Screen International, the British trade magazine, assembles a team of critics to rank movies with stars after the initial screenings.
This morning’s edition featured ratings for the first six, and German director Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” was at the top of the heap, with an average score of 3.8. (Critics can give an X for a bomb, then up to four stars, with a golden palm being the highest ranking).
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The loser so far, the odd French comedy “Slack Bay,” from director Bruno Dumont. You may notice that I haven’t written about this one. The main reason: Why bother? It probably won’t be released in the Austin market, and it has a 2.1 rating, as does the very weird “Staying Vertical,” which I wrote about earlier.
Coming in second place is “Sieranevada,” the very talky Romanian film about a strange wake where everyone argues about 9/11, the communist past and marital infidelity. It gets a score of 3.
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Coming in third place is British director Ken Loach’s working-class drama, “I, Daniel Blake,” which shows an older man and a young mother and their exhausting fight with Britain’s messed-up welfare system. It gets 2.4 stars, but it also gets an X (or an F) from the writers of France’s Liberation.
“The Handmaiden” from South Korea’s Park Chan-wook gets a 2.2 rating, for fourth place, although two critics out of the 12 polled have yet to weigh in. It’s a gorgeous film, and is probably going to do better at the U.S. box office than either “Sieranevada” or “I, Daniel Blake.”
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Ratings are still too come for “American Honey,” which has sharply divided critics, and “From the Land of the Moon,” from France’s Nicole Garcia. Screening tonight: Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson,” starring Adam Driver.
And Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” is the first screening on Monday morning. So stay tuned to see how the Austin director does. (Word is good).