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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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#314 October 31, 2017

Matt writes: With so many potential Oscar contenders vying for one's attention this season, I'd like to take a moment and recommend one that I absolutely loved. It is "Novitiate," a brilliantly acted and provocative drama written and directed by Margaret Betts. It revolves around a group of young women training to be nuns while under the strict guidance of their Reverend Mother (played by Melissa Leo in an Oscar-worthy performance). The ensemble includes some of the finest emerging talent in modern cinema, including Margaret Qualley, Liana Liberato, Morgan Saylor and Maddie Hasson. The film is currently in limited release and should definitely be sought out.

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