Film Picks

This Spanish-language science-fiction thriller (above, starring Alexandra Masangkay) has a premise that comes from the "concepts dreamed up by over-stimulated first-year students late one night in a dorm room" book.
This Spanish-language science-fiction thriller (above, starring Alexandra Masangkay) has a premise that comes from the "concepts dreamed up by over-stimulated first-year students late one night in a dorm room" book.PHOTOS: NETFLIX, UIP

THE PLATFORM (R21)

94 minutes/Streaming on Netflix

3 stars

This Spanish-language science-fiction thriller (starring Alexandra Masangkay) has a premise that comes from the "concepts dreamed up by over-stimulated first-year students late one night in a dorm room" book.

Set in an alternate-reality multi-storey prison block where inmates eat what is left of the food sent down from the upper floors, this allegory about capitalism finds its freshness in black humour and horror shocks.


PHANTOM THREAD (NC16)

130 minutes/Streaming on Netflix

3.5 stars

In this 2017 drama, director Paul Thomas Anderson once more explores human monsters made terrible by their obsessive nature.

Celebrated fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis, above right) is a man whose genius is matched only by his overwhelming need for control over every aspect of his life, including his lovers.

His sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) takes care of the day-to-day business in his London apartment, which doubles as his studio. He falls in love with waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps, above left) but, inevitably, the relationship falters once she gets a taste of his compulsions.

The pace is stately and the visuals are lush, pushed along nicely by the neo-classical music score of frequent Anderson collaborator Jonny Greenwood (of British alternative rock band Radiohead).

The film earned six Oscar nominations, including for Best Original Score, and won for Best Costume Design.


SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (R21)

106 minutes/Streaming on HBO Go

4 stars

This 2018 comedic dig at capitalism and broken race relations mixes the sweet with the sour, the silly with the serious.

Cassius (Lakeith Stanfield, above right) takes a soul-crushing telemarketing job and rises up the corporate ladder because, on the phone, no one can tell he is black. But the "whiter" he becomes, the more estranged he is from his girl, an activist called Detroit (Tessa Thompson, above left).

Musician-turned-film-maker Boots Riley cranks up the volume in the anarchic third act.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2020, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe