Dark Waters (2019)
In the career of independent filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven, I'm Not There), his latest entry Dark Waters really stands out, seeing as it's not about sexuality and in many ways barely about human relations at all. Instead, Haynes goes digging for some long-hidden chemicals that DuPont, one of the world's largest chemical companies, had been stowing away since their invention of Teflon back in the 1930s. Mark Ruffalo plays Robert Bilott, the attorney who decided to pursue the matter, at the risk of his career, reputation and marriage. Dark Waters is classically constructed to a fault; in chronology, the use of intensifiers, the wife at home et cetera, but there's an inherent energy in this material that makes it weighty and sharp. Telling the tales about the little guys' fight against the bullying big guns not only ensures a good basis for an effective dramaturgy, it's also one of the fundamental functions of the arts.