Fill the Void (U)
Dir: Rama Burshtein
With: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein
Runtime: 91 minutes
EIGHTEEN-year-old Shira, who hails from an Orthodox Jewish family in Tel Aviv, is looking forward to meeting a man she might one day marry. All is for the best in her well-ordered life, but forced to make a decision she could never have prepared for, Shira (Hadas Yaron) finds herself tested beyond her years.
Rama Burshtein's drama puts the audience shoulder to shoulder with Shira, producing a compelling portrait of a young woman and a male-dominated community.
Subtly done, and all the more powerful for it, with a stand-out performance from Yaron as an individual torn between feelings and duty.
Glasgow Film Theatre, December 13-15; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, December 20-22
The Broken Circle Breakdown (15)
Dir: Felix Van Groeningen With: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh
VEERLE Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh are hip young things Elise and Didier, a couple truly madly deeply in love with each other and the bluegrass music they play in a band.
Felix Van Groeningen's Belgian drama charts their love down the years, from the early highs to desperate lows, adding as much music as possible.
What is at first an engaging love story begins to pull so relentlessly on the heartstrings that all patience snaps. About as shamelessly manipulative as a country and western song set in an orphanage, it inexplicably won the audience award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Filmhouse, December 13-15
Seduced and Abandoned (15)
Dir: James Toback
With: Jessica Chastain, Ryan Gosling
JAMES Toback (the writer of Tyson and Bugsy) and the actor Alec Baldwin were men with a plan: dream up an idea for a movie (Last Tango in Tikrit), take it to Cannes, and try to part rich investors from their money. Their aim: to show how movies manage to make it on to the screen these days, or, in most cases, don't. The unlikely pair make a winning double act, with the bold Baldwin a particular joy, and the big names they manage to line up for interviews, inncluding Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling, James Caan and Jessica Chastain, are impressive.
After a sprinting start the film starts to wander from its original aim, becoming more of a look at what makes a great movie, but it is nonetheless fascinating for the detour.
Filmhouse, December 16-18
Future My Love (12A)
Dir: Maja Borg
Runtime: 97 minutes
SCANDINAVIAN filmmaker Maja Borg, an adopted Scot for many years, embarks on an ambitious journey to chart the breakup of a relationship while exploring how humankind can live in a more planet-friendly way.
The most captivating stretches feature the artist and futurist Jacque Fresco talking about his life's work and ideas. His sharpness sits in stark contrast to the all over the shop style of the rest of the film, which first made its debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2012.
Filmhouse, December 15-16 (plus Q&A with director on December 15).