Prospect recommends: The best films this month

The movies to see in March
February 14, 2017


On release from 10th March

Paul Verhoeven, director of Basic Instinct and Showgirls, has never shirked controversy. At 78, though, he has come up with a stunner. Isabelle Huppert (pictured below) plays the boss of a video-game company who is raped by an intruder. How she responds is shocking, the Hitchcockian twists executed with relish. The value of this kind of knowing game is an issue that keeps the film alive to the end. And if there’s an actor who can carry off a provocative comedy about violence against women, it’s Huppert.

The Salesman

On release from 17th March

A Tehran couple move into a new flat that reveals a sinister dimension. Like many of Asghar Farhadi’s films the exact nature of what has happened in The Salesman (now Oscar-nominated) is mysterious. Emad is playing Willy in a production of Death of a Salesman in which his wife Rana plays Linda. This doubling of roles is occasionally cumbersome, but the real strength here is the shifts in power driven by fear of shame and humiliation. Gripping to the end.

Certain Women

On release from 3rd March

In a Montana town, a lawyer, property developer and rancher negotiate tricky situations from workplace negligence to night-school crush. Director Kelly Reichardt reveals the forces that delineate the experience of women—played here by Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and newcomer Lily Gladstone. Meditative, atmospheric and moving, Certain Women shines with its beautifully observed moments rather than relying on a driving narrative.