‘This isn’t the land of waiting for back up. This is the land of you’re on your own.’ – Ben, Wind River
Wind River (2017)
Taylor Sheridan’s follow up to Hell Or High Water (2016) shows a different part of America that is equally broken, just in different ways. A wildlife officer (played by Jeremy Renner) find the body of an eighteen year-old woman on an American reservation, forcing him to confront trauma in his past. He’s paired with a visiting FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to help investigate, placing their lives in danger in the process.
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
Dark, unsettling and utterly compelling neo-noir. It’s about dark acts, both those committed and those acted upon. Visually stunning and and properly haunting.
Jake Gyllenhaal first came to attention in Donnie Darko (2001) as a bitterly damaged who may or may not be facing the end of the world. For the next 13 years he made more mainstream movies and generally played heroic types. Then this came along, with Gyllenhaal returning to the dark side. Wonderfully creepy with excellent support from Riz Ahmed.
20th Century Women (2017)
If you’re in any doubt of Annette Bening’s greatness, watch this and be truly enamoured. She shines in the leading role in this equivalent of a cinematic novella. Told in a manner akin to chapters or vignettes, the film manages to capture a whole host of female figures with a level of depth and tenderness that is all too rare.
Private life (2018)
Tragedy and comedy are entwined, the only way to cope with tragedy is to find the humour within it. A married couple (Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti) struggle to keep their marriage going as they navigate fertility treatment and the world of adoption. Beautifully acted and truly heartfelt.