In adapting the wartime diaries of Marguerite Duras, Emmanuel Finkiel captures the author’s oblique style, which filters events though a thick layer of ennui, and centers on women who deal with inflicted trauma by torturing themselves.
The austere beauty of Never Steady, Never Still reflects the stripped-down lives of Kathleen Hepburn’s self-contained characters, who require little and ask for less. Judy (Shirley Henderson) has early-onset Parkinson’s disease, and only allows herself to express regret and disappointment at a mobility support group.
The feverish pace of Gilles de Maistre’s The Quest of Alain Ducasse reflects its indefatigable subject, the French chef with a global presence. For eighteen months, de Maistre followed Ducasse to the outposts of his food empire.
There’s more enthusiasm than skill on display in Yadvi, a leaden biopic made by sisters Jyoti and Gauri Singh to honor their grandmother Rajmata Yadhuvansh Kumari. They use family history to illustrate the decline of Indian royalty during the twentieth century, when princely states were absorbed into the new democracy.
The wistful longing of discontented Japanese salarymen in Shall We Dance? is absent from the bracingly funny Oh Lucy! Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), an office lady tugging at her restrictive white collar, bubbles with anger and resentment.