Film picks: Girl, Cities Of Last Things, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

(Clockwise from top left) Movie stills of Girl, Cities Of Last Things, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Mary Poppins Returns.
(Clockwise from top left) Movie stills of Girl, Cities Of Last Things, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Mary Poppins Returns.PHOTOS: ANTICIPATE PICTURES, MM2 ENTERTAINMENT, SONY PICTURES ANIMATION, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY (SOUTHEAST ASIA) PTE. LIMITED

GIRL (R21)

Fifteen-year-old transgender girl Lara (played by Victor Polster) dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, but finds herself struggling against the restraints of her transitioning-from-male body.

The film, Belgium's official entry to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, won the International Federation of Film Critics' Golden Camera prize at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Where: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road

MRT: Nicoll Highway

When: Jan 4 to 6, various times

Admission: $13.50 from theprojector.sg


CITIES OF LAST THINGS (R21)

Told in three parts in reverse chronological order, this film by Malaysia-born Taiwan-based director Ho Wi Ding is about one man (played by three different actors - Jack Kao, Lee Hong-chi and Hsieh Chang-ying) and the women who have influenced him at different points in his life.

Taiwanese actress Ding Ning won the Golden Horse for Best Supporting Actress last month (Nov) for playing a troubled crime boss in the final segment.

Where: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road

MRT: Nicoll Highway

When: Saturday (Dec 29), 8.30pm; Next Tuesday (Dec 1), 7.40pm

Admission: $13.50 from theprojector.sg


 

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (PG)

117 mins/4 stars

In this animated film, gifted teen Mile Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider and has to overcome his fears to take on the villain Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), who has created a weapon that opens paths to alternate dimensions.

The film's dazzling visual style draws heavily from the aesthetic language of the comic books, from wiggly lines around the head to indicate a tingling Spider sense, to the written sound effects (the "Aaaa!" when Miles falls from a building).


 

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (PG)

131 mins/3 stars

In this sequel to Mary Poppins (1964), the Banks children - Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) - are now adults. One day, they see Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), the nanny who used to care for them, float down from the sky.

Director Rob Marshall (the musical Into The Woods, 2014) is a safe pair of hands into which to deliver this most precious of Disney properties and, here, safety is priority No. 1. He does not deliver updates or cheekiness; he treats the source as sacred canon, both in story and tone.