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Denis Côté, Bo Burnham & Iram Haq

Top 3 Critics' Picks

Top 3 Critics’ Picks in Theaters this July: Denis Côté, Bo Burnham & Iram Haq

Top 3 Critics’ Picks in Theaters this July: Denis Côté, Bo Burnham & Iram Haq’s Top 3 Critics’ Picks offers a curated approach to the usual quandary: what would you recommend I see in theaters this month? Just as snug in narrative and docu form, Quebecois helmer Denis Côté will see his festival favorite/Locarno/TIFF preemed A Skin So Soft hit NYC’s Anthology Film Archive for a week via Breaking Glass Pictures. One of the first projects for the A24 folks in terms of film productions, Bo Burnham‘s Sundance hit Eighth Grade could be the perfect summer treat — but will the targeted audience get out to support the film? Finally we have another TIFF preemed and award winner in Iram Haq’s What Will People Say receiving a release via the Kino Lorber folks. Also worth noting, Janus Films are four-walling Barbara Loden‘s Wanda for a NYC run and also from Quebec, MUBI is preeming Sophie Goyette’s affecting Mes nuits feront écho. Here are our top 3 suggestions:

Ta peau si lisse (A Skin So Soft) – Denis Côté
July 6th – NYC Release / Anthology Film Archive
Distributor: Breaking Glass Pictures (official site)
Fests: 2017 Locarno Film Festival, 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, 2017 New York Film Festival, 2017 London Film Festival, 2018 CPH:DOX

the maverick director weaves together portraits of six bodybuilders that push to the margins personal details and grand statements about the sport. ” – Jay Weissberg for Variety

Cote offers the anti-Pumping Iron in this quiet observational film, lingering in intimate moments with men who flex for a living and (with perhaps one exception) finding none of the alpha-male energy we might expect.” – John DeFore for The Hollywood Reporter

What makes Côté’s films, this one included, so valuable is that they’re wide open to interpretation without necessarily requiring the viewer to “complete” them (a condition often set by more high-minded/-handed ephemera).” – Adam Nayman for Cinema Scope

Eighth Grade – Bo Burnham
13th – NYC Release
Distributor: A24 (official site)
Fests: 2018 Sundance Film Festival, 2018 SXSW Film Festival

An accomplished comedian, Burnham has already put in his 10,000 hours, honing what he has to say for nearly a dozen years, and as such, “Eighth Grade” shines as, like, a totally spot-on, you know, portrait of Millennial angst and stuff.” – Peter Debruge for Variety

Over 20 years on, one of the most widely liked films of the fest this year is Eighth Grade, comedian-turned-writer-director Bo Burnham’s portrait of a shy kid desperately — if maladroitly — trying to make friends.” – Leslie Felperin for The Hollywood Reporter

While Eighth Grade may look, on its surface, like a typical adolescent comedy, with its underdog protagonist pitted against popular girls and boy crushes, it is more a piquant series of vignettes that form a singular and focused portrait of youthful angst.” – Anthony Kaufman for Screen Daily

What Will People Say – Iram Haq
July 13th – NYC Release
Distributor: Kino Lorber (official site)
Fests: 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, 2017 AFI Fest, 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam

Haq’s sophomore work smartly probes the problems of a character caught between cultures, while the nuanced screenplay once again draws on her own harrowing life experience.” – Alissa Simon for Variety

Her new film almost plays like a kind of prequel to her first film, as the young woman growing up between two cultures is younger here but otherwise from a very similar, traditions- and honor-obsessed Pakistani family in Norway.” – Boyd van Hoeij for The Hollywood Reporter

Provocative, emotionally charged material is handled with a maturity and confidence that makes it accessible to a broad international audience. The slightly unimaginative title may be a minor hindrance in drawing viewers to this powerful story of family conflict, and a young woman’s struggle for independence.” – Allan Hunter for Screen Daily

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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