NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Jessica Hof

Bar The Farewell – which I’ve already seen and is exquisite, so needed inclusion on my list – I’ve been saving these for the big screen for the full immersive popcorn (or snuck in supermarket treats) experience. My picks are a mixture of entertaining, empowering and a bit nuts (reflecting my true self), with the odd I-actually-want-to-know-about-this documentary thrown in, because I like to have something up my sleeve in case a particularly bad batch of small talk runs dry. Nothing like corrupt politics to liven up a dull conversation.

Also, there is something so internally warming about a wee book like The Little Prince bringing back forgotten languages and identities through its inclusive, curious nature of a plot. You know, for when rubbish men in power have made you sad enough. — Jessica Hof, Wellington Intern

Animals

Sophie Hyde

Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) are thirty-something best friends in Dublin, where partying hard is still their way to have fun, but the reality of getting older is getting harder to ignore.

American Woman

Jake Scott

A sweeping character study centred on a teenager’s disappearance – and a mother’s determination to live through the tragedy – in blue collar Pennsylvania. With Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul and Christina Hendricks.

Capital in the 21st Century

Justin Pemberton

A sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future. Based on economist Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book.

Come to Daddy

Ant Timpson

Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie and Madeleine Sami lead Kiwi director (and NZIFF/Incredibly Strange programmer) Ant Timpson’s deranged comic thriller about a father-son reunion that goes very, very south.

The Day Shall Come

Chris Morris

Anna Kendrick plays a dysfunctional FBI agent tricking an idealistic preacher into plotting terror in The Day Shall Come, Chris Morris’ ballsy, very funny follow-up to festival hit Four Lions.

The Farewell

Lulu Wang

Deft and deeply felt, with a star-making turn from Awkwafina, Lulu Wang’s widely praised drama tells the story of a Chinese American family paying their last respects to a mother and grandmother who doesn’t know she’s dying.

High Life

Claire Denis

A forbidding spaceship carrying death row inmates hurtles towards oblivion in Claire Denis’s long-awaited, intensely hypnotic sci-fi opus.

Loro

Paolo Sorrentino

Toni Servillo as Silvio Berlusconi plays the role of his life in Paolo Sorrentino’s satirical account of the former prime minister of Italy, famous for his fortunes and scandals as well as his ad personam policies.

The Miracle of The Little Prince

Het Wonder van Le Petit Prince

Marjoleine Boonstra

The Miracle of the Little Prince profiles dedicated translators who use Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless and overwhelmingly emotional novella to help keep dying, frequently less spoken and documented languages alive.

The Nightingale

Jennifer Kent

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, Jennifer Kent’s brutal revenge saga is an unrelenting reckoning with white male oppression – and not for the faint of heart.

This Changes Everything

Tom Donahue

You thought #TimesUp was a new initiative? Think again. This Changes Everything is the rallying cry lovers of cinema, supporters of women, and those who just aspire to see a fairer, more equitable industry have been waiting for.

Vivarium

Lorcan Finnegan

Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots’ goal of becoming homeowners veers into strange and sinister territory in this smart and unexpected sci-fi horror.