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‘Fingernails’ Review: Jessie Buckley and Riz Ahmed Prove Chemistry Isn’t a Science In a Wise, Tender Sci-Fi Romance

Guy Lodge Film Critic It’s the stock answer that many a happy long-term couple has given prying friends and relatives to explain why they haven’t married: “We don’t need a piece of paper to prove our love.” True enough. What can official documents tell you of something as wily and elusive as human desire? Is a band of gold a safeguard against a change of heart? Of course not, yet millions want it anyway, a ratification of feelings that might otherwise seem slippery or intangible from the outside.

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‘Restore Point’ Review: Impressively Slick Czech Sci-Fi Thriller Is Ready For the Big Time
Guy Lodge Film Critic You have to admire the moxie of authors and filmmakers who set their science-fiction spectaculars in the very near future, essentially confronting viewers with what may seem a pretty outlandish forecast for their own lives. Those that pull it off present us with possibilities resonant enough to ponder, even when they’re too far-fetched to actively fear: So it proves in “Restore Point,” a sharp, high-shine sci-fi outing from the Czech Republic, in which earthly life after death is routine, a cellular rather than spiritual matter. Set in an unspecified (though Czech-speaking) central Europe in the year 2041, director Robert Hloz’s whopper of a calling-card debut may offer a more credibly subdued, budget-constrained visual of the mid-21st century than the lavishly built “Blade Runner 2049” — unless we’re in for a drastic design (r)evolution over the course of the 2040s — but its ideas are sky-high in concept. Marrying glossy mainstream genre aesthetics to probing, elaborately conceived speculative storytelling, this is a notably ambitious and auspiciously well-realized first feature for Hloz: the kind that appears to be flaunting his capabilities for even bigger international and Hollywood assignments.