2 Best Movies to Watch by Charlotte Ubben

Staff & contributors
If the sheer intensity of The Novice's storytelling can at times feel like it's trying too hard to be in-your-face—rather than authentically disturbed—the ambition of Laura Hadaway's direction is still quite the spectacle to behold. Where some of the film's relationships don't come off as complex as they should be, Hadaway and her team more than makes up for with frantic editing, shallow camera focus, panicked strings as a musical score, and heavy breathing mixed deep into the sound design. There's just something violent about how the movie is put together, as Alex (played by Isabelle Fuhrman) tears herself apart for seemingly no other reason than to prove to herself that she can do it.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Actor: Al Bernstein, Amy Forsyth, Charlotte Ubben, Dilone, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeni Ross, Jonathan Cherry, Kate Drummond, Nikki Duval, Robert Ifedi

Director: Lauren Hadaway

Rating: R

Ballet has always captivated with its grace and poise, so of course it captivated cinema as well, with classics such as The Red Shoes and Black Swan centered on the dance, the culture, and of course, the drama. The juxtaposition of the ideal feminine form and the ugliness of competition, the sabotage, and the objectification are regular topics, but The American adds the national identity into its themes, tackling the anxieties of a young American in an academy that isn't friendly to outsiders. It's stunning. It gives justice to the journey of the real ballerina Joy Womack, portrayed excellently by Talia Ryder with breathtaking ease, and given dramatic flourish through the direction of James Napier Robertson. While it doesn’t quite surpass classic ballet films, Joika proves that real life ballet can be more emotional, more traumatic than any drama made about the dance.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Andrzej Andrzejewski, Andrzej Kłak, Borys Szyc, Charlotte Ubben, Diane Kruger, Edyta Torhan, Karolina Gruszka, Maciej Nawrocki, Marek Kasprzyk, Natalia Osipova, Natasha Alderslade, Oleg Ivenko, Robert Gulaczyk, Talia Ryder, Tomasz Kot

Director: James Napier