Annette Bening captivates as a single mother enlisting Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning to help raise her 15-year-old son in this funny, nuanced memoir of late-70s lifestyles from director Mike Mills (Beginners).
Colin Farrell plays a wounded Civil War mercenary under the care of a commune of young women, led by Nicole Kidman, in Sofia Coppola’s beautiful, feminist take on Don Siegel’s 1971 Southern Gothic psychodrama.
Filmed over two years in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hawaii and Australia, this beautifully crafted wake-up call to the state of the earth’s oceans profiles inspiring individuals working to preserve and protect marine life.
Disney’s famed nature documentary unit brings the epic journey of three animal families enduring China’s vast and unforgiving terrain spectacularly to the big screen.
This gorgeous and moving adaptation of André Aciman’s acclaimed novel, directed by Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love), stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet as lovers in sun-kissed northern Italy.
This fascinating documentary about urban planning considers the continuing relevance of the showdown, half a century ago, between the activist Jane Jacobs and the Trumpian Robert Moses: a fight for the future of New York.
Sent only a single invitation, dry, sarcastic, maddening Mary (marvellous Seána Kerslake) sets out to find a date for her best friend’s wedding in this barbed and funny Irish romcom.
The 30-year career of prolific Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten is celebrated in this doco, which visits the designer’s atelier and home while following his production of four collections a year.
This animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ graphic memoir of his parents’ lives is both humble and profound, with gorgeous renderings of Briggs’ justly famous lines. Featuring the voices of Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn.
In this utterly charming documentary, octogenarian French director Agnès Varda takes to the road with the young photo-muralist JR, creating artworks, looking up old friends and finding new ones.
The incredible journey of the Voyager spaceship is retraced by the women and men closest to the action in this exhilarating big-screen documentary.
This elegantly mounted drama explores regeneration in the aftermath of World War I through the complex relationship of a young German woman (Anna Beer) and a French soldier (Pierre Niney) brought together by shared loss.
In this adrenalised Cannes sensation from guerrilla-filmmaker siblings Josh and Benny Safdie, Robert Pattinson is riveting as a small-time criminal on a frantic nocturnal odyssey to break his brother out of custody.
The meteoric rise, fall and rise again of the prodigiously talented fashion designer Zac Posen is documented with sympathy and a little suspense in a many-storied documentary, packed full of his splendid creations.
This Oscar-nominated documentary draws an astonishing, challenging and utterly contemporary examination of race in the United States entirely from the writings and interview footage of civil rights icon James Baldwin.
More than just another example of cute kittens on camera, this documentary about the cats of Istanbul and the people who watch out for them exudes charm and insight that a million YouTube videos cannot match.
Kiki, el amor se hace
Anyone for harpaxophilia? How about somnophilia? In five intertwined mini-romcoms, a scorching summer heatwave intensifies the very particular desires of a collection of Madrid lovers. A major hit at the Spanish box office.
Charlie Hunnam makes a commanding flawed hero as British Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett in a sweeping giant screen epic, filmed with rare intelligence by writer/director James Gray. With Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson.
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan) won the Cannes Jury Prize for his stark and gripping tale of a divorcing couple caught in a missing-child procedural.
Sally Hawkins delivers an unforgettable performance as Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis, irrepressible despite arthritis and a churlish husband (Ethan Hawke), in this gently flowing biopic set in the 1930s.
Catherine Frot stars as a conscientious midwife reluctantly reconnecting with Catherine Deneuve as the flamboyant step-mother who absconded 30 years earlier, in this lively drama from writer/director Martin Provost (Séraphine)
A spectacular musical and cinematic collaboration, Jennifer Peedom’s new movie exalts the spellbinding force of the world’s great mountains – and the power they exercise over the human imagination.
Check out the year’s best New Zealand short films as chosen by this year’s guest selector Gaylene Preston, from a shortlist drawn up by NZIFF programmers from a total of 83 entries.
In Hugh Macdonald’s fascinating and inspiring doco, his cousin, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch, retraces a long life dedicated to sharing her understanding and love of New Zealand’s nature and history.
Toivon tuolla puolen
A Syrian stowaway lands up in Helsinki and finds refuge working in the worst restaurant in town in this funny, gorgeously filmed new tragicomedy from Finland hangdog maestro, Aki Kaurismäki.
“This sketch of an ambitious Westminster politician and dinner-party hostess (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose life comes spectacularly apart before the canapés are even served, is a consummate drawing-room divertissement, played with relish by a dream ensemble.” — Guy Lodge, Variety
This quietly charming, slightly surreal road movie features a bromance between an over-the-hill architect and his long-lost pet elephant as they escape Bangkok and head back to their village hometown.
With walkers, rafters, anglers and farmers, this documentary journeys from the alpine to spring rivers of Canterbury, exploring above and below the surfaces in search of ways through a freshwater crisis.
The lives of June and her pet dog Lucas change forever. Screening with Kedi.
Catalan director Carla Simón’s award-winning dramatisation of her own experience as a six-year-old orphan adjusting to a new life in the country features the most remarkable and mesmerising child performances in years.
In this new adaptation of a British classic, four plucky kids escape the tedium of a housebound Lake District summer holiday, and set off on their own for capers of the dinghy sailing and foiling dastardly spies variety.