Top five films to watch in Hong Kong this week (December 8-14), from The Long Excuse to A Tale of Love and Darkness

A Japanese pop star turned actor, a Japanese rock band, a Palestinian pop singer, the birth of modern Israel and a pacifist war hero among the picks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 December, 2016, 7:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 December, 2016, 11:18am

Click on film titles to read SCMP.com reviews

1. The Long Excuse

Japanese pop singer-turned actor Masahiro Motoki gives his best performance since the Oscar-winning Departures (2008) in this nuanced drama by Miwa Nishikawa, playing a celebrity novelist who rediscovers his compassion for people after his wife dies in an accident. (Opens on December 8)

2. A Tale of Love and Darkness

Natalie Portman makes her directing debut with this artful adaptation of Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel. A passion project if ever there’s one, the Hebrew-speaking film is a deeply felt meditation on one woman’s tragic life amid the sufferings surrounding the founding of the state of Israel. (Opens on December 8)

3. We Are X

Life is sometimes stranger than fiction – and the heavy metal giants X Japan can testify to that with their improbably eventful career. Set around the 2014 reunion gig at Madison Square Garden, this fascinating documentary relives the band’s history with all its the joy and tears. (Opens on December 8)

4. The Idol

A conventional underdog story which wins over the audiences’ hearts with its sheer wholesomeness, this musical biopic by Paradise Now director Hany Abu-Assad offers an inspirational look at the rise Palestinian pop singer Mohammed Assaf amid the tensions of Gaza. (Opens on December 8)

5. Hacksaw Ridge

Andrew Garfield impresses in the role of conscientious objector Desmond Doss in this major comeback by director Mel Gibson. A gruesome war epic to rival Saving Private Ryan, the fact-based drama is as much about love and bravery as it is the power of faith, Gibson’s favourite theme. (Now showing)

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