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Every week, IndieWire poses a question to a select panel of film critics and publishes the responses on Monday. With the “fall” festivals getting started this week, and awards season therefore right around the corner, this week’s survey takes stock of the summer that was.
We asked critics to name their favorite new release of the summer movie season. Here are the eight titles that topped their lists:
“Blinded by the Light”
My heart belongs to so many unexpected finds this summer — “John Wick Chapter 3”, “Midsommar”, “Booksmart” — but my true love has to be Gurinder Chadha’s “Blinded By the Light.” Truly the “Deep Impact” to “Yesterday”‘s “Armageddon,” “Light” was an effervescent breath of fresh air, the kind of giddy coming-of-age story that swims in its own joy and pulls you into its embrace.
Tale - Second-generation - Pakistani - Immigrant - Living
The tale of a second-generation Pakistani immigrant living in England during the Thatcher years, “Light” manages to perfectly capture that gossamer feeling of feeling seen by your new favorite musician and having it change you. We’ve all had that feeling of being activated by a piece of music, that song or album that you play over and over again because the songwriter is ripping your own thoughts out of your head and putting them to a beat. The added cultural shades of being a second-gen immigrant in a country flirting with white nationalism are compelling in their own right, but Viveik Kalra’s beaming, eye-catching turn as Javed feels so universal. Watching him strain to turn the film into a musical by sheer force of will resulted in some of my most joyful moments in a cinema this year. And in a year where the world is both metaphorically and quite literally on fire (woo ohh ohh), I need someone as bright-eyed and bursting with light as Javed to...
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