The Wisconsin Film Festival is coming soon. From April 3 to April 10, Madison will host 150 films. As usual, there are many excellent movies to choose from—too many, in fact. We’ve sorted through this year’s lineup and chosen five top picks that range from the heartbreaking to the hilarious.

Stray Dogs

This movie tells a story of a homeless father and his two kids as they wander around the margin of the city and struggle to survive in the bottom of the society. Despite their tragic situation, these characters still comfort and support each other. The director Tsai Ming-Liang is a Malaysian Chinese filmmaker well-known for his works in Taiwan’s Second New Wave, a genre of movies which depicts realistic and sympathetic Taiwanese life. His film have won him numbers of awards, and “Stray Dogs” follows in the vein of Ming-Liang’s early movies, representing the trivial, heartbreaking lives through his celebrated “slow” filming techniques (the film’s final shot is 14 minutes long).

Crime Against Humanity

Just like “Cards Against Humanity,” “Crime Against Humanity” is full of unexpected, nonsensical plot twists – and they’re always funny. An irreverent look into a college campus, “Crimes” chronicles the discovery of a satanic cabal in the school’s ethnomusicology department by Dean’s assistant Lewis. Director Jerzy Rose, a filmmaker from Chicago, is best known for his work on “Farewell to Tarwathie” and “The Universe & Young Pilot Nelson.” Fun fact about the film: The cast is made up entirely of non-actors, all friends of Jerzy Rose. “Crime Against Humanity” is a delightfully deadpan comedy.


Thursday, April 3, 9 p.m., University of Wisconsin Union South Marquee

In “Joe,” Nicolas Cage (“The Frozen Ground”) changes his usual methods of wild overacting and expresses, more subtly, an anger and despair that will surely garner him some recognition come awards season. In the movie, Joe, an ex-con, faces a hard choice between his past and a boy’s future. To protect a boy from his alcoholic father, Joe has to use extreme means. Cage makes a surprisingly realistic portrayal of a man with good intentions but uncontrollable rage. If you’re a Cage skeptic, this movie will definitely change your view about him.

Le Week-End

Saturday, April 5, 1:15 p.m., UW Union South Marquee

As married couples age, they inevitably face new tensions that threaten their marriage. In “Le Week-End,” an old, academic couple celebrates their 30th wedding anniversary in Paris—the site of their honey moon—in hopes of rejuvenating their marriage. During the trip, the deep, tight bond between them is revealed, and they open a new window to understand the meaning of life and love.

“Le Week-End” provides a bittersweet depiction of late-life struggles during long-term relationships. The Scottish Lindsey Duncan (“Doctor Who”) will surely impressed audiences with her outstanding performance which perfectly portrays an aging woman sick of the dull life she’s been living.

Love Child

“Love Child” is a documentary about how digital technology promotes South Korea’s information economy while simultaneously damaging people’s mental health and behaviors.

The film is inspired by an incident that happened in South Korea in which a husband and wife were arrested and charged for letting their 3-month-old daughter starve to death because they were too focused on online video games to take care of their children. This led further investigations into “Internet addiction,” which in this case was cited as a mental illness defense. “Love Child” investigates this form of addition and illustrates how many South Koreans are beginning to see virtual reality as the reflection of a reality.