The must-watch films of DIFF 2012
The must-watch film each day at the Dubai International Film Festival’s 9th edition.
Monday 10 December
Aqui y Alla (Here and There)
Antonio Mendez Esparza’s debut feature won him the Critics’ Week award at Cannes. The film tells the tale of Pedro, who returns with his family to his native Mexico from years working in the US. Expect a subtle yet poignant portrayal of a family’s struggle with immigration in this homecoming drama.
Catch this intriguing story of a New York vagrant who has become something of a cult hero in Tinseltown through 100 cameo appearances in a slew of films. Stars including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Meryl Streep line up to pay tribute to the crazy-haired Craig Castaldo, whose nickname comes from the radio he keeps round his neck.
Tuesday 11 December
Touted as ‘the first Arab-American romantic comedy’, this film arrives hot from its premier in Toronto, where its director Rola Nashef won the Discovery Award. It took Nashef nine years to craft a spirited story of the secret romance between Sami, who meets Naj when he unwittingly finds himself taking over the running of his father’s gas station after he is killed during a robbery.
Wednesday 12 December
My Brother The Devil
Director Sally Al Hosaini’s much-lauded debut depicts two Egyptian brothers growing up among the urban wasteland of an East London housing estate. Expect a bold and frenzied coming-of-age story containing a blazing debut from James Floyd, playing one of the siblings, Rashid.
Thursday 13 December
Do Deuk Deul (The Thieves)
The highest-grossing film in South Korean history. Can the Ocean’s 11 style theme effectively translate in this South Korean caper flick? Go, and find out for yourself in this tale of two teams of professional thieves who join forces to steal a $20 million (Dh73 million) fabled diamond, hidden in a casino.
Friday 14 December
Kibou No Kuni (Land of Hope)
Filmmaker Sono Sion weaves the first full screen depiction of life in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Sion, known for dense dialogue, crafts a poignant, gutsy account of the Ono family of dairy farmers living the simple life, until an earthquake and power plant explosion strikes.
Saturday 15 December
Rust and Bone
The word is Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard is on stunning form in this film, which won many plaudits in Cannes, telling the gut-wrenching story of love and bravery that ensues when struggling single dad (played by Matthias Schoenaerts) meets a killer-whale trainer (Cotillard) after she suffers an horrific accident.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s much-waited follow-up to There Will Be Blood is an aesthetically pleasing journey beginning at the end of the Second World War. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix are reportedly in spellbinding form in this story of the relationship between Freddie an ex-soldier, and Lancaster, the manipulative founder of a new religious cult.