Top five films to watch in Hong Kong this week: November 24-30

Fan Bingbing playing against type, the Obamas’ first date, French gay drama by André Téchiné, Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘most personal film’ and a Harry Potter spin-off our films to see this week

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 8:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 December, 2016, 7:20pm

Click on film titles to read scmp.com reviews.

1. I Am Not Madame Bovary

You have to hand it to the superstar Fan Bingbing – one of the world’s richest actresses – for taking on this unflattering role as a wronged peasant woman out for justice, in the process making a mockery of Chinese bureaucracy under Feng Xiaogang’s bold direction. (Opens on November 24)

 

2. Southside with You

Most people wouldn’t think twice about Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson’s first date, but first-time writer-director Richard Tanne manages to make an intelligent romance out of that very premise. It is as if Before Sunrise has been recast for added historical resonance. (Opens on November 24)

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Even if you aren’t prepared to comb through this Harry Potter “spin-off” to spot its every reference to J.K. Rowling’s wizard series, it may be good enough an incentive to watch the film just to equip yourself for its next four sequels, which look certain to bring back Dumbledore. (Now showing)

4. Being 17

The best film by French director Andre Techine in years is a youthful gay romance that powerfully depicts all the rage, confusion and erotic tension it entails. Co-scripting it with Girlhood director Céline Sciamma surely helped. (November 24 and 28, part of Hong Kong French Film Festival)

 

5. The Conversation

Francis Ford Coppola has directed The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, but the American filmmaker still considers this slow-burning 1974 thriller – channelling his country’s paranoid zeitgeist via Gene Hackman’s surveillance expert – his most personal film. (November 27, part of Cine Fan programme)

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