We’re only halfway through 2022, and the film industry has had an interesting year, with one of the most critically acclaimed films to date hitting the top of the box office charts. That’s Top Gun: Maverick. But if you’ve seen it and want to know about other influential films, I asked AO Scott and Manola Daggis, co-chief film critics for The New York Times, about their favorite movies. The following are the introductions of these films, in no particular order. — Stephanie Goodman
everything is everywhere
Story: The laundromat owner (Michelle Yeoh) is under a lot of stress. Her husband is filing for divorce. Her daughter was upset and angry with her. Not only that, but the IRS was checking her accounts. During her fight for an audit, she encounters a stubborn bureaucrat, sparking a hilarious journey across the multiverse, showing the life she could have lived (and the hot dog fingers she could have eaten), and more importantly Surprisingly, her various relationships will play out differently.
“Quirky ingenuity at the service of a sincere and generous heart,” our reviewer wrote. The film is directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who goes by the “Daniels.” “Yes, the movie is a metaphysical multiverse galaxy-brain tour, but inside — and on the outside — it’s a bittersweet family drama, a marriage comedy, an immigrant struggle story, and a ballad of painful mother-daughter love.”
The story: In southwestern France in the early 1960s, 23-year-old student Anne (Anne Maria Wattrumme) wants to become a writer. But she got pregnant, tried to have an abortion, and abortion had just been made illegal, and she became desperate. The film is based on the memoirs of the French writer Anne Ernau.
What Manola Daggis Takes: Director Audrey Dewan’s “eyes remain clear, direct and fearless,” our critic writes. “She shows you a part of life that is rarely seen in movies. What I mean is: She shows you a woman who is full of desire, who is eager to learn, have sex, have children on her terms, and have autonomy A woman who chooses to live her own life, risking becoming a criminal and daring to be free.”
The story: In writer-director Peter Strickland’s world, food can be like a musical, with actors performing acts that involve pureeing food in a blender or dipping it into the hot oil. Players and enthusiasts gather on an estate where pride and firm principles keep tensions boiling. Who can resist?
“The film is less an allegory or a fantasy film than a witty philosophical meditation on some fundamental human issues,” Scott wrote. “We are animals driven by desire, hunger, and aggression, but also delicate creatures loving beauty and abstraction. These two aspects of our nature collide in unexpected and infinitely varied ways.”
The Story: The pandemic may be ebbing, but perhaps out of agoraphobia, Angela Childs (Zoe Kravitz) continues to work in her loft. Her job is to fix bugs in the Siri-like digital assistant KIMI. While dealing with one of the mistakes, she thought she heard a violent crime. Her hard follow-up puts her in danger.
What Manola Daggis Takes: Our reviewer wrote that the thriller “consciously borrows imagery from a variety of films,” including Rear Window. But director Steven Soderbergh “did all his tricks and had a good time”. Even as the plot grows more ominous, “he maintains a sense of lightness and visual playfulness that keeps the film safely tucked away in popcorn-movie delight.”
Story: Burundian miner (Kaya Freeh) and intersex fugitive in American interdisciplinary artist Saul Williams and Rwandan filmmaker Anisia Useman’s Afrofuturist vision (Cheryl Ischea and Elvis Ngab) meet in an imaginative and united African community.
The plot is “loose and illuminating,” he wrote, describing the film as a “vivid collage of images, sounds, and words that hit the film’s themes like hashtags.” Williams and Usemann Marrying anarchic politics with anarchic aesthetics create something that feels handcrafted and high tech, digital and analog, poetic and punk rock.”
Lingui, the Sacred Bonds
The story: In N’Djamena, Chad, 15-year-old Maria (Rihanie Khalil Ario) is expelled from school because she is pregnant. Her single mother, enterprising Amina (Ajoq Abakar Suleiman), makes a living selling coal stoves made from recycled tires. So the fate of both women is at stake in the quest for safe abortion.
Manola Daggis’ take: Director Mahmat-Saleh Harun “shows you women in action and women in revolt, fleeing and fleeing, sometimes slyly and joyously living around them The men in the movie go round and round,” wrote the critic. “And, if you watch the final credits, you’ll hear the women’s laughter too — a divine and triumphant epilogue.”
The Story: The film project started before and was completed during the pandemic, with Pietro Marcello (“Martin Eden”), Francisco Muniz (The directors of The Godfather [Black Souls]), and Alicia Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) traveling to Italy to interview young people about everything from career hope to happiness. perspective on the topic.
“This is a kaleidoscopic portrait of an open group, and it would be a mistake to impose too much coherence,” he wrote. Still, “the film proves that there are enduring approaches to making films based on curiosity, democratic principles, and the idea that people can speak for themselves.”
The Story: Little Nelly goes with her parents to the French countryside to clean out the home of her recently deceased grandmother. In the woods, Nelly befriends another girl who is building a shed that Nelly’s mother once built. The two children look alike, and as they grow closer (played by twins Josephine and Gabriel Sands), their mysterious connection hints at a deeper bond.
“Part of the mystery is that it’s not clear what kind of story this is—with a charmingly lovable child, restrained melancholy—and where it’s headed,” our reviewer wrote. Some information was not given, and by doing so, director Céline Sciamma “encourages you to see the place and the story through the eyes of a child, which means letting go of some of your assumptions about how the film works”.
Mr. Bachmann and His Class
Story: Maria Speight filmed this sideline documentary during the 2016-17 school year in a village north of Frankfurt, Germany, where she documents the main character, a charismatic sixth grader with countercultural leanings The teacher, and his almost entirely immigrant students.
While we know very little about the lives of these characters outside of school, some of the students garnered “special attention, almost surpassing their teachers, and contributed a wealth of emotion to the film,” our reviewer wrote. “This isn’t an idealistic hero-teacher movie about adversity. It’s a nod to the allure of hard work and basic dignity.”
The Story: A young Swedish woman with the stage name Bella Cherry (Sofia Capel) has just arrived in Los Angeles determined to become a star in the porn industry. She tries to push her limits while performing in extreme situations, and she observes how the work affects the humanity of other performers, men, and women.
“It’s a smart, gutsy, totally unexpected movie with nothing new at its heart, about an aspiring striver who overcomes odds to write yet another American success story,” critics wrote. “[Director Nikia Tyberg] knew the horror of it, and one excruciating scene underscores that. But there are women making porn and women are watching it, and they do it for different reasons, Including just liking to watch. Because this is their choice.”
All these movies can be watched in the app youcine.