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The Red Turtle – Michaël Dudok de Wit’s simple, but beautiful, animated film.

Top five films to see in Hong Kong this week (July 27-August 2), from The Red Turtle to Mon Mon Mon Monsters

There’s something about being stranded on a beach that keeps cropping up among this week’s best movies. Also: a supernatural school bullying horror, David Lynch’s lawnmower man and a star turn from Gemma Arterton

Film reviews

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1. Dunkirk

Few directors have come close to matching this audacious attempt at immersing audiences in the harrowing reality of war. Like an experimental film that reduces dialogue and violence to a bare minimum, Christopher Nolan’s latest effort is an existential survival epic that resonates beyond history and politics. (Now showing)

2. The Red Turtle

Dunkirk isn’t the only great movie this week to start with a man stranded on a beach. Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit’s wordless feature, partly produced by Japan’s Studio Ghibli, offers a serene meditation on some of the biggest questions in life. (July 29 and August 2, part of the Hong Kong Kids International Film Festival)

3. Mon Mon Mon Monsters

Six years after hitting the jackpot with his directorial debut – the youthful romantic comedy You Are the Apple of My Eye – Taiwanese-author-turned-filmmaker Giddens Ko Ching-teng changes tack with this shockingly depressing look at schoolyard bullying via a spectacle of grisly, supernatural horror. (Opens on July 28)

4. The Straight Story

An outlier in cult director David Lynch’s twisted oeuvre, this wholesome true-life tale about an elderly American who took a weeks-long drive on his lawnmower to visit his dying brother is a profoundly lyrical masterpiece in its own right. (July 28, part of The Nightmare Maker: David Lynch Retrospective)

5. Their Finest

A light but engrossing look at British efforts during the second world war, this comedy drama by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (An Education) takes full advantage of Gemma Arterton’s charming performance at its core to lend a sophisticated female voice to the grand historical narrative. (Now showing)

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