In Dark Waters, a muted Mark Ruffalo stars as a corporate lawyer who finds himself drawn into a web of global malfeasance.

The best films in March 2020—Dark Waters and Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Plus the swaggering True History of the Kelly Gang
January 28, 2020
Dark Waters, Released on 28th February

Todd Haynes brings his meticulously textured directorial approach to a factually-based whistleblower drama about the DuPont Teflon scandal. A muted Mark Ruffalo, above, stars as a corporate lawyer who finds himself drawn into a case which starts with the groundwater poisoning of a farm in West Virginia, but ends with global ramifications. Anne Hathaway is the wife who is sidelined by her husband’s single-minded pursuit of justice. It’s a sobering and timely story, told with simmering indignation and mounting anger.

True History of the Kelly Gang, Released on 28th February

A demented swaggering meltdown of a movie, this portrait of Australia’s legendary outlaw and his gang by director Justin Kurzel (and based on the novel by Peter Carey) is bristling with punky, transgressive attitude. George MacKay stars as a joyously deranged Ned Kelly; Nicholas Hoult steals the show with a lengthy monologue delivered while wearing nothing but a pair of sock suspenders. Elsewhere, the costumes are as vividly over the top as the performances. It’s an absolute blast.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Released on 28th February

Dreamily languid in its pacing, achingly lovely in its execution, Céline Sciamma’s first foray into costume drama (she is best known for 2014’s Girlhood) is a thing of beauty. Set in 1770 on the Brittany coast, the film breathes life into a romance between an emancipated female artist (Noémie Merlant) and the young woman (Adèle Haenel) whose portrait she has been commissioned to paint. It’s a vivid, slow-burning work, which builds in power with each luxuriantly sensual loaded glance, each delicate brushstroke.