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120 Beats per Minute revolves around the Parisian branch of the HIV advocacy group Act Up at the start of the 1990s as its members try to raise awareness of the Aids epidemic.

Top five films to watch in Hong Kong this week (January 4-10), from 120 Beats per Minute to Darkest Hour

Robin Campillo’s thrilling portrait of a French Aids awareness group and Gary Oldman’s star turn as Winston Churchill join a multi-award-winning piece of Taiwanese cinema, a brilliant, classic war film and Pixar’s latest animated hit

Film reviews

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1. 120 Beats per Minute

A passionate and moving testament to the power of public action, French writer-director Robin Campillo’s thrilling 140-minute film offers a vital portrait of the Parisian branch of the HIV advocacy group Act Up in the early 1990s, as its young members try to raise awareness of the Aids epidemic. (Opens on January 4)

2. Darkest Hour

No one would be too surprised if Gary Oldman does go on to become the biggest winner of this awards season. Giving an astoundingly transformative turn as the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the actor has certainly elevated this political thriller, directed by Joe Wright, with a portrayal for the ages. (Opens on January 4)

3. The Great Buddha+

Winner of five prizes at both the Taipei Film Festival and the Golden Horse Awards in 2017, this fiction feature debut by documentary director Huang Hsin-yao is one of the great stories to emerge from last year’s Taiwanese cinema, despite being a largely black-and-white film with two little-known, middle-aged actors as leads. (Now showing)

4. Army of Shadows

One of the greatest war films ever made, this 1969 classic directed by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville offers a quietly gripping account of the efforts and sacrifices of the French Resistance, whose underground fighters must grapple with their moral confusion to keep alive their battle against Hitler. (January 5 and 10, part of the Hong Kong French Film Festival)

5. Coco

A strong contender in the Oscars’ animated feature category, Pixar’s 19th movie finds the studio back in its best form with a sweet family tale based around the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). This is a most joyous blend of music, colours and wonderfully thoughtful storytelling for all the family. (Now showing)

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