Pick of the week: “Frances Ha” — My full review is here. Noah Baumbach’s beautifully ode to aimless twentysomethings and female friendship has all the zingy dialogue and sharp characterizations we’ve come to expect from the creator of “Greenberg,” and “The Squid and the Whale.” But perhaps because of star, co-writer and partner Greta Gerwig, the film has a generosity of spirit we haven’t seen before from Baumbach.
Thriller of the week: “The American” — My full review is here. George Clooney dials down the charm as an assassin for hire in Anton Corbijn’s cool, minimalist thriller that’s part Le Carre, part Antonioni.
Drama of the week: “Barbara” — My full review is here. A doctor exiled to a small East German town in the 1980s must choose between her plan to defect and her responsibility toward her patients in this slow-burning, well-acted film.
Foreign film of the week: “A Hijacking” — My full review is here. While “Captain Phillips” focused on the hijackers and the hijacked, this tense Dutch drama cuts back and forth between a ship hijacked by Somali pirates and the shipping company executive trying to negotiate a peaceful outcome.
Historical drama of the week: “Augustine” — My full review is here. A 19th century maid who suffers from grand mal seizures falls under the sway of a brilliant but cruel doctor in this medical drama that mixes madness and eroticism to unsettling effect.