Cinéphile

FILMS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

MOBILE HOMES (2018)

MOBILE-HOMES

A film by Vladimir de Fontenay

Cast: Imogen Poots, Callum Turner, Callum Keith Rennie

A young mother drifts from one motel to the next with her intoxicating boyfriend and her 8-year-old son. The somewhat family scrapes by living one hustle at a time, until the discovery of this mobile homes community  where the mother sees a possible future.

A house is what you buy; a home is what you make. Poots the impressive actress plays here Ali here plays it beautifully well she is hooked on her intoxicating boyfriend and gets by hustling (illegally trafficking, and dealing animals, namely roosters for fighting) with her boyfriend Evan (Callum Turner). They are struggling day by day and Ali sees it that it is not a good thing for a kid to be around this kind of life. However she wants stability and a home they can live in, So does her boyfriend but he does not want to get out of this kind of life. He want to make the easy money. Evan is cruel to the kid that is not his son by taking him on some kind of criminal activity. Sure enough the mother get into a crisis with Evan and runs off. And may the journey of being reborn begins.

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The characters here are well develop; Ali come with emotional baggage and so is Evan. It is of sort a morbid story and you hope there is a bit of relieve for Ali who want more out of life but does not know how to go about it. It is shot in the winter and there is a glacial beauty into the cinematography. Mobile home-made sails to the theatre here in France through the Cannes film festival but the film is on its third week and that is it, I saw it just in time before it goes off into the sunset. I am wondering if the audience even liked it. I know I did, it is so intelligently written.

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DANS LA BRUME (2018)

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A film by Daniel Roby

Cast: Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Fantine Harduin

One day  where a strange deadly mist submerges Paris, survivors find refuge in the upper floors of buildings and on the roofs of the capital. Without information, without electricity, without water or food, a couple tries to survive this disaster and save their daughter … But the hours go by and one thing is clear: relief will not come and if one should survive , one hope to try his luck IN THE MIST …

English title: Just a breath away

The correct translation for title is In the mist by the way . So you have seen the Mist the American version this is the French version but rewritten differently, also from the fog by John Carpenter. As soon as I seen the daughter I knew how it is going to end and it did. The images of Paris of which the mist is setting in Paris where are hero du jour Mathieu (Romain Duris) is trying to escape running to his daughter’s apartment.The originality of Dans la Brume lies primarily in its Parisian decor, but also in its choice to take an interest in home life : separated parents and girl with an incurable disease. The advantage here to film in Paris and using CGI for the fog along with the apartment with the girl and her mom lives. The filmmaker focuses on not doing in the sensational but keeping it real; What would our real people will do in this situation. Where the writer who wrote the screenplay has decided that our hero will make errors along the way. With only 9 millions Euros for the film the director was creative in order to shoot  the  film that is entertaining.

DANS LA BRUME (2018)

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RAZZIA (2018)

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A film by Nabil Ayouch

Cast: Maryam Touzani, Arieh Worthalter, Amine Ennaji

Five separate narratives set in Casablanca will merge into each other and all hell will break loose.

Nabil Ayouch offers us a film about dreams, trial, acceptance and struggles in the streets of Casablanca. “Happy is he who can act according to his desires” opens the film by a proverb from in Berber.  In Razzia, the French-Moroccan director puts together five different stories spanning two-time periods that is going to fit the highly charged theme of the film.

We start out in 1982 in the spectacular setting of the Atlas mountains, in a tiny village where a teacher Abdallah (Amine Ennaji) must bow to the laws  of the state and stop teaching in Berber, the only language that his students understand. Soon, the defeated Abdallah who is angry but passive about the news  will leave this place, and with it his budding romance with the spirited widow Yto (Nezha Tebbaï). We jump up to 2015 where this beautiful woman Salima (Maryam Touzani) dressed a little provocative for a woman in Morocco who takes a swim well almost in her dress, because a  bikini is not allowed over there to protest the law (Men and women are not the same). She goes in a house of her friend named Yto to dance and be free smoke if she wants because at home her boyfriend does not want her to work nor smoke or dance. I guess just sit there and look pretty. Elyas (Abdellah Didane) the son of Yto who works as a bartender has this house full of memorabilia of Casablanca the film with Bogart. Then you have Hakim (Abdelilah Rachid),  faces different problems, as his family and neighbours in the city’s working-class Medina district stand in the way of his dreams of becoming a rock star like Freddie Mercury. And Inès (Dounia Binebine) who lives a charmed life is lonely and trying to find her identity in all that. All those stories will merge at the end where all hell is going to break loose. A terrific puzzled film with beautiful cinematography at its purest form. The director here shines as usual in hoping he does for the rest of his career. He knows how get the actor there playing emotional part and well as he knows how to write them. Do not miss this one. Plus a perfect ending to go with it.

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THE DEATH OF STALIN (2018)

DEATH OF STALIN, THE

A film by Armando Iannucci

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor

Staline suddenly dies and chaos is setting in the government of the Soviet Union.

Ok then here it is there is no way in hell that someone is going to do a film about Stalin who was this brutal and deadly dictator in  the USSR. But someone has the intelligence to do it in a satire, well that would be better. You have to understand Stalin was a mass murderer of a different class. The film is based on the graphic novel by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin.

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The movie begins with a disaster. On Radio Moscow one evening, the pianist Maria Yudina and orchestra do great job playing Mozart. So much so that Stalin phones in and asks that a recording be sent over to his dacha. One problem: Radio Moscow wasn’t recording. Panic sets in; only one solution is possible: restage the concert and record it. Little problem Maria does not want to do it; however she has good reason. Once the discover that Stalin is dead so they thought, the funny thing is they needed a doctor but Stalin did trust the doctors because he thought they were trying to poison him, so they are in jail or dead. You will see how they get other doctors to come in to determine the cause of death and yes the dialogue in likely to be a little strange at times. It is a risk to do a satire of this monster but there it was done intelligently with some serious belly laugh. The cast is awesome, Steve Buscemi is on the top of his game as Khrushchev, Michael Palin as Molotov, Jason Isaac as Zhukov and Jeffrey Tambour  as the vain Malenkov. From beginning to the end this film is kicking ass big time. Have fun with this one and do not miss it.

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THE RIDER (2018)

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A film by Chloé Zhao

Cast: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau 

After suffering a serious head injury that almost killed him a cowboy is forced to rethink and search a different path for his life.

Here the Chinese director who now lives in New York  tackles the cowboy after the Indians and neither real fiction nor real documentary The Rider actually merges in the two genres to portray a cowboy who has been near death but when he comes out of it  wants to get back on the horse. Brandy Jandreau  is a real cowboy in real life victim a few years ago of an accident, but decided despite medical advice to continue the only activity that gives meaning to his  existence. The screenplay written by Chloé Zhao is therefore consistent with the experience of her non-professional actor, around which gravitate members of his entourage: Lilly, his little sister autistic, Cat Clifford, his friend, just as invested in a mission in the world of rodeo. Although it feels like a documentary the director uses traditional narrative cinema codes. Brady’s tragedy, unable to convert to a supermarket worker and endangering his own life, by wanting to still work with horses and thinks he is going to get back on the horse which brings me to the fact that the US is unable to take care of their youth to reconvert them into some other career. The cowboy has a certain mentality even if it hurts get back on the horse and do it again. Of course the joint smoking, drinking, singing in the vast land by a fire at sunset is the thing to do if you are a cowboy. You have this tough mentality but the reality of it is sometimes you are going to give up the dream like Brady who has trouble in doing so. Here you will see the tattooed or wounded bodies, and the natural panorama that the director intelligently uses at her advantages. The rider here is a real little jewel that made a splash at he Cannes Film Festival.

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READY PLAYER ONE (2018)

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A film by Steven Spielberg

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn

The creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies. He put an Easter egg into the program before he died. Whoever finds it takes control of the entire program, as well as controlling interest in the company that runs it.

25 years from now, the world has gone to shit. People are living in cramped spaces basically humanity lives in the dumps. No one gives a shit because there is a virtual games called the Oassis  that people are playing most of the time. OASIS’s creator (Mark Rylance) put an Easter egg into the program before he died. Whoever finds it takes control of the entire program, as well as controlling interest in the company that runs it. When a lone gamer who goes by the code name Parzival (Tye Sheridan) hits upon the first tangible clue to that egg, the race is on for claim it before the bad guys do.

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During the all film there is references to pop culture as well as music form the 80’s, 90’s. The all movie is fun to watch and the director has a gift for action scene and telling the story no surprise there. It is gear to young people a bunch of young actors playing the part it is going to feel like deja vu but in science fiction mode, the first time for the spielberg who in turn is not crazy about the technology. Moral of the story here people are getting addicted to the technology, you see it now days. The virtual world is outstanding and fun nothing we have seen before. It has a feel like the series Stranger thing I even wish it was not if one has to reinvent himself he must do so. Somehow spielberg has lost his touch to take chances and experiment with film making like in the beginning of his career. Like I said it is good entertainment for everyone, young and older. Yes a Delorean in the movie and did you know the new model as arrived in 2017.

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DON’T WORRY HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT (2018)

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

A film by Gus Van Sant

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara

John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) who has a serious drinking problem gets in a car accident and survive with serious injuries. On the rocky road of recovery discover and heals himself with controversial drawing.

John Callahan (1951-2010), an alcoholic who, following a drunk-driving accident at the age of 21, spent the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. Callahan also became a controversial cartoonist for the a newspaper in Oregon. It is hard to do a story on an alcoholic and make it interesting. This is the film that comes full circle with the addiction of alcohol and the destruction of life that don’t have easy resolutions. A great film by Gus Van Sant who thankfully put to work more than a few screenwriters to pull this off. Callahan’s repeated reference to being abandoned by his mother and  adopted has an excuse for his problems and addiction. But like he said I started to drink at age 13, I liked it!  I liked it a lot. Well he had to blame someone for that. It is just an excuse. The film show the 12 steps program with the use of flashback. Here Jonah Hill who plays Donnie a rich kid who was an alcoholic is now the master of this 12 step program. By the way he lost some serious weight and he delivered a superb performance. It was a joy to see him doing some serious acting for a change. There are some funny moments at times Callahan falling into a bush after going on a skateboard maneuver in his motorized wheelchair, A nurse sitting on his face well I will say no more you will have to see the film. What I like about Gus van Sant is he is not using the studio system. He does his films on his own terms. Callahan becomes a cartoonist the one with the dark sense of humour and not everybody liked his drawing. A terrific independent film here not to be missed. I’ll drink that, Ha!ha!ha!

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MEKOUB MY LOVE : CANTO UNO (2018)

 

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A film by Abdellatif Kechiche

Cast: Shaïn Boumedine, Ophélie Bau, Salim Kechiouche

Sète, 1994. Amin, a screenwriter based in Paris, returns a summer in his hometown, to find family and childhood friends. Accompanied by his cousin Tony and his best friend Ophélie, Amin spends his time between the Tunisian restaurant held by his parents, the neighborhood bars, and the beach frequented by girls on vacation. Fascinated by the many female figures that surround him , Amin remains in the background and contemplates these mermaids of the summer, unlike his cousin who throws himself into the intoxication of sensual bodies. But when it comes time to love, only fate – the mektoub – can decide.

MEKTOUB MY LOVE - CANTO UNO

Here is the latest film of Kechiche and he lets the  sensual energy dazzle the screen and so is this new actress Ophélie Bau. It is Amin, he is good-looking and all the girls are attracted to him but he is the only one who does not sleep with them. He is in the background observing them. Unlike his cousin Tony, who taste all the pleasure of life. Amin discovers Tony and Ophélie having sex at her place and that will set the film for the viewer. Generous bodies, lightly dressed or swimsuits are magnified in the film, plus swimming at the beach having fun drinking , eating good food and plenty of sensual beautiful females having fun, talking and flirting. At least a 15 minutes to 20  minutes scenes at the club, dancing, kissing, flirting who is going to go back to their place with whom, the craziness, flirting, smoking and drinking until the morning. Who is he really, (Amin) this young man, screenwriter , passive, secretive , a little taciturn but loquacious despite everything? Well we might find out on the second film that will come out next september .

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LA PRIÈRE (2018)

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A film by Cédric Kahn

Cast: Anthony Bajon, Damien Chapelle, Alex Brendemühl

English: The prayer 

Thomas is 22 years old. To get out of the addiction, he joins an isolated community in the mountains held by former drug addicts who heal themselves by prayer and work. He will discover friendship, rules, love and faith …..

The scarred face with the lost look, a young man joins an isolated community in the mountains. There have boys from all walks of life and from all over the world, who are very religious or, on the contrary, not believers   but who all have one thing in common that they suffer from absolute loneliness and great emotional distress due to either drugs or alcohol addiction.  If this place of the plateau of Trièves, mixture of beauty and roughness is magic, the conditions of reception is like a prisoner: No smoking, drinking, no drugs, no women, and no personal belonging; he gets a hair cut short, and the days are dedicated to work and prayer. It is going to be a tough place to be but Cédric Khan has a message here the struggle of a young man who does not want to end up dead with an other overdose. He is trying hard not to reconnect with his old demons through work and prayer, they have no other choice than to work to rebuild the social bond. Thomas, (Anthony Bajon) is supervised by Pierre (Damien Chapelle), older than him and now well on the path of remission that monitors him with a father’s attention. Later on in an other village he meets Sybille (Louise Grinberg), a sensitive and balanced young woman, irreparably changes his trajectory and way of thinking.

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The camera films with discretion and neutrality shows the tensions and these painfully endured trials. The director here place the viewer at a safe distance so they can view the twist that is about to come. The thing is here it is a bit predictable for me anyway but it still hold the course where it is supposed to go. The cast is outstanding and has chemistry. As for the film here who has a religious themes which is done in a meditative  manner has  a lovely ending.

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LA FINALE (2018)

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A film by Robin Sykes

Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Rayane Bensetti, Émilie Caen

English title: In the game

The whole family Verdi is caring for Roland, the grandfather, who loses his bearing, well he has Alzheimer.  JB, the teenager of the family, has only one goal: to go to Paris to play his basketball final. But his parents, won’t have it and  ask him to give it up to keep an eye on his grandfather. JB decides to take him with him … During this trip, nothing will happen as planned …

Here is the first film for Robin Sykes who tackles with humour Alzheimer to top in all off some of the film is going to be a road trip. The first scene of the film opens on the very busy Roland, at the head of a brewery near the Parc des Princes, and who begins to suffer the first symptoms of memory loss. Roland is “freely inspired by the former sports presenter Thierry Roland, loud month but always smiles. And it is true that we will discover throughout the film he is quite a racist and misogynistic.  But a year later, we find Roland in Lyon with his daughter Delphine (Emilie Caen) and her son-in-law Hicham (Lyes Salem), along with her grandchildren JB and Penelope. His condition has deteriorated, he does not recognize his family which we understand he was not very close. He gets lost on the way and sometimes goes to the wrong house.

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The director here takes a humorous approach to the disease by taking Roland and his grandson JB on a road trip where they are going laughter. Thierry Lhermitte is very credible, finding the right balance between the disoriented man who is not aware of his condition and the man sometimes enlivened by flashes of lucidity, whose memories come back abruptly. Thierry Lhermitte, “happy when we propose things he has not already done” had no difficulty in incarnating  the character, because “the scenario was very well written, funny and moving”. The actor, who is also a sponsor of the Foundation for Medical Research, has done a lot of research on this disease. He also spent some time with a friend’s father, who has the disease. Because Roland has the illness his family has to adapt and make sacrifices, and JB doesn’t not see him as a sick men but the one who took his room. It is the relationship that will grow stronger during the road trip between the grandfather and his grandson. But thanks to its sincerity, La finale is a drama that will not fail to both move and make the audience laugh.

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