John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: My Cousin Rachel, O.P.E.N. Films, and The Wall

Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin in My Cousin Rachel.
Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin in My Cousin Rachel.PHOTOS: 20TH CENTURY FOX, SHAW ORGANISATION, SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS
Free And Easy
Free And Easy
Neruda
Neruda
Aaron Taylor-Johnson in The Wall.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson in The Wall.

MY COUSIN RACHEL (NC16)

106 minutes/3.5 stars

This romantic thriller set in 19th-century England steers clear of gothic psychodrama in favour of a clear, direct and no less beguiling mode of presentation.

Based on the 1951 Daphne du Maurier novel of the same title, the story is set in the 1830s and revolves around Philip (Sam Claflin), an orphaned boy who grows up in the home of his wealthy relative Ambrose.

The older man meets an untimely death and suspicion falls on his new bride, the mysterious cousin Rachel (Rachel Weisz).

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O.P.E.N. FILMS: FREE AND EASY (PG)

97 minutes

The Singapore International Festival of Arts has a pre-festival component called The O.P.E.N. and film buffs should find a lot to like in the programme. Chinese indie flick Free And Easy, described by Variety magazine as "drolly diverting", is one of the first films to kick off the festival.

If you like your comedies mildy satirical and extremely dry, this movie - featuring bad cops, fake monks and swindling salesmen all living in a dead-end northern Chinese town and trying to outsmart one another - might be your cup of tea. Helmed by Chinese indie director Geng Jun, the film picked up the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Award for Cinematic Vision.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Tomorrow, 9pm ADMISSION: $45 for an O.P.E.N. Pass, valid for six films; $10 for a single-entry ticket INFO: www.sifa.sg/theopen


O.P.E.N. FILMS: NERUDA (M18)

108 minutes

Also part of The O.P.E.N is this stylised, part-imagined biopic covering the time in the life of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) when he became a hunted man after criticising the regime. Pablo Larrain (No, 2012; Jackie, 2016) directs while the fascist policeman sent after the poet is played by Gael Garcia Bernal.

WHERE: The Projector MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Sunday, 3pm ADMISSION: $45 for an O.P.E.N. Pass, valid for six films; $10 for a single-entry ticket INFO: www.sifa.sg/theopen


THE WALL (M18)

90 minutes/3.5 stars

This taut, escape-room puzzle of a military thriller is as stripped-down as it could possibly get.

Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Matthews (John Cena) are American snipers in Iraq who are pinned down behind a crumbling wall by an unseen Iraqi sniper. Smarts, not guns, decide the outcome.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe