Poland’s entry for the 2021 Academy Awards, “Never Gonna Snow Again,” didn’t land a nomination after falling on the shortlist, but it still casts a powerful spell. Director Małgorzata Szumowska teams with her longtime cinematographer and co-writer Michał Englert for this mysterious drama that balances beguiling whimsy with droll laughs in weaving a kind of fairytale spin on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Teorema.”
In this film, like Pasolini’s, a beautiful man drops seemingly out of the sky and into an affluent community, invigorates their dreary lives for a minute, and then is gone in a flash. Alec Utgoff of “Stranger Things” plays a masseur who — part cherub, part beefcake — brings hypnotic powers with him from Pripyat, the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, to a gated Polish neighborhood of the rich and bored.
Szumowska and her cinematographer Englert co-direct this visually spellbinding tale that packs a quirky ensemble of people struggling to pinpoint their sadness. Utgoff’s Zhenia has the power to heal — spiritually? sexually? all of the above? — but at what cost to him? The film uses magical realism to touch deftly on issues of class, immigration, and climate change.
“Close your eyes and imagine what Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’ would evolve into if its tone were more uplifting than unsettling and its protagonist wasn’t preying on humans,” wrote Carlos Aguilar for The Playlist.
Exclusive to IndieWire, check out the official trailer for the film below. Kino Lorber opens this gorgeous Oscar entry in July, but you can catch it beginning April 30 as part of BAM’s Kino Polska film series.
Look for the film on April 30, making its New York premiere, as part of Kino Polska. The series will inaugurate BAM’s online streaming platform, and will run through May 6. The fourth edition of the series features the best new works from Poland’s boundary-pushing filmmakers. The series is presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York and co-programmed by Tomek Smolarski.
Along with “Never Gonna Snow Again,” the series features three other NY Premieres including Mariko Bobrik’s debut feature “The Taste of Pho,” the bittersweet coming-of-age drama “I Never Cry” from Piotr Domalewski, and Piotr Adamski’s “Eastern,” a tale of revenge set in a dystopic Poland.