Love & Friendship trailer

5. Love & Friendship

Release date: May 13

Another Whit Stillman film, you say? And we don’t have to wait 13 years to see it? That’s how long it took Stillman to make a movie after 1998’s The Last Days of Disco. His last directorial effort, Damsels in Distress, is a low-key charmer, but he’s taking on slightly different material with Love & Friendship. For starters, it’s based on Jane Austen‘s novella Lady Susan, making this the director’s first adaptation to date. Starring The Last Days of Disco‘s Kate Beckinsale and Chloë SevignyLove & Friendship, Angie noted at Sundance, is still the kind of “out-and-out comedy” fans of the filmmaker expect. Jane Austin and Whit Stillman’s sensibilities combined should make for a delightful time at the movies, and based on most of the reviews out of Sundance, including Angie’s, it is.

De Palma poster

4. De Palma

Release date: June 10

If you watched director Noah Baumbach‘s (Mistress America) interview with Brian De Palma on the Criterion release of Blow-Out, then you’re already aware of the fact Baumbach knows how to dig deep while discussing craft with the legendary filmmaker. Co-directed by Baumbach and Jake Paltrow (The Young Ones), De Palma is 107 minutes of the director behind Carlito’s WayThe Untouchables, and Dressed to Kill discussing his career and Hollywood. De Palma is pretty candid in interviews as is, but talking to two fellow filmmakers should open up the filmmaker in a whole new way.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople Trailer

3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Release date: June 24

Hunt for Wilderpeople feels like a throwback to ’80s adventure films in some ways, but it mostly just feels like a new childhood classic,” Angie wrote in her review at Sundance. “It has all the makings of one: it’s got wonder and adventure and loads of humor, and ultimately winds up on the side of optimism—but it also has moments of genuine tragedy and danger.” Before director Taika Waititi ventures off into Marvel land, make sure to see his third feature film, which is a buddy picture about young Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) and his uncle (Sam Neill) getting lost in the New Zealand bush. If Hunt for the Wilderpeople is half as delightful as Waititi’s vampire comedy, What We Do in the Shadows, then audiences are in for a treat.

The Lobster (1)

2. The Lobster

Release date: May 13

In the future, it’s illegal to be single. In 45 days, if a single man or woman hasn’t found a spouse, they’re turned into an animal of their choosing. If it comes down to it, David (Colin Farrell) wants to live the rest of his life as a lobster. As ridiculous as Yorgos Lanthimos‘ (Dogtooth) film sounds, it’s one of the most human stories you’ll see all year. The film presents a smorgasbord of honest emotions and ideas about relationships and the single life. You’ll either find The Lobster incredibly romantic, depressing or maybe both, which is why you should see the dark romantic comedy: it’ll spark a discussion about what it has to say.

a bigger splash trailer

1. A Bigger Splash

Release date: now in limited release

Director Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) and screenwriter Dave Kajganich‘s remake of Jacques Deray‘s La Piscine is almost an assault on the senses. What starts as a visual feast with old friends (and lovers) reuniting turns into an unnerving drama, where everything that was once visually or audibly pleasing, like Harry Nilsson’s “Jump into the Fire,” playing at full blast, turns into an absolute nightmare. Even the sound of an iPhone going off makes for an unsettling sound effect.

For a movie with little plot, A Bigger Splash is dense: plenty of subtle setups and payoffs, striking visual motifs (the food), and endlessly fascinating characters. As brutal as this story of fidelity and intense love can get, it’s also a surprisingly funny and exciting experience. I believe scientists will one day prove you haven’t fully lived life until you’ve seen Ralph Fiennes dance in A Bigger Splash. Fiennes’ performance is absolutely hypnotic and unpredictable, and the film itself is just as mesmerizing, with its unexpected turns, gorgeous costumes and locations, and a group of characters that’ll likely continue to grow richer on repeat viewings.

Honorable Mentions: Sunset Song (May 13th), Almost Holy (May 20th), Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (June 24th), Captain Fantastic (July 8th), and Into the Forest (July 22nd).

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