AW Kautzer's Film Review Film

Adam’s Top Twenty of 2020

Adam's Top 2020

Hunted (dir. Vincent Paronnaud)

I’m still haunted by the imagery in this darkly violent and oftentimes brutally hilarious film.  The setup is simple.  One night a woman (Lucie Debay) goes out to a bar.  She is picked up by two men.  Things turn ugly quickly as they begin to hunt her.  The tables quickly turn as the woman begins to hunt them.  There is a clinical distance in the entire film that thankfully never invokes Stanley Kubrick (like many a distanced filmmaker has a tendency to do).  Rather director Paronnaud makes a film that provokes you to see the absurdity of it all and dares you to laugh as this woman gives her predators their just deserts.  

Original Review 

First Cow (dir. Kelly Reichardt)

Kelly Reichardt’s frontier drama is as dirtily sumptuous as a film that’s ever been filmed.  A perfect complement to McCabe and Mrs. Miller. A simple story of friendship, bovines, and sweet biscuits (not the English version of the word to be clear).  Reichardt’s film is beautifully constructed in every way from its digital photography (that looks as warmly shot as anything done with Super 16 this filmmaker has seen), editing, score, and performance (with amazing work by John Magaro and Orion Lee).  The gentle and harsh of the Oregon of the late 1800s has never been so delicately and beautifully rendered. 

Bring Me Home (dir. Seung-woo Kim)

No film kept me on the edge of my seat than Lee Young-ae’s return to the big screen.  What a hell of a film to come roaring back with. This thriller about a missing child should come with a trigger warning about the mistreatment of children.  That said… To say more about how everything unfolds in Bring Me Home would be to ruin one of the best thrillers of recent memory.  This is the real deal.  If this is the kind of material that Lee Young-ae was waiting for. Let us hope, she does not have to wait another fifteen years.  Though, we will gladly wait if that’s what it takes.  Bring Me Home is that good.

Original Review 

76 Days (dir. Hao Wu and Weixi Chen)

This should be required viewing for all.  The most unfortunate part is that I’m afraid even if this harrowing verité style documentary will just wash over those that need to see it the most.  Set at Ground Zero for the COVID-19 outbreak this film manages to give us an up close and personal look at the front-line medical professionals that in the first 76 days of this outbreak.  What we see is an intimate, upsetting, oftentimes surprisingly hopeful look at the patience, diligence, and courage that the people in the medical field must face day in and day out.  Regardless of wins or losses during Award Season this film is a truly important one.  One that documents one of the darker times in our recent World History and shows us what true strength is.

Original Review 

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