Film picks: French Film Festival, Bones And All, The Wonder

The documentary Nadia tells the story of Nadia Nadim, a former refugee from Afghanistan who becomes a professional footballer. PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR

French Film Festival: Nadia

The 38th edition of the festival, presented as part of the Voilah! France Singapore Festival, runs till Sunday and features 30 films.

Among the films showing is the Emmy-nominated documentary Nadia (PG13, 87 minutes). It recounts the tumultuous journey of Nadia Nadim, who plays for the Danish women’s football team. The 34-year-old was born in Afghanistan, but her family fled the country in 2000 after her father, a military officer, was executed by the Taliban.

The refugee family settled in Denmark, where she found a career as a professional footballer, playing for clubs in the country, France and the United States while also working with non-government agencies that help women and girls.

Attending the screening is French director Anissa Bonnefont, who will take questions from the audience after the show.

Where: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road
MRT: Nicoll Highway/Lavender
When: Saturday, 1.30pm
Admission: $13 for standard, $11 for student and senior concession holders
Info: theprojector.sg/films-and-events/nadia

Bones And All (R21)

131 minutes, now showing, 4 stars

Bones And All stars Timothee Chalamet (left) and Taylor Russell in a horror romance. PHOTO: WARNER BROS

In Reagan-era America, Maren (Taylor Russell) lives in poverty with her father. They are forced to move whenever Maren’s criminal tendencies emerge.

An incident forces her to seek her birth mother to discover the source of her strangeness. On the road, she meets Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and feels a kinship with the drifter, who, like her, is driven by violent urges. They traverse the country’s smaller highways – sometimes meeting other serial murderers, each with his or her own story to tell.

Italian director Luca Guadagnino (horror film Suspiria, 2018; romantic drama Call Me By Your Name, 2017, also starring Chalamet) treats the horror as an essential storytelling element, with the shocking nature of the violence making a point about poverty. His masterful balance of light and dark earned him the Silver Lion for Best Director at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.

The Wonder (NC16)

108 minutes, Netflix, 4 stars

The Wonder stars Florence Pugh (left) and Kíla Lord Cassidy in a story about a girl said to possess miraculous powers. PHOTO: NETFLIX

The magnetic Florence Pugh – most recently seen in the critically mauled thriller Don’t Worry Darling (2022) – stars as an English nurse summoned to a village in the 1862 Irish Midlands to observe a miracle. A local girl (Kila Lord Cassidy) has not eaten for four months since her 11th birthday, subsisting only on manna from heaven. Is she a fraud?

Pugh’s Lib Wright is a widowed battlefield nurse and she is having none of it. Her rationality antagonises the Catholic community. Notions of martyrdom and atonement are central to its identity.

Directed by Chilean auteur Sebastian Lelio (Gloria, 2013; A Fantastic Woman, 2017) and adapted from Emma Donoghue’s 2016 novel of the same name, this story is a parable on the power of myths and the way people create their own truths to sustain themselves.

With stubborn intelligence and Pugh’s usual emotional candour, Lib cuts through the otherworldliness to seek out the facts.

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