Yip Wai Yee and John Lui recommend

Film picks: European Union Film Festival, Singapore Chinese Film Festival, Journeyman



Would you be willing to make all of your phone calls public for everyone to listen to? That is the game that a group of seven friends play at a dinner party, which quickly descends into chaos when dark secrets start spilling out from these calls.

This is the premise for the Italian film, Perfect Strangers (2016, above), one of the offerings at the 28th edition of the European Union Film Festival, the longest-running foreign film festival in Singapore.

WHERE: National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road MRT: City Hall WHEN: May 10 to 20, various times ADMISSION: $12 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sgINFO: For schedules, go to www.euff.sg

Yip Wai Yee


93 minutes

4 stars

Matty Burton (Paddy Considine, below) is a middleweight boxing champion who wants to quit the game for the sake of his family.

But he will retire only after one more big-money match, the outcome of which shatters his dream of a happy home life.

In this fictional character study, Matty is a creation that will test the audience's sympathies. He is a nice guy, but after one traumatic head injury, audiences will find that pity only goes so far.

Considine's portrait of illness and recovery is unsparing and stark and it goes where other true-life stories do not, or cannot, go. His finely textured performance exposes the humanity in a husk of a human being.

John Lui


Chinese film-maker Zhang Tao's Last Laugh (2017, above) follows the life of elderly farmer Mrs Lin, who is on a long waiting list for a bed in a nursing home.

Until she gets a place, she finds herself shuttled between her children's homes.

This movie is among 59 works screening at the Singapore Chinese Film Festival, many of which are making their Singapore premiere.

WHERE: Various locations, including Capitol Theatre, Golden Village cineplexes, The Projector and the National Museum of Singapore WHEN: April 27 to May 6, various times ADMISSION: $13 a ticket. For films showing at Golden Village cineplexes, tickets are available from www.gv.com.sg and Golden Village box offices. For films shown elsewhere, go to Sistic INFO: For schedules, go to scff.sg

Yip Wai Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe