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15 Films to See in March

Written by on February 27, 2019 

With the elongated awards season behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to the 2019 cinematic offerings and this month is a doozy. Featuring some of the greatest films we saw on the festival circuit in the last year as well as a few hugely promising new releases, it’s a varied, impressive slate. There’s also one film that I full-heartedly despised and couldn’t bear to mention, but other writers here feel on the other end of the spectrum, so it should at least provoke some heated discussion this month.

Matinees to See: Greta (3/1), The Hole in the Ground (3/1), Woman at War (3/1), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (3/1), Leaving Neverland (3/3 & 3/4), Triple Frontier (3/6), Gloria Bell (3/8) Two Plains & a Fancy (3/8), The Mustang (3/15), The Eyes of Orson Welles (3/15), The Aftermath (3/15), The Hummingbird Project (3/15), Ramen Shop (3/22), Hotel Mumbai (3/22), The Highwaymen (3/29)

15. Giant Little Ones (Keith Behrman; March 1)

giant-littles-ones-1

Considering the breadth of films that arrive at the Toronto International Film Festival, a few gems can get lost in the shuffle. One to highlight as it opens this spring is Keith Behrman’s Giant Little Ones, which affectingly explores the damage of homophobia in a small town community. Starring Josh Wiggins, Maria Bello, Kyle MacLachlan, Darren Mann, and Taylor Hickson, Jared Mobarak said in his review, “Writer/director Keith Behrman knows exactly what he’s doing when introducing a variety of people along the sexuality spectrum in his latest film Giant Little Ones. He’s intentionally flooding his canvas so that we have no choice but to accept them all rather than turn our focus onto just one. There’s no room for token characters anymore, the real-life disparity between heterosexuals and homosexuals closing as each year passes. So Behrman looks to represent that change on the big screen by giving his lead (Josh Wiggins’ Franky Winter) a trans friend (Niamh Wilson’s Mouse), a gay father (Kyle MacLachlan’s Ray), and a gay teammate on the swim team (Carson MacCormac’s Michael). He surrounds Franky with non-cisgender characters to love, resent, and accept each for different reasons that transcend compassion.”

13. Knife + Heart (Yann Gonzalez; March 15)

Premiering at Cannes Film Festival last year was Knife + Heart, the second feature-length directorial effort from Yann Gonzalez, a former member of M83. Starring Vanessa Paradis as a ’70s gay porn producer, her productions soon get stalled when a murderer starts stalking those involved. Rory O’Connor said in his review, “There is a movie within the movie Knife + Heart and it boasts the slightly euphemistic title of Homocidal (although I prefer the working title: Anal Fury). It is, in fact, being filmed as we watch, along with a number of other similarly lewd movies. Homocidal is the latest production of Far West Films, a fictional queer softcore porn studio that acts as the focus of Knife + Heart, a delightfully icky horror movie seeped in beautiful Giallo homage that is the second feature of Niçoise polymath Yann Gonzalez (who you might know as one half of M83).”

13. Dragged Across Concrete (S. Craig Zahler; March 22)

After crafting a pair of the most impressively-written B-movie genre blasts in recent years with Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99, S. Craig Zahler returns with Dragged Across Concrete. Starring Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson as detectives who, when faced with a public outcry after police brutality, enter a criminal underworld. Leonardo Goi said in his review, “Anyone transfixed by the hyper-stylized meathead triumph of blood and violence of Brawl in Cell 99 should be warned. Dragged Across Concrete, S. Craig Zahler’s third feature, is comparatively much tamer than his 2017 prison drama. But where the new entry lacks in bloodshed and bone-splintering violence, it still confirms Zahler’s penchant for complicated characters, and conjures up a bad cops action movie which, despite blips in tension and a second half far superior to the first, crystallizes Zahler’s as a key name to watch for lovers of the genre.”

12. Relaxer (Joel Potrykus; March 22)

Joel Potrykus, director of the brilliant Buzzard, returns this month with Relaxer, which sets up the Y2K-set scenario of a man faced with the challenge of beating an impossible level of Pac-Man before he can get off his couch. Taking the challenge deadly serious, what follows is an unsettling yet inventive journey that only a filmmaker like Potrykus could pull off so precisely. John Fink said in his review, “It’s these type of scenarios that are all over Relaxer, an unsettling and unapologetic comedy of untold horrors. A borderline masterpiece of “what the fuck” insanity, films that are simultaneously this absurd and this watchable are a feat. And after the disappointment of The Alchemist Cookbook, this is an excellent bounce back.”

11. Sunset (László Nemes; March 22)

After earning an Oscar for Son of Saul, director László Nemes is back with another Hungarian Academy Award entry with Sunset. Following its premiere at Venice and TIFF, the story of a woman in 1913 Budapest as she confronts those in a town that won’t let her take her own path will get a release this month. Rory O’Connor said in his review, “As with any righteous character coming up against unfathomable power, it proves a rather unsafe ride. Like Son of Saul, we follow her every movement and Nemes’ Dantean tendencies soon turn Sunset from sumptuous period piece into an escalating nightmare where horrors lie in wait around every corner. Though this dizzying sense of imminent violence is what Nemes does best, some viewers may be put off by how Sunset uses rape in service of what could cynically be described as a thrill ride, à la Son of Saul used the horrors of Auschwitz to similar ends.”

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