Shot in 35mm, the latest from László Nemes (Son of Saul) focuses on a young woman eager to work as a milliner at the legendary hat store that belonged to her late parents, but when she is turned away by the new owner, she embarks on a quest to uncover her lost past.
László Nemes's first film since his heart- rending debut feature Son of Saul, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016, is an equally impressive piece of filmmaking. Cut, in many ways, from the same cloth as its predecessor, Sunset takes a highly personal and distinctive look at another period in his country's history.
In the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early 1910s, immediately preceding the First World War, the enigmatic Írisz Leiter (Juli Jakab), while young and beautiful, carries the weight of the past with her. Visiting an elegant Budapest department store that specializes in women's hats, she is immediately noticed and a stir is created. This sense of unease and disquiet becomes the modus operandi of the entire film. The store used to belong to Írisz's parents. Her visit is not innocuous. It is a voyage back into her past and childhood. Furthermore, she is about to unearth more dark and troubling secrets about her family.
Nemes recreates the pre-World War I era in all its sensual detail - the attention to high fashion and the art of millinery here rivals those of a recent film set later in the 20th century, Phantom Thread. The intensity of Sunset is unmistakable, confirming Nemes's extraordinary talent in this sophomore film.