Category: Reviews – New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of A24.

**** (out of 4)

Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir recounts the romantic travails of Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), a 20-something woman who lives in 1980s London. An aspiring filmmaker, Julie is the kind of young person who earnestly, idealistically speaks of not wanting to live a life of “privilege.” Despite this, however, she ends up falling in love with Anthony (Tom Burke),  an older man whose affected manner, opinionated views on art, and penchant for opera all make him seem like the epitome of wealth and elitism.

If you were just going by this basic plot summary, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve seen films like The Souvenir before.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Kino Lorber.

**** (out of 4)

According to its IMDb plot summary, Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night (henceforth LDJIN) is a quest movie that’s set in present-day China. The protagonist, a middle-aged man named Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue), finds himself returning to the southern city of Kaili after receiving word of his father’s passing. While there, moreover, he tries to track down a former lover (Tang Wei) and learn more about an old friend (Lee Hong-chi) who’s now dead.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals

Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

(NOTE: A version of this article originally appeared here.)

*** ½ (out of 4)

Matteo Garrone’s Dogman tells the story of Marcello (Marcello Fonte), an Italian dog groomer, and his decidedly unbalanced relationship with an abusive thug and druggy named Simone (Edoardo Pesce). To summarize what happens plot-wise: for most of the film, Marcello obsequiously looks out for Simone, to the point that he voluntarily elects to go to prison rather than rat on Simone. In return, however, Simone bullies Marcello, repeatedly beats him, and coerces him into facilitating a break-in. By the end of the film, Marcello has had it with his “friend”: after tricking Simone into locking himself inside a dog cage, he ends up killing Simone outright.

Reviews - New Releases/Festivals