The Little Things《蛛丝马迹》
The Little Things was a contemporary neo-noir detective mystery when John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr Banks, The Blind Side) wrote the screenplay back in 1993. Almost three decades later, Hancock has finally directed what is now a period drama set in the dark distant days when the police didn't all have cell phones and DNA-tracing technology. Its three Oscar-winning stars are Denzel Washington as a burnt-out sheriff, Rami Malek as a straitlaced sergeant, and Jared Leto as the creepy prime suspect in a Los Angeles serial killer case. Robert Daniels at Polygon says that "Hancock, in what might be his best film, grazes with greatness by constructing an enthralling thriller".
Released on 29 January in the US and Canada, 12 February in UK and Ireland
Lee Isaac Chung's autobiographical drama has had glowing reviews, but it has also been the source of controversy. Most of the dialogue is in Korean, so the organisers of the Golden Globes put it in the Foreign Language Film category. But Minari is also the tale of a US family working on a small farm in Arkansas in the 1980s, so some commentators have argued that calling its language "foreign" is outdated and insulting. Glenn Whipp in the Los Angeles Times says that the film "feels like a balm right now, a gentle, truthful and tender story of family filled with kind people trying to love one another the best they can. "
Released on 12 February in the US, 18 February in Australia, and 26 February in Canada
French Exit offers us a precious gift: an all-too-rare lead performance from Michelle Pfeiffer. In this quirky but poignant comedy, adapted by Patrick DeWitt from his own satirical novel, Pfeiffer plays Frances, a widowed New York socialite. Having spent all the money her husband left her, she moves out of her swanky apartment and relocates to Paris with her son, Lucas Hedges. And then the trouble starts. Frances is the kind of person who sets fire to a restaurant's flower arrangement to get the waiter's attention, and conducts a seance so that she can communicate with her husband via her cat.
Released on 12 February in the US, Canada and Italy, 26 February in the UK and Ireland
What's unique about The Father, is that it shows dementia from the perspective of the person who has it. Anthony Hopkins stars as an 80-something man who is content to live alone in his London flat, but who thinks that the people and possessions around him keep changing: in some scenes his daughter is played by Olivia Colman, and in others by Olivia Williams. Florian Zeller's film currently has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, partly due to the writer-director's ingenious cinematic trickery, and partly due to the extraordinary acting. "To play a man who's begun to lose his mental faculties, Hopkins methodically strips away every quality we've come to expect from him – the refinement, the silver tongue, the imposing intensity – until there's nothing left but frailty and distress," writes AA Dowd in AV Club. "The final scenes of the movie are among the most heartbreakingly vulnerable of Hopkins' whole career."
Released on 26 February in the US and Italy, 12 March in the UK