5 Best Movies To Watch After Annette (2021)

The Spool Staff


StudioARTE France Cinéma,

In medieval morality plays, the dramatis personae always includes the likes of Charity, Death, and Temperance, named for the vices or virtues they embody. These characters are vessels, existing somewhere between allegory and literalism and imbued with the social values and anxieties of their time. French surrealist Bruno Dumont (Lil Quinquin, Slack Bay) drags this tradition into the twenty-first century with his latest film, France. Continue Reading →

Bergman Island

MPAA RatingR
StudioARTE France Cinéma,

Mia Hansen-Løve's latest wrestles with the creative and romantic frustrations between men and women, with Ingmar Bergman watching mindfully overhead. (This review is part of our coverage of the 2021 New York Film Festival.) It's an unwritten rule of film festivals that there have to be at least a few films in the program dealing with either the history of cinema or the filmmaking process. Bergman Island, the latest from Mia Hansen-Løve, covers both of those bases. It's a quietly beguiling look at a pair of filmmakers as they go about generating their latest projects, literally standing in the looming shadow of one of filmmaking's most towering figures.  Continue Reading →


SimilarA Real Young Girl (1976), Copying Beethoven (2006),
MPAA RatingR
StudioARTE France Cinéma,

Julia Ducourneau's followup to her stunning debut Raw makes for brutal, beautiful, brilliant body horror. (This review is part of our coverage of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.) Titane begins with the pluck of banjo strings and an extreme closeup of chrome. It’s a clash that’s jarring and compelling: the earthy, fire-and-brimstone howl of David Eugene Edwards’s take on the American folk standard “Wayfaring Stranger” set against an almost voyeuristic tour through a car’s inner workings. Continue Reading →


SimilarBend It Like Beckham (2002) La Haine (1995), Maria Full of Grace (2004),
Watch aftertick tick... BOOM! (2021),
MPAA RatingPG-13
StudioFilm4 Productions,

Rebecca Hall adapts Nella Larsen's novella about Black social mobility (and its corresponding resentments) to haunting effect. (This review is part of our coverage of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.) Nella Larsen's 1929 novella Passing is a fascinating text, a frank but elegant discussion of the intersections of race, class, and gender as cold and delicate as its subject matter. It makes sense, then, that Rebecca Hall's adaptation is similarly airy and ominous, an intimate portrait of resentment and racial/social mobility set amid the stifling backdrop of 1920s New York. Continue Reading →

The Courier

Dominic Cooke's well-crafted spy thriller doesn't try anything new, but boasts winning performances & a zippy plot. In 2019, the buddy-car film Ford v Ferrari became the clear cut favorite of dads across American and Britain. Using well-matched leads in Christian Bale and Matt Damon, James Mangold’s film became a critical and commercial hit, showing that fathers still have the power to put a movie into the green. It looks like there’s a new dad film of 2020 though, with Dominic Cooke’s Ironbark taking its rightful spot upon the beer-bellied throne.  Ironbark tells the story of Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch), a British businessman recruited by the government to become a spy-like courier in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Wynne agrees to keep this entire operation a secret from everyone, including his wife Sheila (Jessie Buckley), growing more invested and involved and spy-ish.  Flanked by one British operative Dickie Franks (Angus Wright) and one American operative Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan), Wynne begins meeting with a Russian source named Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze). Together, they smuggle nuclear information back into Britain and the U.S. in hopes of avoiding nuclear war, and eventually dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Continue Reading →