Ema

What an unusual film this is, from Chile’s Pablo Larrain, about a reggaeton street dancer in Valparaiso and her incendiary journey to adopt a kid called Polo in conjunction with her choreographer partner, played by Gael Garcia Bernal.

The film’s narrative twists and ducks and avoids like the wiry, writhing dancers, with their defiant stares and daring sexuality. 

I can’t shake the actress Mariana di Giralomo from my retina, her eyes just bore into you, challenging you to judge her behaviour yet clearly not caring what you think.

The music is propulsive and persuasive, with electronic beats and a techno soundscape that sweeps you along even while the couple argue and despair.

I don’t know if I love the film or hate it (both, I reckon) but it’s something you can’t dismiss as it weaves a spell with atmosphere and some remarkable tableaux and amazing shots, clearly the work of a fine filmmaker moving into an experimental mode, looser and freer even while the connections remain clear to what he did with Natalie Portman in his last film, Jackie.