The year has just ended, everyone is doing their best but the cinema never stops. And from the month of January, beautiful nuggets will be released in theaters. Here are the twelve feature films not to be missed under any circumstances.
The survivorsby Guillaume Renusson (Ad Vitam) – Released January 4
With great intelligence, Guillaume Renusson recounts the reception of a migrant through the prism of a survival film, a western under the snow recalling The Great Silence of Corbucci (the comparison is flattering but not disconcerting). Worn by a great Denis Ménochet, and an impeccable Zar Amir Ebrahimi, The survivors deserves your full attention.
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The Pale Blue Eyesby Scott Cooper (Netflix) – Released January 6
The return to the western of the man behind crazyheart, The Blazes of Anger or Hostile can only excite us. Add to the equation a murder to solve, macabre, a certain Edgar Allan Poe and Christian Bale, and you will understand that this is the most exciting Netflix film of this beginning of the year.
The Rascalsby Jimmy Laporal-Trésor (Jokers) – Released on January 11
Big movie alert. A big favorite with us, and a film not to be missed. Because its subject could not be more topical (the rivalry between racialized suburban gangs and skinheads in 1980s Paris). Because its realization is ambitious. Because its cast is made up of young beginners, each as impressive as the next. Because it’s really strong, and we know in advance that it will be well placed in our end-of-year ranking. And to know that from January 11 is very strong.
The Noviceby Lauren Hadaway (Star Invest Films France) – Released January 11
We discovered it at the Deauville festival in 2021, and did not hope to see it on the big screen one day. We can thank Star Invest for taking the gamble of releasing such a film. A bet, because carried by an actress not the best known (let’s recognize that we only know Isabelle Fuhrman for her role in Esther), that the subject (namely rowing) is not the most buoyant, and that it has not been a hit across the Atlantic. But as always, don’t be fooled by appearances. The film is a slap in the face of tension, staging and acting on a film that talks about competitiveness and what you impose on yourself, against a background of rowing — that you didn’t have as well filmed since David Fincher and his Social network. Very strong.
De Humani Corporis Fabricaby Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Les Films du Losange) – Released January 11
A documentary that marked the pupils of those who discovered it at Cannes in 2022, which explores the human body as a landscape to be discovered. A real experience, all the stronger on the big screen.
Terrify 2by Damien Leone (ESC Films) – Released on January 11
The latest American trauma lands in France. Whether you saw the first one or not, a psychopathic clown is always a big yes.
babylonby Damien Chazelle (Paramount) – Released January 18
The event film of this film of the year, in many respects. Already because it’s the return of Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land, First Man). That he surrounded himself with a crazy cast, ranging from Margot Robbie to Brad Pitt via Tobey Maguire and the revelation Diego Calva. And that its subject, on the end of the waking dream of Hollywood with the arrival of talkies, has never been treated like that. +1 for Justin Herwitz’s amazing soundtrack.
Youssef Salem is successfulby Baya Kasmi (Tandem) – Released January 18
Ramzy Bedia as a failed author who, by writing about him, becomes a star and the new Goncourt, without anyone in his family knowing that he has told the worst secrets on paper, is a delight. A smart, funny, and heartwarming comedy.
Tarby Todd Field (Universal) — Out January 25
Lydia Tár is one of the best conductors in the world and the very first woman in history to conduct a major German orchestra but Tar is not a biopic. If the character of Cate Blanchett is a pure product of fiction, the scrupulous examination of the mechanisms of power in the world of art carried out by Todd Field is, him, could not be more current. And like Lydia Tár at the start of the film, Cate Blanchett is there at the top of her game.
Forbidden to dogs and Italiansby Alain Ughetto (Gebecka Films) — Released January 25
Already, stop motion animation is rare, and the process is so long and difficult that we have to highlight this type of company. But add to that the true story of the author’s family, Italian peasants dragged around doing the dirty work at the beginning of the 20th century, which is heartbreaking, and the fact that he received the Jury Prize at the festival from Annecy. And you will understand that it seems essential to us to see this as beautiful as terrible film object.
Return to Seoulby Davy Chou (Les Films du Losange) — Released January 25
After Cambodia in Diamond IslandDavy Chou has settled down in South Korea to Return to Seoul, where Freddie, 25 and adopted daughter of a French couple, returns for the first time to her native country. The young woman – a complex character embodied by Park Ji-min, a brand new actress with incredible energy – sets off with ardor in search of her origins in this country which is foreign to her, deconstructing her identity in order to better reconstruct it and swinging his life in new and unexpected directions. A vibrant nugget not to be missed.
The Passengerby Andrzej Munk (Malavida) — Released January 25
Munk’s name probably means nothing to you, and we would be lying if we told you that was not the case with us. Nevertheless, this one is an important figure of the Polish New Wave. So even if it means discovering the guy, you might as well do it through his last film, shot before he tragically died in a car accident, when he was only 41 (Andrzej Munk died during filming, his relatives having finished the feature film). A film about the guilt of having lived on the wrong side of the Second World War. Not simple, but terribly beautiful.
An article written by Arthur Cios and Manon Marcillat.