John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: Florence Foster Jenkins

Meryl Streep (with co-star Hugh Grant) in Florence Foster Jenkins
Meryl Streep (with co-star Hugh Grant) in Florence Foster JenkinsPHOTOS: SHAW ORGANISATION, CATHAY-KERIS FILMS, ADAM ELLIOT PICTURES, THE PROJECTOR

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (PG)
111 minutes/ 4 stars

Lady Jenkins, as she liked to be called, was a mid-20th-century New York society matron whose money shielded her from discovering how terrible she was at doing the thing she loved, singing.

Her life story would make for a satire on the vanity of the rich. And in dramatising her it, director Stephen Frears (Philomena, 2013; The Queen, 2006) and screenwriter Nicholas Martin do mock her.

But the portrait is largely affectionate. Meryl Streep (with co-star Hugh Grant) offers a stunning performance as Jenkins. Laughably misguided one moment and heartbreakingly vulnerable the next, Streep plays her as a woman with delicate feelings, cursed with the need to expose her gifts - such as they are - to the world.


THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (NC16)
111 minutes/ 3.5 stars

This zombie apocalypse flick puts a twist on the genre: The film is seen through the eyes of little girl Melanie (Sennia Nanua), a "hungry", slang for someone infected by a spore that turns people into ravenous biters.

Unlike the other hungries, who have gone feral, she and her cohort act like normal people. Melanie might even be a genius.

Somewhere in a devastated England, the children are imprisoned as test subjects by researchers looking for a cure. Dr Caldwell (Glenn Close) views them as laboratory animals, while teacher Helen (Gemma Arterton) thinks they should be given love and respect, their cannibal tendencies notwithstanding.


ANIMATION NATION 2016

The festival showcasing the best in animation from Singapore and worldwide screens is back after five years. In addition to a screening of the wordless Oscar-nominated Brazilian film Boy And The World| (PG, 2013), the event will showcase the works of Australian claymation master Adam Elliot.

He will be here to speak, and accompany screenings of his cult comedy Mary And Max (NC16, 2009, photo, detailing the letter-writing friendship between a bullied Australian girl and a New York man with Asperger's syndrome.

Elliot's short films will also be screened separately.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road; *Scape Gallery, Level 5, 2 Orchard Link; and Alliance Francaise, 1 Sarkies Road MRT: Various WHEN: Oct 13 to 16, various times ADMISSION: $5 to $16 INFO: sfs.org.sg/animation


IS EVERYTHING LOUDER IF THE IMAGE DISAPPEARS?

This avant-garde event severs the relationship between sound and image and rejoins them in different patterns.

Tonight's performance will have a screening of silent film Pan Si Dong (PG, 1927, photo), a rare early cinematic rendering of a Chinese folk tale. It will be accompanied by improvised live music.

This will be followed by another experiment in which the film's title cards (used to indicate dialogue and scene changes) are extracted and re-enacted by actors.

WHERE: The Projector MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Today, 8pm ADMISSION: $25 INFO: theprojector.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2016, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe