Immerse yourself in this year’s offerings from A24 that will give you both the vibes and compelling storytelling.
Probably the hippest entertainment company in town, A24 is known to many tote-wielding cineastes for its take on contemporary cinema, the “A24 vibes” so they say. Since its inception in 2012 as a boutique arthouse production company in New York, A24 has become an arbiter of cinematic taste supporting fresh creative voices like Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar), Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse), and Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) whose works may account for a new wave of compelling horror movies. Be it the aspect ratio, an eccentric visual tone, and overall quirk, movies and series backed by A24, like the Emmy-winning Euphoria, give off an energy that is as appealing as it is creatively satisfying.
The production studio and film distributor has consistently been a purveyor of genre-bending, thought-provoking, and satisfying subversive cinematic pieces that do not fit the typical Hollywood mold. And when Barry Jenkins’ queer romance drama Moonlight eventually won the Oscars’ highest accolade in 2016, A24 cemented itself not just as a premier film company, but a sensibility and style that audiences, especially its growing fanbase, avidly anticipate, experience, and embody. Below are some of A24’s offering this 2022 that you should get hyped about.
Everything, Everywhere All At Once
Both a critical and commercial success, being social networking movie site Letterboxd’s highest-rated film at some point (topping Parasite and The Godfather), and even earning the best per theater average of any film since Spider-Man: No Way Home during its opening weekend, Everything, Everywhere All At Once may just be A24’s best film this year. Directed by the Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), EEAAO is an absurdist family action-comedy that follows the laundromat owner Evelyn Wang (wonderfully played by Michelle Yeoh) as she’s thrust to a universe-hopping adventure and high-stakes fight against a chaos-perpetrating antagonist in the hopes of saving other universes and protecting her family.
But deep beneath the enjoyable multiverse romp that Everything, Everywhere All At Once offers on the surface is the theme of familial conflict – a troubled mother-daughter relationship and a marriage on the rocks – at the core of the story that will pull you in and never let go. Get ready for a wild, philosophical ride that will make you laugh hard and cry harder.
Stars At Noon
Described as an erotic thriller with a touch of politics and a lot of sensuality, Stars At Noon by Claire Denis stars Margaret Qualley as Trish, a young, headstrong American journalist stranded in present-day Nicaragua who then falls for a mysterious Englishman Daniel (Joe Alwyn), who seems to be her best chance for escape. Adapted from Denis Johnson’s novel of the same name, the Cannes Grand Prix-winning film features a storyline that’s filled with romance and action, sex and espionage, lies and conspiracies. Released last October 14 and now available on video-on-demand platforms, Stars At Noon offers a two-hour sumptuous and seductive tale that you can’t resist.
If you want your heart to get touched, nay melted, by a sense of nostalgic joy and sadness combined, then dive into this tender father-daughter story. An award-winning debut feature film from Charlotte Wells, Aftersun finds us reveling in the story of Sophie (Celia Rowlson Hall), as she reminisces fond memories of her relationship with her father Calum (Paul Mescal) twenty years earlier during a Turkish holiday trip they took. Inspired by Wells’ relationship with her father, Aftersun brings us into a heart-wrenching journey, rendered through a series of Sophie’s MiniDV footage, of a daughter desperately trying to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t. A24 is set to release the film on October 21.
MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON
In what could be this year’s display of A24’s peak eccentricity-with-lots-of-heart, we follow an adorable and whimsical one-inch-tall shell Marcel (voiced by Jenny Slate) who, together with his grandmother Nana Connie and his pet ball of lint Alan, is discovered by a documentary filmmaker Dean (Dean Fleisher-Camp, who also directs) in his Airbnb. Inspired by Marcel’s fascination with the world and in the hopes of finding Marcel’s long-lost family of shells, Dean posts short videos online, which suddenly makes Marcel a popular figure beloved by his passionate fans. Together, they embark on an emotional and heartwarming journey that tickles as it comforts. Prepare to be charmed by the larger-than-life Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.
While Aftersun offers you a wistful father-daughter drama, A24 completely satisfies your craving for familial angst and trauma with the hauntingly compelling mother-son thriller, God’s Creatures. Starring the brilliant Academy Award nominee Emily Watson and Emmy nominee Paul Mescal, God’s Creatures finds a mother Aileen (Watson) who will do everything to protect his prodigal son Brian (Mescal), who is implicated in a crime. Set in a small Irish fishing village, Aileen gets embroiled in a moral crisis as her lie tears her family and her tight-knit community apart. Anchored by the magnetic lead performances and amplified by the film’s forbidding visual and aural atmosphere, God’s Creatures will easily get you absorbed in its story.
Finally and seemingly the most anticipated coming-of-age film from A24 this year, Lukas Dhont’s celebrated Close finds the friendship of two thirteen-year-olds Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav de Waele) tragically torn apart by society’s judgment. Winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and capturing many hearts so far (including our very own Dolly de Leon), Close examines the beauty and vulnerability of adolescent friendships. A reviewer even warns us to prepare tissues in what seems to be an unforgettable portrait that will leave you heartbroken and inevitably transformed.
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