New York Film Festival Reviews: ‘A Faithful Man’ & ‘Ash Is The Purest White’

25Two very different films about loyalty played at NYFF this year. A Faithful Man is quintessential French romcom and Ash Is The Purest White is the best of director Jia Zhangke.

A Faithful Man is about a couple of lovers torn apart by a pregnancy and brought back together by death. The jokes are witty and performances are stellar. I have adored every NYFF selection starring Louis Garrel, so it’s not surprising that one written, directed and starring him would entertain. He is charming alongside costars Laetitia Casta and Lily-Rose Depp. The chemistry between the three is electric and the story is fun and unexpected. If you like flirty french cinema, A Faithful Man will be up your alley.


Ash Is The Purest White, selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, is a much more complex look at the relationship of a man vying for power and the woman who takes the fall for his criminal actions. This is a story about pride and love. It spans three different time periods in Zhao Tao and Liao Fan’s characters lives. It transforms into a fascinating journey of a woman reclaiming her life and a patriarchal takedown. Bravo to the makeup departments for the seamlessly addressing a huge span of time in a realistic way. Tao and Fan walk a delicate balance of adoration and loathing.

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa