Intimately vast, not unlike her previous efforts, Chloé Zhao’s third feature continues her exploration of the American landscape through the eyes of wounded characters. Reiterating why she is considered one of the greatest actresses working today, Frances McDormand plays Fern, a woman finding comfort in the kindness of strangers while living on the open road. Based on Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction novel, Zhao’s latest is caught somewhere between grand spirituality and the beauty of the mundane. The film, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival before coming to NYFF, is sure to solidify her status as a major director beyond independent cinema.
The Truffle Hunters
In this delightful documentary, filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw follow several men in a small Italian town who search for truffles in the nearby forest—some as a pastime, and others as a major source of income. As we learn about the difficulty that finding the pricy delicacy entails, we also witness the bond between the hunters and their dogs (Birba is particularly special), as well as the cruel practices that have arisen out of greed and territorial disputes. Visually, the movie veers between exquisitely crafted tableaus and the immersive footage from a camera attached to one of the dogs.
The New York Film Festival continues through Oct. 11.