Top Film Picks on DVD/Blu-ray: Fantastical 'Strawberry Mansion'; 'The Artist's Wife'; and More

LJ's film columnist picks the month's top indie and foreign films, now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

After Yang. 96 min. Lionsgate. 2021. DVD UPC 031398334989. $19.98; Blu-ray UPC 031398334996. $21.99. Rated: PG. DRAMA

When Yang, the human-like android robotic child of Jake (Colin Farrell) and his wife Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) and “sibling” to their adopted daughter Mika, starts to malfunction, there is no fix. But tapping into Yang’s memory bank reveals an earlier life with a prior owner that included a relationship with a female clone (Haley Lu Richardson). Filmmaker Kogonada (Columbus) serves up stunning images in a pensive, if dramatically subdued, look at what it means to be alive. VERDICT Arthouse film fans, not typical sf buffs, are the suitable audience.

The Artist’s Wife. 95 min. Strand Releasing. 2019. DVD UPC 712267400621. $24.99; Blu-ray UPC 712267400638. $24.99. Rated: R. DRAMA

A once-promising painter, Claire (Lena Olin) prioritized the career of her older husband Richard (Bruce Dern), a famous artist now in his 80s who’s been diagnosed with dementia. Despite Richard’s increasingly violent mood swings, Claire sets up a get-together with his estranged daughter from a prior marriage, and the grandson he’s never met. While preparing for Richard’s final exhibition, Claire also must decide about her own long-delayed career. VERDICT Tom Dolby’s wrenching drama showcases fine performances that will appeal to an older audience.

Breathe In. 97 min. Cohen Media Group. 2013. Blu-ray UPC 738329258986. $29.95. Rated: R. DRAMA

A musically gifted British exchange student (Felicity Jones) develops a mutual attraction with an off-limits kindred spirit: the music-teacher father in her host family (Guy Pearce), much to the dismay of his wife (Amy Ryan) and daughter (Mackenzie Davis). Writer-director Drake Doremus (Equals; Zoe), who prefers improvisational acting over scripted dialogue, makes the provocative scenario feel real—transcending the usual clichés in spite of some closing melodrama. VERDICT For open-minded viewers looking for a fresh take on a taboo theme.

Drive My Car. 179 min. In Japanese w/English subtitles. 2021. DVD UPC 715515274913. $29.99; Blu-ray UPC 715515274814. $39.99. DRAMA

Two years after his wife’s sudden death, stage actor and director Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) mounts a production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya starring the actor (Masaki Okada) who had an affair with his wife. Aid in dealing with his grief comes from Yusuke’s connection with his similarly grieving chauffeur (Tôko Miura) in Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) Oscar-winning international film. VERDICT Not kicking into gear until its third hour, this film typifies “slow cinema” that will pay off for viewers with patience for the ride.

Strawberry Mansion. 91 min. Music Box Films. 2021. DVD UPC 751778951703. $29.95; Blu-ray UPC 751778951710. $34.95. FANTASY

Welcome to the year 2035, where the overburdened taxman (Kentucker Audley) cometh to the secluded country residence of a dotty old woman (Penny Fuller) to audit videotape recordings of her dreams. Trouble is, the auditor falls in love with the septuagenarian’s younger self (Grace Glowicki) as viewed in her dreamscape. Directed and written by costar Audley with Albert Birney, this fanciful fantasy smartly employs a distinctly retro blurry visual aesthetic inspired by their subject. VERDICT For fans of Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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