Let’s just flatly say: Kogonada is a genius. The director of the stylish character piece Columbus (2017), and a major force behind the exquisite Apple TV+ series Pachinko, he breathes new life and visual brilliance into After Yang’s tired-sounding premise of an artificial intelligence with feelings. Colin Farrell is affecting as a father trying to repair his young daughter’s beloved AI robot, Yang, played by Justin H Min with the unmistakable glimmer of a human soul. Filmed in a style that is still and beautiful, infused with golden light, and set in a timeless near-future, this transcendent film is stunning, from the exuberant family dance competition in the opening credits to its revelatory ending. (CJ)
Harry Wootliff’s first film, Only You, put a romantic-comedy scenario into a real-world setting where happy endings were hard to come by. Her follow-up, adapted from a novel by Deborah Kay Davies, has a similar balance of heart-fluttering passion and unvarnished contemporary reality. Ruth Wilson stars as a bored benefits-office clerk who is pulled out of her workaday life by a dangerously seductive chancer played by Tom Burke. Glowing with dreamy, intimate close-ups, True Things is a shrewd and sensual commentary on the lies we tell ourselves about the people we think we love. (NB)
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