John Lui Film Correspondent & Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

Film Picks: Everybody Wants Some!!, Assassination Classroom 2, 26th European Union Film Festival, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl

Blake Jenner, above with Zoe Deutch.
Blake Jenner, above with Zoe Deutch.PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE


116 minutes/4/5 stars

Writer-director Richard Linklater shows that the best thing about being American - or more specifically, a middle-class Texan - is that you get to choose your tribe when you come of age. Your tribe is a subculture that you accept or, more importantly, which accepts you.

Jake (Blake Jenner) is a college freshman in the 1980s who shares a house with other baseball jocks like him, for whom the priorities in life are baseball, girls, beer and smoking pot, in that order.

The 55-year-old film-maker has a great deal of affection for his ensemble of lunkheads and he makes you want to stay with them, despite their hyper-competitive, childish streaks.

John Lui


118 minutes/3.5/5 stars

Education and murder are most unlikely bedfellows, though they went together like a compelling nightmare in the action thriller Battle Royale (2000).

Assassination Classroom 2 deals with similar themes, albeit with a far more light-hearted approach.

A seemingly indestructible octopus-like creature comes to the no-hope Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School. The assignment is for the students to assassinate him before graduation, failing which Earth will be destroyed. This is an adaptation of Yusei Matsui's hit manga of the same name.

It certainly gives a fresh spin to the genre of rah-rah you-can- do-better education dramas when the film draws a link between learning to be a good assassin and becoming a better student and person.

Boon Chan


Ukraine's The Tribe (R21, 2014, above) is a bold experiment in film-making. The cast consists entirely of hearing-impaired actors, who sign throughout the film with no subtitles. It all works - this story of teens in a street gang is riveting and you soon forget that the film is essentially silent.

The Dutch biopic Admiral (M18, 2015) tells the story of how one intrepid 17th-century sailor, Michiel de Ruyter, saved the young republic from the fleets of England and France. This stirring tale of heroism on the high seas mixes adventure with court intrigue and family drama.

WHERE: Golden Village Suntec City MRT: City Hall/ Esplanade/Promenade WHEN: May 10 to 22 ADMISSION: $12 INFO:

John Lui



102 minutes/Now showing/4/5 stars

Coming-of-age stories are rarely as bluntly confessional as this account of a teen who falls in love with her mother's boyfriend in 1970s San Francisco. Mimi (Bel Powley, above right) is a girl who thinks and feels too much. Driven by loneliness, lust and curiosity, she goes to bed with Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard), the boyfriend of mother Charlotte (Kristen Wiig, above left). The budding comic-book artist pours herself into her art and diary.

Writer-director Marielle Heller bases her award-winning work on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner. Heller examines the delusions of both teen protagonist Mimi and the adults around her with empathy and precision; and with its hand-drawn graphics sequences, it is also pretty to look at.

WHERE: The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower, 05-00 MRT: Nicoll Highway INFO: Tickets and schedule at

John Lui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe