Every year, films fly under the radar for various reasons. They might not have a mainstream actor or actress. It may not be a film widely released, but I have compiled a list of five films you probably haven’t seen, but you should. Indie films are often the best of the year, and these films are no exception to that rule. There are many films that could be on this list but I chose to focus on these five films.
Swiss Army Man
Is this a film about a farting corpse? Yes. Does Paul Dano ride Harry Potter’s (Daniel Radcliffe) farting corpse to save himself from a deserted island? Yes. Did I lose you? Probably. But don’t let that sway your opinion. This film is so wildly different from anything you’ll see that you have to see it. On top of that, this film manages to take very juvenile subject matter, and somehow add a layer of heart to it. It features excellent performances by its two stars and farting corpse aside, it’s a fun film.
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
In my favorite film on this list, we have a young, gangster rap loving New Zealand boy and his foster parent running through the jungle to hide from the authorities. This film is hilarious and heartfelt all at the same time. Directed by Taika Waititi, who is directing the upcoming Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a coming of age story told from a different perspective than we are used to. Sam Neill may be the only recognizable face in this film, but as always he is terrific, and this film is one of the funniest of the year.
Don’t Think Twice
Here’s a very small indie film that is funny and heartfelt and features some terrific performances. I missed Mike Birbiglia’s directorial debut but this film assures me I won’t miss his films going forward. The story follows a improv troupe who’s goals are to make it on a version of Saturday Night Live. It is a hysterical film and even has something to say about the fickleness of fame. Don’t Think Twice sees Keegan Michael-Key doing some nice dramatic work as well.
The Lobster is another one of these truly unique films. But again, it is one of the best of the year. Featuring stunning work from Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, The Lobster is a dark and funny look at love and relationships. The films premise follows people at a resort where if they do not find love they will be turned into animals. Sounds goofy, but the film offers a really interesting point of view on the nature of relationships and comments on how silly we all really are.
Southside With You
In the year the 44th President of The United States is leaving office, it seems only right to look back at a part of his life. Enter Southside With You. The film was a Sundance hit and never saw wide release, but this is a film worth seeking out. The film looks at Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson’s first date. Mixing in popular themes and pop culture of the era, Southside With You is a charming and enthralling look back at a moment in history of the departing president. Not to mention, it is solidly performed by the entire cast but particularly Tika Sumpter playing Michelle.
All of these films are available to rent on iTunes.