American master Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On, Love is Strange) returns with one of the best films of the year. Jake and Tony are two 13 year olds who form a deep friendship in the aftermath of the death of Jake’s grandfather. But the family bereavement also brings the shop run by Tony’s mother into the hands of Jake’s parents (Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle), whose plan to raise the rent leads to an increasingly bitter feud, and threatens the boys’ friendship. A perfectly drawn, achingly sympathetic character drama with subtle insights into the true nature of gentrification, those not driven to tears by Sachs’ latest opus may well be made of stone.
Danish master Thomas Vinterberg (Festen) reunites with screenwriter Tobias Lindholm (The Hunt, A Hijacking) in The Commune, a ‘70s set melodrama about the travails of communal living. Erik and Anna believe that they’re staving off middle class ennui when they establish an experiment of shared, democratic living in the middle of Copenhagen. But can such an environment ever be truly equal? And what problems of their own are they running away from? A perfectly composed take on the eternal conflict at the heart of the hippy dream.