THE INVISIBLE MAN (M18)
125 minutes/4 stars
Writer-director Leigh Whannell beds the frequently remade story in a thoroughly gripping domestic thriller. The rest, including Elizabeth Moss's fine acting and, yes, high-quality special effects, is a bonus.
Cecilia Kass (Moss) is a woman escaping the clutches of a violent boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a scientist. Her nightmare is just beginning as things happen that only she sees and others cannot.
Cecilia, under assault from unseen hands, is glibly given the brush-off by friends and family who tell her she is suffering from post-traumatic stress or over-medicating or some other regurgitated platitude picked up from a daytime talk show. It feels relatable, contemporary and enraging.
90 minutes/3.5 stars
This documentary tries without narration to show water's many forms and how human lives are shaped by it.
Humans, whether they are reckless Russians in sport utility vehicles hurtling across the thinning ice of Lake Baikal or boaters veering dangerously close to Greenland's iceberg-shedding glaciers, are shown to be tiny and transient. Russian film-maker Victor Kossakovsky's work is, appropriately, an immersive experience showing water to be vast, timeless and implacable. It is all undercut with a note of sadness over how human activity is changing its behaviour.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (R21)
120 minutes/4.5 stars
Repressed emotions boil over in a spartan 18th-century country manor. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, this French drama written and directed by Celine Sciamma (the award-winning coming-of-age film Girlhood, 2014) ignores everything viewers expect from period dramas centred on aristocratic life. There is little lushness visually and the musical score and dialogue are dialled down. Sciamma is interested in what faces and hands have to say when portraitist Marianne (Noemie Merlant) and noblewoman Heloise (Adele Haenel) meet under difficult circumstances.
Where: The Projector
MRT: Nicoll Highway