John Lui Film Correspondent and Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

Films Picks

PHOTOS: ANTICIPATE PICTURES, THE PROJECTOR, UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES SINGAPORE, SHAW ORGANISATION

DARKEST HOUR (PG)

126 minutes

This portrait of British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman, above, with Kristin Scott Thomas) covers the weeks between his rise to power and his first wartime speeches, now considered the most stirring given by any leader.

Gary Oldman's portrayal of Churchill deserves the acclaim it has received from critics, as well as the notice of judges at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Both have nominated him for the Best Actor prize.

Aided by the astonishingly supple facial prosthetics, Oldman plays both the public and private Churchill with convincing ease. The oratorical prowess is there, as well as the V-for-victory fingers and the brisk walk. But there is also Winston naked in the bath, swilling brandy by the bucket, roaring at his terrified staff.

John Lui


THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (M18)

121 minutes

4 stars

Heart surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell, above right) seems to have taken a fatherly interest in teenager Martin (Barry Keoghan). The young man is fixated on Murphy, his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman, above left), teenage daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and young son Bob (Sunny Suljic). As Martin's behaviour grows more odd, Murphy breaks off the relationship, but his decision carries an otherworldly penalty.

That juxtaposition of the mundane and the nightmarishly mythic is constantly at play in this movie - winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival, and nominee for the top prize of the Palme d'Or for director and co-screenwriter Yorgos Lanthimos.

WHERE: The Arts House, Screening Room, 1 Old Parliament Lane WHEN: Until Jan 14, various times MRT: City Hall ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: Bookings and schedule at sacreddeer.peatix.com

John Lui


CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (R21)

132 minutes

4.5 stars

From the gorgeous setting of an idyllic northern Italian town to the casting and the choice of music, the film-maker gets the details just right in evoking a world that we become completely immersed in.

In the early 1980s, academics who stay for a spell in the family home in northern Italy and help out his professor father are a summer ritual for Elio (Timothee Chalamet).

When young Jewish-American scholar Oliver (Armie Hammer) walks through their door, he stirs up strong feelings of desire on the part of the precocious 17-year-old.

Chalamet slips under the skin of Elio to give a sensitively tuned performance as he swings from the heady rapture of sexual awakening and first love to being torn apart by doubt and insecurity.

WHERE: Now showing at The Projector, level 5, Golden Mile Tower, Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN: Various times ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO: Bookings and schedule at theprojector.sg

Boon Chan


HOSTILES (NC16)

134 minutes

3.5 stars

This movie is the real deal: A full-blooded western, complete with an Old West setting, horses trekking across sweeping landscapes and native Americans out for blood.

Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) is a soldier broken by years of battle with natives, in which both sides have inflicted great cruelties. His commander orders him to escort a dying prisoner-of-war, Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), back to his ancestral lands so he can be buried there. Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) is a frontier woman who is the sole survivor of a raid by Comanche tribesmen. Both the captain's and Rosalie's paths will cross on the road.

John Lui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Films Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe