We pulled some films from this year’s festivals that we feel are among 2022’s cinematic gems. These are the ones that could have been easily missed, but found by many and touched people profoundly. A few of these were covered by Cinema Femme, but in this feature, we wanted to elevate the women and non-binary voices on Letterboxd. See below and follow us on our Letterboxd HQ page here.

Palm Trees and Power Lines – directed by Jamie Dack (Sundance)

Palm Trees and Power Lines is like watching a car crash in slow motion. We’ve seen stories like this before – a charming yet manipulative older man slyly seducing a younger woman – but rarely with such stark and unsparing direction. Lily McInerny is a revelation. Jonathan Tucker, terrifying.” – Zoë Rose Bryant (Letterboxd)

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul – directed by Adamma Ebo (Sundance)

“In addition to its mockumentary style, the Ebo twins succeed in shadily addressing a huge issue in the church regarding homosexuality and views on the LGBTQ community with giving the couple a closet full of rainbow colored Prada clothing and the hypocrisy that comes along with those who lead their flock.  Black people revere the church and those who lead, but at what point do we take the blinders off and see them as fallible human beings like everyone else.” – CRenata (Letterboxd)

Girl Picture – directed by Alli Haapasalo (Sundance)

“The acting was brave and the lesbian scenes seemed so natural as they should. There wasn’t the usual contrived air the one sees in a great deal of American films. Finnish society, from the way the film portrayed it, appeared to be very evolved. The music was upbeat and transported me back to my teenage years when I would go clubbing to meet girls or take a girl out. In addition, the ice skating was a superb touch and was a great intertextuality tool to metaphorically show the difficulty of transitioning from a teenager to an adult. Brava!” – DNA cinephile (Letterboxd)

Straighten up And Fly Right – directed by  Kristen Abate, Steven Tanenbaum (Slamdance, Chicago Critics Film Festival)

“The relationship that Kristen and Steven fostered together over many years brought a nuanced labor of love to the screen. Kristen plays her character with the same name through comedic humanity. We feel her to our bones as she takes us into her day to day in this amazing visceral performance.” – Rebecca Martin (Letterboxd)

The Land of Sasha – directed by Julia Trofimova (Berlinale)

“This is the kind of movie Russian cinematography lacks of. Naive, soft, pretty much nothing happening. Pleasing to watch.” – LizTV (Letterboxd)

Slash/Back – directed by Nyla Innuksuk (SXSW)

“The film is shot on a micro-budget, but it makes up for that with a talented cast and Innuksuk’s competent direction. Making the most of things allows Innksuk’s creativity as a director and writer to permeate throughout the story. Slash/Back is an endearing feature debut and looking forward to seeing what this director does next.” – Valerie Complex (Deadline/Hollywood)

More Than Ever – directed by Emily Atef (Cannes)

“It’s yet another film that adds to my admiration and love for Vicky Krieps—her embodiment of Hélène and her mental and physical fights carry the movie from beginning to end.” – jing (Letterboxd)

Rodéo – directed by Lola Quivoron (Cannes)

“Rodeo is a combustible fusion of crime story, character study and existential mystery, a tale of celebration and lament, and it announces the arrival of a gifted and adventurous filmmaker.” – Sheri Linden (Hollywood Reporter)

The Eight Mountains – directed by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch (Cannes)

“Oh this is so beautiful – but in a way where physical beauty (both faces and places) is crucial in steering your life into sometimes breathtaking, sometimes boring places you have to follow even if you should be placing your love elsewhere. Wonderfully made and deeply felt. Maybe slow in parts but I felt calmer with every passing minute. Gorgeous!” – Ella Kemp (Letterboxd)

Good Girl Jane – directed by Sarah Elizabeth Mintz (Tribeca)

“I lived a very similar life when I was a teenager. I was caught in the thralls of addiction and a slave to my junkie boyfriend who supplied me with my fix on a daily basis.
This film portrays the dark reality of addiction and the abusive, sexually dominant power dynamic of toxic romantic relationships with extreme care and sensitivity, while not shying away from the harsh realities of daily life caught in this cycle.
Some of the scenes in this film I have experienced firsthand. Some scenes left my mouth agape with how accurate they were to some of the things I experienced when I was young and vulnerable.
This might be my favorite film of the year.” – Ruby (Letterboxd)

My Love Affair with Marriage – directed by Signe Baumane (Tribeca)

“My Love Affair With Marriage could very well act as a manual on how to recognize and overcome cultural biases, fall in & out of love while preserving our own identity, and ultimately be our own person without needing to be validated by anyone else.” – Serena (Letterboxd, Loud and Clear)

Liquor Store Dreams – directed by So Yun Um (Tribeca)

“Throughly enjoyed this moving documentary. Felt very honest about generational trauma.” – Linda Moulton (Letterboxd)

Carajita – directed by  Silvina Schnicer, Ulises Porra (Tribeca)

“Carajita is a heartbreakingly effective and compelling film that’s beautifully shot with talented performances.” – Kristy Strouse (Film Inquiry)

Huesera – directed by Michelle Garza Cervera (Tribeca)

“Huesera is propelled by an undisguised, catch-in-your-throat fierceness in its determination to say something really meaningful about the dark side of motherhood; if nothing else, this is one of the most refreshingly honest films of 2022.” Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (AWFJ)

The Drop – directed by Sarah Adina Smith (Tribeca)

“Unless you avoid any kind of information on the film (including the title), you have an idea of where the film is going. I was expecting something high-concept like Sorry to Bother You, but this was an improv-film where a ton of random and weird shit happened and I laughed a lot even when I didn’t want to. It’s surrealist not because of fantasy elements but because of the deeply strange events and characters. It’s also randomly sweet.” – Lily (Letterboxd)

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