The Invisible Thread (Netflix)
This Marco Simon Puccioni film is about the coming of age of a teenager, Leone (Francesco Gheghi), who is doing a school project on his LGBTQ+ family. "I am a cocktail, they mixed their sperms," says Leone of his two fathers, Simone (Francesco Scianna) and Paolo (Filippo Timi). But sometimes even seemingly happy families explode: Simone has been cheating on Paolo. Amidst the rancour, and Leone dealing with his first crush, there is also the complex issue of paternity, especially in a same-sex union in a country like Italy, which legalised civil partnerships as late as 2016. Puccioni's 2020 documentary All Together was about his own rainbow family.—Nipa Charagi
RRR (in theatres)
After the barnstorming success of Baahubali and the even greater triumph of its success, expectations could not be higher for SS Rajamouli's next. RRR is fittingly gargantuan in scope, set in British-era India and with a cast that includes N. T. Rama Rao Jr, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt.
Rahul Nair's new Netflix comedy is a deceptively smart show. As we wrote: “Eternally Confused And Eager For Love feels like a basic sitcom about a voice in the head, the kind of show that could have come out of the US in the late-1990s. That easy premise of a kid held back by his own hesitations and hyperbole feels oddly well-suited for today, typifying the youth who refuse to think before they tweet. Ray may be a stand-in for an increasingly alienated and distrusting generation of young Indian men some of whom, in the rush to belong to something, pretend their celibacy is by choice.”
CODA (Apple TV+)
CODA is up for three Oscars this Sunday. We wrote in our review: “CODA, which made a sweep at the Sundance Film Festival 2021, is a giant step forward in normalising a disability, doing so by casting three deaf actors in lead roles. The film is an at-times touching, sometimes exuberant, occasionally mischievous study of what it is like being deaf, communicated with a clever sound design and inventive use of American Sign Language (ASL). Heder does not tiptoe around the disability. On the contrary you revel with the family and also begin to imagine their soundless existence. In another affecting moment between father and daughter, Frank figures out how to ‘feel’ his daughter’s song.”
The French Dispatch (Disney+ Hotstar)
Wes Anderson's film pushes his idiosyncratic style to its limits. Naysayers mau not be won over, but it's a delight for fans (especially ones who are partial to French cinema).