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15 Films to See in February

Written by on January 31, 2018 

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As Oscar hopefuls continue their awards campaigns through the voting period, our sights are mostly turned to what 2018 has to offer. February is another promising month, including the final film from a late master, a trio of ambitious sci-fi features, bold character studies, and more. There’s also the kick-off of Ingmar Bergman centennial retrospective, so make sure to seek it out if it’s coming to a town near you.

Matinees to See: Still/Born (2/2), Seeing Allred (2/9), Tehran Taboo (2/14), and Game Night (2/23)

15. Hannah (Andrea Pallaoro; Feb. 23)

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Synopsis: Hannah is the intimate portrait of a woman’s loss of identity as she teeters between denial and reality.

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Why You Should See It: Getting a run on the fall festival circuit last year and now arriving in theaters, Daniel Schindel said in his review“Hannah is Charlotte Rampling’s face. There are barely any other actors to speak of in this film, and the camera often purposefully excises their faces from its attention, favoring its lead’s reactions to their words and motions. Therefore it is an extended journey through pain, as the eponymous character flails about to grasp meaning after the ground crumbles beneath her.”

14. On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi; Feb. 2)

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Synopsis: When a man and woman who meet at work begin to know each other, they discover that they have the same dreams at night, and they decide to make them come true.

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Why You Should See It: Winner of the Golden Bear at last year’s Berlinale, On Body and Soul will sadly be heading straight to Netflix, but at least that means a wider audience will be able to see it initially. Zhuo-Ning Su said in our review from the festival, “It’s one thing to give your movie a title as sweepingly ambitious as On Body and Soul, but quite another to deliver something equally transcendent.”

13. Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev; Feb. 16)

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Synopsis: An estranged Russian couple going through a brutal divorce both have new partners and want to start over until their 12-year-old son disappears after witnessing one of their fights.

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Why You Should See It: Naming it one of the best films of 2017, Ed Frankl said, “Filmed with icy precision in cold, anonymous Moscow, with some of the year’s best cinematography – by Zvyagintsev regular Mikhail Krichman – the film is upfront, provocative and, in its bitterly satirical testimony of the decay of Russian cultural life, according to some critics blunt. But it’s in that vein that Zvyagintsev so powerfully confronts the domestic terror of the central missing-child drama. Really, Loveless is the great horror film of the year.”

12. Double Lover (François Ozon; Feb. 14)

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Synopsis: Chloé, a fragile young woman, falls in love with her psychoanalyst but soon discovers that her lover is concealing a part of his identity.

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Why You Should See It: If you’re into B-movie psychosexual thrillers, François Ozon delivered such one at Cannes last year. Rory O’Connor said in our review, “L’amant double is the sort of film you wouldn’t mind seeing Roman Polanski take a stab at. Shot in chic but soulless Parisian interiors, it’s the type of thing that controversial figure tends to relish: all claustrophobia, body horror and pseudo Freudian sexual nightmares.”

11. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (Travis Wilkerson; Feb. 28)

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Synopsis: When director Travis Wilkerson tries to investigate the 1946 murder of an African-American man by his white supremacist grandfather, he meets great resistance, and people threaten to take his life.

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Why You Should See It: Earning acclaim since debuting his project at Sundance last year, Travis Wilkerson gets personal in his latest documentary. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? explores the story of his white-supremacist great-grandfather, S.E. Branch, who murdered an African-American man in his small town of Dothan, Alabama in 1946. Playing as both an investigation of this (uncharged) crime and a look into his own family, it looks to be an unfortunately essential documentary.

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