Film Picks

Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie
Jennifer Connelly and David BowiePHOTO: THE PROJECTOR

The Straits Times recommends

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOWIE CELEBRATION

The late rock icon David Bowie was born on Jan 8, 1947 and The Projector will mark the day with a screening of the fantasy film, Labyrinth (1986, PG, 101 minutes).

Directed by Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, it features a menagerie of monsters, Jennifer Connelly as a girl rescuing her younger brother, Bowie (with Connelly) as the Goblin King and a tone so menacing, it gave kids nightmares. It was a flop, but has since become a classic.

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

John Lui


THE WASTED TIMES (M18)


PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

123 minutes/ 3.5/5 stars

Lu (Ge You, pictured) is an influential and ruthless mobster in 1930s Shanghai on the eve of the Japanese invasion. The wife of Lu's boss is Xiaoliu (Zhang Ziyi), a woman prone to indiscreet affairs. Their lives intersect time and again as war upends the city.

Chinese writer-director Cheng Er is clearly a fan of American film-maker Quentin Tarantino's style. This thriller moves back and forth in time, changing viewers' understanding of characters and situations each time it does so.

Boon Chan


UNA (M18)


PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

94 minutes/ 4/5 stars

In this study of power and manipulation, Una (Rooney Mara, pictured) pays a visit to Ray (Ben Mendelsohn), a man who sexually abused her when she was in her early teens.

Una is scarred, of course, and over 90 tense minutes, moviegoers are shown how much. This is not quite a revenge fantasy, nor a paean to healing. What unfolds in the meeting - occurring mostly in real time, with flashbacks to a younger Una (played by Ruby Stokes) - is gripping for what it reveals about the lingering effects of trauma.

John Lui


MOANA (PG)


PHOTO: WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS

115 minutes/ 3.5/5 stars

This Disney princess has no prince and the film is all the better because of it.

The island of Motonui is starting to rot, but its people are afraid to venture out. Moana (pictured left, voiced by Auli'i Cravalho) is eager to find a mythical island. Along the way, she befriends demigod Maui (pictured right, voiced by Dwayne Johnson).

Her new friend aids her a little, but this is still Moana's solo journey of self-discovery, one rendered in stunning detail. What she is not is a damsel in distress. This one braves stormy oceans and battles scary monsters on her own.

Yip Wai Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2017, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe