The end of GTH, the return of messrs Apichatpong and Kongdej—it's been a big year for Thai film. Here are our five favorite flicks, listed alphabetically.
See also: 25 classic Thai films you must watch
Directed by Wongthanong Chainarongsingha
Directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
We hadn't seen a Thai romantic comedy with such a deep, thought-provoking edge since... well, ever. Nawapol's follow up to the cult hit Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy got the balance between the mass/indie components just right, and made a cool B11.6 million on its opening day alone. When a freelance graphic designer overworks himself and has to seek medical help, he ends up falling in love with his doctor while still fighting to keep his body from breaking down. Not a bad way for GTH to call it quits.
Pee Chai My Hero: How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)
Directed by Josh Kim
This controversial gay film telling the story of Oat, who looks back on his childhood with his brother on the morning of his own military draft day, stirred up rave reviews from Bangkok to Berlin. The film has been chosen to as Thailand's representative for the foreign-language category at the upcoming Oscars, and you might even find a pretty cool street artwork of it the next time you stroll down Sukhumvit Soi 36. Read our interview with the director here.
Rak Ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendor)
Very much in the style of his Palme d'Or-winning film Uncle Boonmee Who May Recall Past Lives, this story has everything you'd expect from a Apichatpong film: unconventional narratives, merging of past and present lives, de ja vu and unanswered questions that linger with you long after viewing. The movie captures the lives of soldiers in a countryside hospital suffering from an illness that leaves them in a state between nightmare and delirium. Sadly, this will be the director's last film set in Thailand—and he doesn’t want it to even screen here, fearing government reprisals.
Directed by Rooth Tang
The debut feature film from this Thai-American director is definitely a love story of the modern age, following three couples across three cities during the time of important political events around the world. Dealing with issues of long distance relationships, cultural differences and being caught between two worlds, this movie delivers not only a relatable plot but some of the year's most beautiful cinematography.
And one more we have high hopes for
This one debuted at last month's World Film Festival of Bangkok, but only officially arrives in cinemas on Dec 31. The man behind some of our favorite films of the past two decades like Tang Wong, P-047 and Sayew makes his long-awaited return with a dramatic love story that we're expecting will hit us right in the feels. When two childhood friends, Pueng and Boy, unexpectedly return home to attend a mutual friend's wedding, they spend the weekend facing unresolved feelings from their past.