It’s a fantastic week for new releases. The highlight is the wickedly black comedy Raw. Julia Ducournau’s directorial debut is a hilarious tale of a vegan whose first taste of meat while attending a veterinary college sends her on a path to cannibalism. One of the smartest debuts in the horror genre in years, and the funniest in decades.
Another excellent directorial debut in horror comes from Irish-Welsh filmmaker Liam Gavin. His A Dark Song may at first seem like yet another throwaway supernatural drama, but its portrayal of the world of occultism has a depth and verisimilitude rarely seen before. Wicklow has never looked so ominous.
Two biopics of poets hit cinemas this week. Emily Dickinson is the subject of Terence Davies’ visually and verbally stunning A Quiet Passion, one of the most energetic and witty period dramas I’ve ever seen. Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon seizes a rare leading lady role with a performance that’s both inspiring and tragic.
Chile’s most famous poet, Pablo Neruda, is the subject of Jackie director Pablo Larrain’s Neruda. This one doesn’t entirely work despite some impressive performances, as I never felt I got to know the man beyond superficial details, and I’m not sure I liked him as much as the film would like me to.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com