hedonism of these characters. But many who have had a relationship like this – the kind that is starting to sound like codependent bipolar disorder trapped on a roller coaster – will relate to the film’s sultry, funny, and above all honest look. crazy Love. – LESLIE FELPERIN

Beautifully directed and performed, the powerful coming-of-age drama of French writer-director Charlène Favier tells the story of a prodigious 15-year-old skier (the excellent Noée Abita) drawn into an exploitative sexual relationship. with his older trainer (Jérémie Renier), evoking several scandals that have hit the headlines in recent years. It’s a searing but sensitive tale of athletics and abuse. – JM

A son (A son)
Mehdi M. Barsaoui’s intense and emotionally complex debut stars the exceptional Sami Bouajila as an upper-middle-class Tunisian whose son is gunned down by terrorists. Exploring the delicate questions of parenthood, masculinity and ego in the specific context of the Arab world, the film suggests that the director has a bright future. – BOYD VAN HOEIJ

Israeli director Eytan Fox (Yossi & Jagger) brings sensitivity, restraint and slow sensuality to a story of transgenerational emotional awakening between a New York Times writer on assignment in Tel Aviv (John Benjamin Hickey) and the young local whose apartment he sublets (Niv Nissim). It’s a thoughtful queer melodrama that accumulates illuminating detail in its portrayal of the mutually beneficial intersection of two radically different lives. – DR

The wife of a spy
Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivers a captivating, clever and intelligently paced period thriller in which a young Japanese wife on the eve of World War II discovers that her businessman husband intends to reveal the secrets of Japan to Americans. A tense and intriguing marital battle ensues with moments of baffling horror and realism. – YOUNG DEBORAH


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