A terrific performance by young actress Patricia Kovacs makes the high-stakes gamble of Down by Love -- a light psychodrama almost entirely centered on one character in an apartment -- into an engrossing 90-odd minutes.
What makes Serenity refreshing is its avoidance of CGI, which gives the pic a much more human dimension; the evident chemistry between the cast; and a humor that doesn't rely simply on flip one-liners.
Gotham-based documaker Laura Poitras ("Flag Wars") comes up with a still-timely, quietly hard-hitting look at the Iraqi situation with My Country, My Country, focusing on the lead-up to and outcome of the Jan. 30, 2005, Iraq election.
Balances character, grit, spectacle and visceral action in a meaty, dramatically satisfying pie that delivers on the hype and will surprise many who felt the Hong Kong helmer progressively lost his mojo during his long years stateside.
For all its digressions and occasional flat moments, Iwai's movie is a remarkable, acutely involving one, working on an emotional level that can only really be expressed through music -- a strong component in all of Iwai's pics.