Tonight, the New York Film Festival kicks off its 52nd (!) edition with the world premiere of David Fincher’s highly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. We’ll have more on that film (and that premiere) in this space tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’ve had the chance to check out several other NYFF selections that are well worth your time over the next two weeks (should you happen to be in the area), or in the months to come as they make their way to your theaters and on-demand platforms.
Italian director Alice Rohrwacher crafts this modest but keenly felt chronicle of a poor family of beekeepers and the teenage daughter (Maria Alexandra Lungo) who keeps them together. It’s a coming-of-age movie, but an appropriately miserable one, and Lungo gives the kind of performance that doesn’t really go overboard with the showing and telling, but allows you to project a whole world onto her open face. It’s got the style and unhurried pace of the Italian neo-realist tradition, but there’s a tense urgency to the family’s poverty and desperation, and an inevitability to the characters and their fate that remains thankfully unspoken.