CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN 2020

We are on lockdown in France. No cinema, no boutiques to shop in no restaurants due to the coronavirus. So at this point there will be no new movies review. However I am going to review movies on Netflix o other support like E-cinema.

Here are some pictures of Paris that are deserted.

My favourite café
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UNE SIRÈNE À PARIS (2020)

A film by  Mathias Malzieu

Cast:  Tchéky Karyo, Rossy de Palma, Marilyn Lima 

English: A mermaid in Paris

A heartbroken crooner, Gaspard had vowed never to fall in love again. As for Lula, a pretty mermaid, she only has the song to defend herself from men, by making the heard beat faster till it is going to explode. When the water of the seine is rising here is Lula at the foot of the Flowerburger, the barge-cabaret where Gaspard sings. He, the man who suffered from having loved too much, and she, the creature who never knew love, will get to know each other. And will they make beautiful music together?

Une sirène à Paris is this magic fairy tale where we will witness this old-fashion romance in full blossom with some colorful personalities played by endearing actors who have their stuff ( Nicolas Duvauchelle, Tchéky Karyo, Romane Bohringer, Rossy de Palma), facing the solar youth of Marilyn Lima. But this mermaid has this lethal weapon she breaks the hearts of the males who meet her, to the point of killing them with her lethal song. she represent many women in today’s world but also the femme fatale that you see in films. The thing is the script needs a little work but by all mean the film is still watchable.

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CORPUS CHRISTI (2020)

A film by  Jan Komasa

Cast:  Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel 

Daniel, 20, discovers a spiritual vocation in a youth detention center but the crime he has committed prevents him from accessing seminarian studies. Sent to a small town to work in a carpentry workshop, he pretends to be a priest and takes the head of the parish. The arrival of the young and charismatic preacher shakes up this small conservative community.

The script from Mateusz Pacewicz is inspired by true events. Daniel leaves the correctional center at age 20 after serving time for crimes that he committed but the story does not tells us what kind of crime. Having experienced a spiritual awakening behind bars he would like to pursue a career in the clergy but his mentor, Father Tomasz (Lukasz Simlat), tells him is impossible because he’s been a convict. He goes to this small town in Poland but bumps into a girl while visiting a the church and the light went on when he tells the girl he is a priest. He shows her his clerical collar and soon after that the girl introduce her to parish. When when the aging priest (Zdzislaw Wardejn) becomes ill. Here you see how Daniel is going to tell all the right lies and boom just like that Daniel is in. But will he pull it off and will his past catch up with him.

 Bartosz Bielenia plays his character with charisma with this piercing blue ice he is convincing and reminds me of Christopher Walking’s blue eyes. It is fascinating to watch him. But the town has its own secrets. As Daniel comes to find out. The more he digs in the more the resident are going to resent him. Here he takes his new job seriously, his methods are unorthodox but he’s speaking plainly from the heart and connecting with people. And because he has committed crimes he has some really good advise for the people. It is a complex character who is in a dark place and want to see the light. Daniel is fully aware of the gravity of this job is and the consequences that is going to follow will possibly haunt him later. Here is a great solid story and a film not to be missed.

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WASP NETWORK (2019)

A film by Olivier Assayas

Cast:  Ana de Armas, Penélope Cruz, Wagner Moura

Beginning of the 90’s. A group of Cubans living in Miami set up a spy network. Their mission: to infiltrate the anti-Castro groups responsible for attacks on the island.

Rene Gonzalez (Edgar Ramirez) seems to have a perfect life. His wife Olga (Penélope Cruz) is beautiful, they have a young daughter and he flies planes. But one day he decided to take off and fly under the radar and over the short stretch of sea to Miami. In a televised press conference he tells them the frustration about the Castro regime and announces his intention to stay in the US, after all he is an American citizen who just left his wife and kids to Cuba and he is being accused of being a traitor. Juan Pablo (Wagner Moura) soon joins him too. Both René and Juan become pilots for the CANF (Cuban American National Foundation) to assist defecting Cubans and hasten the collapse of Castro’s regime. Both infiltrate CANF, rising up the ranks, with Juan Pablo graduating to a lavish lifestyle. Assayas, while filming Wasp Network, was given the rare opportunity to film in Cuba. The over shot of Cuba by plane was a rare sight on film and the most vibrant. As the story unravels the mystery behind René and Juan Pablo, other characters are introduced and historical figures, such as the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles (Tony Plano) and Gerardo Hernandez (Gael García Bernal), director of Wasp Network. As the story goes along it is going to be a little confusing at times. The story has its twist and turns. It is film in an unconventional way and it fells that it is going all over the place. It is watchable and entertaining but it is missing something unfortunately. And to think this was going on in the 90’s.

PLAY (2020)

A film by  Anthony Marciano

Cast: Max Boublil, Alice Isaaz, Malik Zidi 

In 1993, Max was 13 received his first camera as a gift. For 25 years he will not stop filming. His group of friends, the girlfriends, the successes, the failures. From the 90s to the 2010s, it is the portrait of an entire generation that takes shape through its lens.

At 38, Max is watching the videotapes he has made for 25 years. And on his birthday , he decides to immerse himself in these films which retraces a large part of his life …Here Marciano who is not that known as a director decided to tell differently a love story with humor, with some great dialogue. The two stars of the film is the love story between them that is going to develop in the front of your eyes. As the years goes by the technology evolves as everything else as well. The friendship, the good , the bad, the laughter, etc it is all in there. Nice little film with a different format to tell a love story.

THE TRANSLATORS (2019)

 A film by Régis Roinsard

Cast:  Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio 

Isolated in a luxurious home with no possible contact with the outside world, nine translators have gathered to translate the last volume of one of the greatest successes in world literature. But when the first ten pages of the novel are published on the internet and a hacker threatens to reveal the rest if he is not paid a ransom, one question becomes haunting: where does the leak come from?

Nothing new here it is a who done it in a closed room or closed rooms but the theme here is literature. Put great actors like Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Eduardo Noriega, Frédéric Chau, Manolis Mavromatakis, Sara Giraudeau some twist in the plot and you have this cool little thriller. Eight years later with the film named populaire which the star was a type writer, Régis Roinsard returns with a thriller in which the star will be a novel, Lambert Wilson and nine actors who interpret as many translators. It is a bit difficult to say more otherwise I will spoiled it for the readers. Régis Roinsard said at on time that he “came across several articles around the translation of Dan Brown’s book, Inferno. Twelve international translators had been locked in a bunker in Italy to translate his latest novel. Here is a cultural product require that we protect it like it was precious jewelry. In today’s world with internet and the social network I can see why. So Régis ask this question what if someone leaks the translation of the book and publish it on the internet. And that is how the script is born. At the beginning it fells like a film noir / Thriller Than the first crime is going to take place in the library. But there are flashback of course that is the only way this is going to work to make it more interesting. The thing is here is that the director is building the tension and the film will take off and you think you are going to guess who did it a twist will appear. Unfortunately for me I knew who did it but the why that I never saw it some in. It is a pleasure to discover the plot along with flaws of the characters with the unexpected outcome.

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THE WHISTLERS (2019)

A film by  Corneliu Porumboiu

Cast:  Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar 

Cristi, a Bucharest police inspector corrupted by drug traffickers, is suspected by his superiors and tapped. Embarked by an adventure with the sulphurous Gilda on the island of La Gomera, he must quickly learn Silbo, an ancestral whistled language. Thanks to this secret language, he will be able free from prison a mobster in Romania and recover the hidden millions that this mobster stole. But love will get in the way and nothing will go as planned …

In crime films code, communication, and honor are vital. The code is knowing how to whistle this ancestral language. communication each member does speak a different language so english becomes the universal language. And yes someone is going to stab someone in the back. Cristi  (Vlad Ivanov) who is juggling the underworld and his police duties and must find a balance between the two in order to survive. Put in a beautiful femme fatale in the mix and all hell is breaking loose. Writer-director Corneliu Porumboiu here find the balance between comedy and the bit of absurdity. All the actors are on top of their games. A terrific cool little film noir who got some serious attention.