Top Indie and Foreign Picks Range from Trench Warfare to Corporate Greed | Fast Scans

This month’s top indie and foreign picks include toxic relationships, a troubling underground market, and the takedown of a powerful agrochemical manufacturer. Plus, a civil servant lets his hair down, and a freshly enlisted German soldier confronts the brutality of war.

Alice, Darling. 90 min. Lionsgate. 2022. DVD UPC 031398339052. $19.99; Blu-ray UPC 031398339076. $21.99. Rated: R. DRAMA

In a toxic relationship with a smarmily controlling boyfriend (Charlie Carrick), Alice (Anna Kendrick) is quite literally pulling her hair out when she agrees to take a vacation with her gal pals (Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku), who prove what friends are for by staging an intervention. In her feature-film debut, Mary Nighy (daughter of actor Bill) directs oft-trod material like a veteran—maintaining a subtle but ever-present sense of threat without resorting to horror-show genre clichés. VERDICT A nice showcase for Kendrick’s expanded range.

All Quiet on the Western Front. 2 discs. 147 min. In German & French w/English subtitles. MPI. 2022. DVD UPC 030306746692; Blu-ray UPC 030306226392. Prices unavailable Rated: R. DRAMA

Seventeen-year-old Paul (Felix Kammerer), a freshly enlisted German soldier in World War I, finds his patriotic naivete crushed when thrust into the hellish trenches on the Western Front. This third film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic antiwar novel, directed by Edward Berger, brings a terrifying realism to the war scenes while adding a new subplot: the bare-knuckled armistice negotiations with lives hanging in the balance. VERDICT This year’s Oscar-winning international feature belongs in the pantheon of essential war pics along with the 1930 original.

Broker. 130 min. In Korean w/English subtitles. Decal-Neon. 2022. Blu-ray UPC 843501040447. $25.99. Rated: R. DRAMEDY

Laundry-shop owner Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) teams up his friend Dong-soo (Dong-won Gang), who works in a nearby church, to steal abandoned babies and sell them on the lucrative underground market. But their scheme hits a snag when the mother (Ji-eun Lee) of one infant returns and insists on going along with the pair to vet adoptive parents. Director Kore-eda Hirokazu (winner of the Palme d’Or for Shoplifters) returns with another humanist story about sketchy protagonists who try to do the right thing. VERDICT Even subtitle-averse viewers may get hooked.

Goliath. 122 min. In French w/English subtitles. Icarus Films. 2022. DVD UPC 854565004030. $26.99. DRAMA

An environmental attorney (Gilles Lellouche) takes on a powerful agrochemical manufacturer whose popular herbicide is a likely carcinogen, pitting him against the powerful company’s chief lobbyist (Pierre Niney) in a liability case with far-reaching implications. Inspired by the real-life Monsanto Papers, director Frédéric Tellier’s thrilling exposé lays bare the disreputable tactics employed by corporate merchants of doubt—like those honed by cigarette makers—to keep a gravy train on track. VERDICT For viewers who like reality-based muckraking.

Living. 102 min. Sony. 2022. DVD UPC 043396631694. $17.99; Blu-ray UPC 043396631700. $22.99. Rated: PG-13. DRAMA

In his Oscar-nominated performance, Bill Nighy nails Rodney Williams, a 1950s London civil servant who dutifully shuffles papers in pursuit of keeping order in a bureaucratic office. After being diagnosed with a fatal illness, Williams keeps a stiff upper lip while letting his hair down pursuing a lasting legacy. An updating of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1952), this film scripted by novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and directed by Oliver Hermanus locates its own purpose as a memorable remake. VERDICT Not just Nighy’s legion of fans can revel in his crowning achievement.


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