The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Incisive, adventurous, bawdy, and ferociously honest, The Diary of a Teenage Girl is an uncompromising examination of the voyage into womanhood; a non-judgmental story of life-altering sexual experience that’s both specific and universal; and an unconventional, non-sanitized portrayal of hormonal bloodbath. Refreshingly attuned to the self-doubt, turmoil, and voracious appetite that defines adolescence, it’s a difficult and rewarding indie film stuffed with bitter truth.

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Amy

Meticulously crafted, emotionally resonant, and aggressively idiosyncratic, Amy is an enveloping journey of recovery and relapse; a grief-stricken experience laced with much-needed corrective; and a bittersweet catalogue of a nosedive that resulted in unparalleled creative breakthrough. Sensitive and soul-shattering, yet devoid of sensationalism, it’s a stirring testimony to a singular, once-in-a-generation talent.

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Phoenix

Assured, tragic, absurd, and heartbreaking, Phoenix is a complex Hitchcockian tale of a woman’s search for answers amidst devastation; a reverse riff on Vertigo; and a spellbinding enigma of identity, deception, and illusion. Through immaculate filmmaking and acting, an implausible, preposterous plot is methodically turned into a gripping and profound allegory.

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The Tribe

Purposeful, confrontational, and unremittingly bleak, The Tribe is an innovative, haunting drama about the darkest corners of humanity; a flawed-but-forceful addition to the cinema of the downtrodden; and a silent horror story that makes one writhe in discomfort on multiple occasions. Nihilistic and provocative beyond measure, it’s an experimental social portrait of no sound and all fury, where wordless dialogue screams in agony.

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Eden

Compassionate, celebratory, cautionary, and curiously affective, Eden is a muted commentary on the road to maturity; an intoxicating arthouse party cloaked in a “failure story”; and a perceptive two-decades memoir about someone trapped in early-20s purgatory. Neither dazzling star-is-born parable nor dour soul-is-lost tale, it has a mystical cadence and a marvellous mood.

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Inside Out

Terrifically sad, riotously beautiful, wondrously alive, and potentially therapeutic, Inside Out is a bright comedy about dark feelings; an intriguing reaffirmation of Pixar’s singular talents; and a smart, optimistic adventure aimed at the child inside all of us. Audacious in its premise, Freudian in its subject, mature in its manner, and immense in its ambition, it’s a sweet, inventive, special film.

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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Expertly assembled, grimly engaging, and intentionally far-fetched, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is nutty and profound absurdism, a bitter piece of Swedish drollery, and a Scandinavian twist on Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. It’s a hyper-stylized, hyper-composed take on the human condition that ignores logic, cohesion, and convention in favour of something grander and more entrancing.

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