Need an antidote to noisy, disappointing summer movies like Wanted and Hancock, or even noisy, successful ones like The Dark Knight? Look no further than the latest installment in the best-programmed screen in town, the San Francisco Film Society’s permanent little festival at the Sundance Kabuki.
Wonderful Town is a delicate yet shocking chamber piece about the fragile love affair between a Bangkok architect supervising a resort being built on the Thai coast ravaged by the tsunami, and a hotel worker in the modest inland place where he’s staying. The beauty of the shy, tentative young lovers is juxtaposed against the beauty of their country and sea surroundings, and the ugliness of the bitter, jealous townsfolk who both envy and fear their happiness. Winner of awards at both the Rotterdam and Las Palmas Film Festivals. Opens today, for a week. And will stay in your mind long after you’ve forgotten the antics of Will Smith. -Meredith Brody