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Critic's Spring Film Picks

Awards season might be over, but there are plenty of films to get excited about this spring.

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  • | 11:31 a.m. March 31, 2017
  • Arts + Culture
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Post awards season can sometimes put a damper on spring movie expectations. Looking at the season’s upcoming films, there are signs the forecast is not as predictable as it might seem. We’ve picked a few of our most anticipated upcoming options:


April 7

Set in Istanbul, where thousands of cats freely roam, man and felines happily coexist. As the camera mostly tracks felines and their resourcefulness, their human devotees speak about the inner peace these beloved animals provide. Directed by Ceyda Torun, this is rumored to be a film that’s good for your blood pressure.



April 14

Acclaimed French director Francois Ozon once again proves he “gets” women. After WWI, a young German woman who is visiting her deceased fiancé’s grave is curious to see a Frenchman laying flowers upon it. Who is this mysterious stranger, and what is his connection to an enemy soldier? Starring Paula Beer and Pierre Niney, questions abound in this game of mirrors.


‘Tommy’s Honour’
April 14

Set in 1860s Scotland, father and son golfers — one a legend and the other a budding superstar — don’t see eye to eye on their futures. Their strained relationship evolves into a story of familial love and mutual respect amid the sand traps. Beautifully shot on Scotland’s east coast by director Jason Connery, the film stars Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden.


‘Their Finest’
April 7

The casting alone is a major draw in this romantic British dramedy, which takes place during the German blitzkrieg of London. A film crew hopes to boost morale and encourage America’s support by making a propaganda movie. It’s a tale of love, war and the magic of movies. Lone Scherfig directs Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy and Jeremy Irons.


‘Fanny’s Journey’
April 21

The trailer promises stunning cinematography against the backdrop of a horrifying journey that Jewish children endured during WWII. To escape the Nazis, a 13-year-old girl is in charge of getting her fellow pupils and two sisters to Switzerland. Danger lurks everywhere as they attempt to evade capture. The horrors of war, as seen through the eyes of children, is explored in this true story told by survivors, starring Cecile de France as the children’s mentor and Leonie Souchaud as Fanny. Directed by Lola Doillon.


‘Citizen Jane: Battle for the City’
April 21

Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary uses archival footage and insightful interviews to illustrate his subject matter in this film about urban defender Jane Jacobs. In 1961, her book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” was instrumental in saving important architectural landmarks in New York City. She rallied a community to fight Robert Moses, the city planner who advocated destructive regentrification, and against all odds, she prevailed.


‘The Student’
April 21

In this cautionary Russian narrative, a young student becomes a religious fanatic. His obsession with the Bible evolves into anti-Semitism, homophobia and fundamentalism. No one can deal with him, because they lack the tools to do so, given the state of Russian policies. His growing extremism reflects what’s happening to the world in which we live and begs the question: What can be done about it? The film stars Pyotr Skvortsov and is directed by Kirill Serebrennikov.


April 26

This documentary provides audiences a look behind the scenes at The New York Times’ obituary department. Limited to 500 words, staffers have to decide just who gets an obit. Not everyone warrants one — only those who have had some sort of recognizable impact. From the inventor of the Slinky to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, it’s a diverse cornucopia of notable individuals. Directed by Vanessa Gould. 

P.S. It’s not morbid.


May 5

Cristian Mungiu was awarded Best Director at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for this Romanian crime drama about a father prepared to do anything for his daughter. But when she’s viciously attacked just before graduation, he uncharacteristically pulls out all the stops to defend his precious daughter. Politics, infidelities and the compromises parents make for their children are examined in this morality play. Adrian Titieni and Maria Dragus star as father and daughter.


‘Berlin Syndrome’
May 5

A young woman in a strange town has a one-night stand with a charming man she has just met. Upon waking up in his apartment, she finds he’s left and she is deadbolted into his den of iniquity. She alternates between physical hostility and complacency as she hopes for escape. For months, their dynamic shifts back and forth. At times, her behavior borders on Stockholm Syndrome. This thriller, directed by Cate Shortland and starring Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt, has been described as one with “nerve-shredding tension.” This one’s NOT good for your blood pressure.


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