Fast Scans | Top Foreign & Indie Picks for Viewers

Top foreign and indie DVDs/Blu-rays this month include the star-earning Till and surreal flicks in Polish and Russian. 

Entre Nous. (“Between Us”). 111 min. In French w/English subtitles. Cohen Media Group. 1983. Blu-ray UPC 738329260064. $29.99. Rated PG. DRAMA

Living in Nazi-occupied France in 1942, Jewish refugee Lena (Isabelle Huppert) weds a discharged army man to escape an internment camp. When her marriage falters despite their two children, she becomes an intimate friend (and near-lover) to Madeleine (Miou-Miou), a war-widowed artist who unhappily remarries due to her pregnancy. Both women plan to run a dress shop, but random events intrude. VERDICT Oscar-nominated for best foreign-language film, Diane Kurys’s drama will appeal to admirers of the “women’s pictures” of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon. 112 min. Paramount. 2022. Blu-ray UPC 810103685079. $16.99. Rated: R. THRILLER

Mute patient Mona Lisa (Jeon Jong-seo) escapes a New Orleans psychiatric facility by using mental suggestion and meets up with a down-on-her-luck stripper, Bonnie (Kate Hudson), who capitalizes on her new gal pal’s hypnotic powers to embark on a robbery spree, bilking clueless men out of cash. Big trouble ensues when her son Charlie (Evan Whitten) also strikes up a friendship with Mona, threatening to leave town with her. VERDICT Gonzo director Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) offers another wild, genre-bending ride for venturesome viewers.

Never Gonna Snow Again. 113 min. In Polish & Russian w/English subtitles. Kino Lorber. 2020. DVD UPC 738329253752. $19.99; Blu-ray UPC 738329253769. $29.99. DRAMA

Arriving seemingly out of a forest mist, Zhenia (Alec Utgoff) secures a worker’s permit from a government official to ply his therapeutic massage skills in a gated Polish community, where an extraordinary talent for relieving malaise of the soul puts his services in great demand. Codirectors Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert, who cite the masterly Krzysztof Kieslowski (Dekalog; The Double Life of Veronique) as their main influence, recreate the existential longing of their filmic forebear. VERDICT For foreign-film aficionados interested in a bit of the surreal.

Private Desert. 120 min. In Portuguese w/English subtitles. Kino Lorber. 2021. Blu-ray UPC 738329259983. $29.99. DRAMA

A Brazilian police officer temporarily suspended for wrongful violence while on duty, Daniel (Antonio Saboia) has some time on his hands—when not caring for his infirm father—to look for “Sarah,” the distant online romantic prospect who’s been ghosting him despite showing initial promise. When they finally meet in person, it turns out there are extenuating reasons that pose a “test” for the macho Daniel. VERDICT Cowriter/director Aly Muritiba’s transgender drama, costarring Pedro Fasanaro, has no political agenda, just a human one that transcends queer appeal.

Till. 130 min. Studio Distribution Services. 2022. DVD UPC 191329237908. $29.98; Blu-ray/DVD 191329237915. $34.98. Rated: PG-13. DRAMA

In 1955, Chicagoan Mamie Till Mobley (Danielle Deadwyler) sends her 14-year-old son Emmet (Jalyn Hall) to visit his cousins in Mississippi, where he is beaten and killed by racists for purportedly accosting a white female shopkeeper. Failing to secure a conviction for her son’s murder, Mobley becomes an activist for social justice. Cowriter/director Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency) shines a blinding light on a notorious incident in American history, thanks in large part to her lead actress’s heart-wrenching performance. VERDICT A must-have for any credible collection.

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