Ho Ai Li Assistant Life Editor and John Lui Film Correspondent recommend

Film & TV Picks: Nobody Knows

Kim Seo-hyung.
Kim Seo-hyung.PHOTO: VIU
Bangladeshi Feroz.
Bangladeshi Feroz.PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR
Hugh Jackman, right.
Hugh Jackman, right. PHOTO: HBO

NOBODY KNOWS

Viu/4 Stars

Kim Seo-hyung  is the heart and (tortured) soul here. She is detective Cha Young-jin, who has made it her life's mission to nail the perpetrators behind the death of her high-school friend Choi Soo-jung, found with wounds reminiscent of those suffered by Jesus during the Crucifixion, making her Victim No. 8 in the so-called stigmata serial murders.

Kim commands not just attention but also sympathy as the outwardly strong cop who is tormented by guilt.

While its pace slackens somewhat in the middle, Nobody Knows is nevertheless a classy detective drama about lost boys, religious fanaticism and a woman's determined quest for redemption.

New episodes of Nobody Knows are available on Viu every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ho Ai Li


I DREAM OF SINGAPORE (NC16)

78 minutes/Pay-per-view at Vimeo

Singaporean film-maker Lei Yuan Bin’s fourth film is a documentary that follows the lives of a group of migrant workers here

In real life, these are men whose lives are now under scrutiny following the coronavirus outbreak at their dormitories.

Lei tracks Ethan Guo from the non-profit Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) as he helps injured Bangladeshi Feroz.

The director moves between fiction and non-fiction work, with each one bearing his trademark poetically 
ambiguous style that leaves space for the viewer to find meaning.

All pay-per-view proceeds will go to TWC2 and independent cinema The Projector, which is now closed as part of Covid-19 containment efforts.

There will be a Facebook Live talkback session featuring a speaker from TWC2 and guests on Sunday at 5pm.

RENT IT AT: I Dream of Singapore on Vimeo

WHEN: Till Sunday

PRICE: US$9.99 (S$14). Each rental allows for a 24-hour viewing window

John Lui


BAD EDUCATION (M18)

105 minutes/HBO and HBO Go from Sunday/4 Stars

In this white-collar true-crime story, Allison Janney (the biopic I, Tonya, 2017) is cast perfectly as Pam, a school administrator in New York in the early 2000s.

Pam oozes professionalism. Her team fear and adore her. She is fiercely loyal to Frank (Hugh Jackman), a charismatic superintendent of schools who has everyone eating out of his hand.

Using their combined powers – he overflows with warmth, she is a lioness protecting everyone who swears loyalty – they drag the district’s schools up the regional rankings, endear themselves to parents and become impervious to oversight.

Too many comedies built around white-collar villains turn their main characters into caricatures of people who lead double lives: upstanding citizens by day, coke fiends by night. Director Cory Finley and screenwriter Mike Makowsky, relative newcomers to feature film-making, turn Pam and Frank into ordinary people who let their aspirations get ahead of their incomes.

John Lui
 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2020, with the headline 'Film & TV Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe