Brady Jandreau in The Rider

The troubles of a rodeo rider and the life of a pop star provocateur—the best films of September 2018

Plus how a woman is saved by jigsaw puzzles
August 22, 2018
The Rider

Released on 14th September

Unseated from the certainties of his life, rodeo rider Brady struggles to come to terms with a brain injury that stops him from riding. This profoundly affecting study of masculinity in crisis from director Chloé Zhao casts former rodeo star

and his real family in a story loosely based on his real-life crisis following a serious head trauma. The performances are rough hewn and unpolished, but wholly persuasive, and Zhao’s use of the glowing magic-hour light of South Dakota gives the picture a timeless, mythic beauty.



Released on 21st September

The challenge facing documentarian Steve Loveridge is how to reconcile the competing identities which make up one of the most distinctive recording artists of her generation. Pop star and political provocateur MIA is a Grammy- and Oscar-nominated musician both celebrated as a visionary and reviled as a terrorist sympathiser. The scrappy intimacy of the footage reveals that there is more to the Sri Lankan-born, London-raised singer than her detractors—and her fans—could imagine.



Released on 7th September

Kelly Macdonald is quietly complex as a woman who is as buttoned up as her floral knitted cardigan. The route to fulfilment for Agnes, a God-fearing housewife whose horizons don’t extend far beyond the kitchen and the church, is the world of competitive jigsaw puzzles. Like its main character, this is an unassuming charmer of a film. And Macdonald’s lovely, low-key turn chimes satisfyingly with a more flamboyant performance from Irrfan Khan as the puzzle partner who sees her potential and her beauty.