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Tonio

Netherlands 2016. Dir: Paula van der Oest. 100 min. DCP

The agony of losing a child is handled with sensitivity and formal sophistication in Oscar-nominated Dutch director Paula van der Oest’s moving, impressionistic drama. Based on renowned author Adri van der Heijden’s memoir of surviving the death of his adult son, the film employs a fragmented, non-linear approach to reflect the destabilizing, psyche-shattering effects of trauma. The story, told through a prism of time-skipping memories, is of the grief two parents experience when their 21-year-old son is fatally struck by a motorist one night. Tonio is van der Oest’s third feature to be submitted to the foreign-language Oscar race — 2001’s Zus & Zo was nominated; 2014’s Accused made the shortlist — cementing her reputation as one of the Netherland’s preeminent directors. “Ambitious ... A frequently intense and stirring drama” (Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter). In Dutch with English subtitles.