NYFF: Beyond 'Moonlight,' THR's Film Critics Pick the 5 Hidden Gems

8:00 AM 10/13/2016

by THR Staff

The coming-of-age drama and 'Manchester by the Sea' will deservedly soak up the spotlight, but lower-profile titles including 'I Am Not Your Negro' and 'The Ornithologist' also are standouts.

'The Ornithologist' and 'I Am Not Your Negro'
'The Ornithologist' and 'I Am Not Your Negro'
  • I Am Not Your Negro

    Courtesy of TIFF

    Haiti-born filmmaker Raoul Peck's searing doc uses a portrait of African-American writer James Baldwin to link the ideas of three assassinated black leaders: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. A topical indictment of racial hatred in America, the vividly intelligent film makes for uneasy but unforgettable viewing. — Deborah Young 

  • The Ornithologist

    Festival del film Locarno

    The story of St. Anthony of Padua is given a contemporary queer spin in this remarkable fifth feature from Portuguese filmmaker Joao Pedro Rodrigues. The protagonist of the gorgeously realized film is a birdwatcher whose encounters start to echo the life of the patron saint. It all makes for radical and visionary cinema. — Boyd Van Hoeij

  • Things to Come

    Courtesy of Berlin Film Festival

    French actress Isabelle Huppert may get more buzz for her other NYFF film, Elle, but her turn as a 50-something philosophy teacher who's dumped by her husband in Mia Hansen-Love's emotionally observant character study is equally impressive. The movie is quiet, deeply intellectual and compassionately playful. — Jordan Mintzer

  • Uncle Howard

    Courtesy of Berlin Film Festival

    An intensely personal exhumation project with a creeping emotional undertow, Aaron Brookner's doc fleshes out the ghost of his childhood hero, his uncle, filmmaker Howard Brookner (who died in 1989 of AIDS). The result is a warm portrait of a man and a moving journey through a now vanished New York. — David Rooney

  • The Unknown Girl

    Courtesy of TIFF

    The latest from Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne may not be their best, but it's a poignant and penetrating drama in its own right. The film is centered by an affecting, deeply internalized lead performance from rising French star Adele Haenel as a doctor haunted by the death of an unidentified immigrant. — D.R.