Your Name, Lion, SGIFF's Naomi Kawase showcase and more

Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki, left), a high-school boy living in Tokyo, has a crush on a senior colleague at an Italian restaurant where he works part-time. Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi, right), a restless high-school girl living in rural Itomori, performs
Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki, left), a high-school boy living in Tokyo, has a crush on a senior colleague at an Italian restaurant where he works part-time. Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi, right), a restless high-school girl living in rural Itomori, performs rituals for the family shrine.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, UIP, GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES

John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

YOUR NAME (PG)

107 minutes/4 stars

It is easy to see why Your Name, based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Makoto Shinkai, has been such a big hit in Japan. It has a compelling story told in an unusual way and the visuals are lovely.

Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a high-school boy living in Tokyo, has a crush on a senior colleague at an Italian restaurant where he works part-time. Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi), a restless high-school girl living in rural Itomori, performs rituals for the family shrine.

Their lives start to intersect in a mysterious way that confounds them and the people around them.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Tomorrow, 5.40pm and Sunday, 5.20pm ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: theprojector.sg


LION (PG)

129 minutes/4 stars

Saroo (played by Sunny Pawar as a child and Dev Patel as an adult) is scavenging in the train yards with brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) when he falls asleep in a carriage.

The boy is taken far away to the megapolis of Kolkata. Saroo is adopted by couple Sue and John Brierly (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, with Pawar, photo), who take him to Hobart, Tasmania.

The pre-Australia section of this biopic has the exhilarating, jittery energy of gangster movie, City Of God (2002).

Kolkata is as much a character in this movie as Rio de Janeiro was in the Brazilian film.

Australian director Garth Davis, making his feature debut, depicts the city in the abstract, a place of shadows ready to make a meal of a small boy.


NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (M18)

117 minutes/4 stars

Writer-director Tom Ford plays with contrasting textures in this psycho-drama about the violence that men and women inflict on one another and themselves.

Susan (Amy Adams, photo), owner of a beyond-hip art gallery, gets a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward, a struggling novelist. She is both repulsed and fascinated by the story, a violent revenge fantasy with characters that read very much like Susan and Edward.

The action flips between the book's Texas locale (hot and dirty) and Susan's Los Angeles home (cool and antiseptic).

The fictional world offers physical terrors while, in the real world, husbands and wives torture one another emotionally.


FILMS OF NAOMI KAWASE

Japanese film-maker Naomi Kawase's works tend to be meditative and driven by nature, but in her latest film, An (2015, PG, 113 minutes), a human drama takes centre stage. A red bean bun-maker (Masatoshi Nagase) is one day visited by an elderly woman (Kirin Kiki, photo) whose recipe knocks him off his feet.

The Singapore International Film Festival will screen An and Kawase's earlier film, Still The Water (M18, 2014, 120 minutes), as part of a special focus on her work.

She will speak at the screening of An.

WHERE: National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road MRT: Bras Basah/Dhoby Ghaut WHEN: Tomorrow, various times ADMISSION: $12 INFO: sgiff.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe