Cinéphile

FILMS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Archive for the category “Based on a true story”

I, TONYA (2017)

I tonya

A film by Craig Gillespie

Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

Ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when she married her husband Jeff Gillooly.

I was in the United States when the news broke even watch Harding stake and I though she was great but there was some off beat. After watching the film I said and even seeing it on the news at the time I said to myself there it is I was right.

I tonya 2

Director Gillespie film it from the interviews that that on every channels at the time plus some flashback to tell what real happened. He also affectionately mocked the sport a bit without mocking Harding herself. You see Harding had those seriously ridiculous outfit for her competition and even had Rock-N-Roll music instead of classical to do her routine. She wanted to be different from the others but that did not go well with the judges. She always said what was on her mind straight forward no bullshit. She was not loved by her mother. She thrived in the sport because she wanted to be loved by her fans. Allison Janney ( who did a great job here) absolutely tears it up as the profane, chain-smoking LaVona Harding, constantly insulting Tonya and messing with her mind so she could become a great champion. Janney has won a Bafta award for Best supporting actress and well deserved at that; I just read this not long ago.

As soon as Tonya married her first husband it went to hell from there. Sebastian Stan Who plays Jeff Gillooly plays a little goofy. The relationship that they had was not healthy either. Soon after the incident happened which Tonya said she is no guilty as the media found her guilty at the time. Her all career fell apart. The big investigation was going on at time and the news show like Hard copy,  20/20 and the others banked on it they were fighting for first place . Margot here after 5 month of training she actually performed a triple axle (Not too perfectly well with computer generated image was perfect on film) and was one of the 7 women who has performed it. Tonya was the first one to do so. Margot performance is outstanding here and even Tonya herself liked the film. If you saw the news like I did back then after seeing the film you will have a different opinion of her. I know I did. You will have a good time watching this and the casting is perfect with some superb performances. Do not miss this one.

iTonya_EW.JPG

Advertisements

LA DOULEUR (2018)

LA DOULEUR (2018)

A film by Emmanuel Finkiel

Cast: Mélanie Thierry, Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay

English: Memoir of pain

June 1944, France is still under the German occupation. The writer Robert Antelme, major figure of the Resistance, is arrested and deported. His young wife Marguerite, writer and a figure of the resistance also, is torn by the anguish of not having news of him plus she has her secret affair with her comrade Dyonis. She meets a French agent of the Gestapo, Rabier, and, ready to do anything to find her husband. She seek help from an other man will she be able to find her husband and will he be still alive? 

Some of you will not like this film; It is the biography of Marguerite Duras and is a key figure on the French twentieth-century literary scene. Born in French Indochina in 1914, Duras studied and worked in France and lived in Paris during the Nazi occupation, and was in the Résistance. After all she won an Oscar for best original screenplay for the film 1959 film Hiroshima mon amour. But this film is told with a narration of literature. Her book was published in 1985 Memoir of pain finally comes to life at the movies. La Douleur flows like blood in the veins. Finkiel plays on the literary codes with a narration of Mélanie Thierry with a sad and depressing  voice. Thierry is act mostly with her facial expressions. She sees her relationship growing with Rabier. But also with Dionys (Benjamin Biolay). Finkiel allows us to wander, to merge into the spirit of Marguerite Duras. Duras is a faded flower that fights with her latest weapons as a resistant and writer that she is. She leads a troubled life. The film is a slow burner but a little long although I found it nice to watch a different view a view of a woman in search of her husband.

LA DOULEUR

LA DOULEUR 2

 

12 STRONG (2018)

12-strong-poster

A film by Nicolai Fuglsig

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña

The story of 12 men from the special forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. They team up with an afghan war lord and under a new captain to taken down the Taliban .

Chris Hemsworth Capt. Mitch Nelson, never been in a war, but did his training is going to lead 12 men to Afgannistan . They  were the first American troops to set foot in Afghanistan after 9/11. Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon) the most experience, Sam Diller (Michael Pena) the joker, plus a weapon expert Ben Milo (Trevante Rhodes) and the rest of the gang. Nelson gets his orders from the Colonel Mulholland (William Fichtner) and Lt. Col. Bowers ( Rob Riggle). Their mission is to invade northern Afghanistan through Uzbekistan with the help of the Uzbek warlord General Dostum (Navid Negahban), who has his own reasons for taking on the Taliban. Dostum and his men, Nelson and his team must capture the Afghan city of Mazar-Sharif. well despite their training the American is going to ride horses in oder to get where they are going because of the rough terrain. 

12-strong-squared

Director Fuglsig here has shown what war can be a dark place where a blood bath is going to take place. Here is 12 men who are on horses against tank and heavy artillery survived this ordeal. Amazing or pure luck. Everybody underestimate Nelson is the dynamic here and he had little experience in the field. Not only he made a promise he will come back to his wife but tells the colonel he can do it in 21 days before the snow comes otherwise they are going to be stuck there. Not the big film here but the purpose of it is entertaining and surprising that those 12 men has survived this ordeal on horses. The film here is design to make you feel good.

12 strong

THE POST (2017)

large_Post-poster

A film by Steven Spielberg

Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson

The story of the Post who got the hold of the Pentagon Papers and the unfolding battle between the free press and a White House that struggled to keep the secrets of how our government handled the Vietnam War under wraps.

Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) who heard a government official lied to the press decided to walk away with classified documents of the Pentagon on the history of Vietnam, including sensitive and confidential information that revealed the lies the government had told the American people for years, and why this does not surprise me at all, the government lying that would be a first yeah! right. One said “McNamara knew we couldn’t win in ’65.” And they went and sent more people to Vietnam . The thing is that the truth came first in the New York times and the Times got shut down by the government so the source wanted to have his stolen papers published and did the unthinkable.

the-post-2

The two central character here Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), the publisher of the Post, doing a job that too many men around her consider her incapable of doing, and Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), the editor of the Post, and the man who never questions whether of not they should publish. Both actors incarnated their characters well plus they had big shoes to fill. Also everything is at stake and Graham feared that she could make the wrong decision. There is tension in the film but lack of suspense and Bob Odenkirk almost steals the show here the guy who investigate he is the key piece of the post without him I think none of that would happen. You will see a parade of familiar actors in there as well.  the Post had balls knowing they could lose everything. The Freedom of the Press do not mess with it. Over all the film works well here and it is entertaining.

the-post-2017

 

MOLLY’S GAME (2017)

molly's game (2017)

A film by Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner

She was nicknamed the poker princess and when she was in a room she was in total command. She made a fortune running high-stakes games for the wealthy and powerful. Inspired by Bloom’s memoir of the same name, “Molly’s Game” bounces back and forth in time between Molly’s arrest by the FBI for running an illegal gambling operation and the  efforts to persuade a New York lawyer  to represent her and flashbacks to how she built her  empire.

Jessica-Chastain-Mollys-Game-Posters-and-Stills-November-02-2017-3

Molly moves to LA to continue her studies but she stumbles into a game of a card from her boss who wanted her to manage a poker game every week. We even go back further when she was a kid the time she was rebellious against her father. Her first game you will get the narrative voice over of how the game works, who is coming, the terminology , the strategy. As she tries to convince a lawyer played by Idris Elba, you continue to see the flashback and you beginning to see that Molly was dominating her game in a work of powerful men? however the chemistry of the two actors dazzle on-screen. The film is a bit long and entertaining as hell. The scene with her father where Molly is reached her low point is priceless. The thing is the film moves well a the beginning maintains its speed slows down a little and the kill shot is sent. A woman in a man’s world where Molly has done very well and the thing is also those kind of illegal games and Molly being good at her job will bring some unwanted attention.

MOLLY'S GAME

 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (2017)

All the Money in the World 2

A film by Ridley Scott

Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris

The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the will power of his mother who devoted all her energy to convince his Grandfather to pay the ransom due to the fact he was a billionaire.

Ridley Scott has said that is his last film he is going to direct, so to me he goes out with a bang. He will have a foot in the cinema by just producing. The story focuses on the trio’s awesome performances: Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the mother of an abducted heir to the Getty fortune; Charlie Plummer as the heir, John Paul Getty III; and Christopher Plummer as the grandfather, John Paul Getty, was the richest man in the world at the time of the kidnapping. (The two Plummers are not related.) 

all-the-money-in-the-world-christopher-plummer-dog_0

The thing is here is that John Getty here is so cheap it is not even funny to the point you will see how he spent his money to avoid paying taxes. So you think at first that he does not want to negotiate with terrorists but he comes down he is cheaper than scrooge. In the mix of it all John Paul Getty III ’s parents was getting divorced due to the fact that his father discovered drugs and free love. His grandfather had his reasons not to pay. Money will do usually thing to some people it will deformed their mind. Like i said you will see a scene where J. Getty stays in a nice star hotel but washes his own clothes and sheets because he doe not want to spent more on Laundromat. His stubbornness of not willing to pay the $17 Million could of getting his grandson killed. Wahlberg here plays Fletcher Chase who plays a negotiator for Getty and his right hand man plus he is in charge of security. The mother had to endure this nightmare plus she was patient, I would kill the grandfather myself even tortured him. The film was shot in location in Italy, London, and Jordan. It is beautifully well shot. Plummer embodies the character so completely that he must had to breathe, eat and think like a Getty. to make it so believable. As Ridley Scott would say” that is all folks. “

All The Money in the World

 

LA PROMESSE DE L’AUBE (2017)

LA PROMESSE DE L_AUBE

A film by Eric Barbier

Cast: Pierre Niney, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Didier Bourdon

English title : Promise at dawn 

From his difficult childhood in Poland to his adolescence under the sun of Nice, to his aviator’s exploits in Africa during the Second World War … Romain Gary lived an extraordinary life. But this eagerness to live a thousand lives, to become a great man and a famous writer, it is to Nina, his mother, that he owes it. It is the crazy love of this endearing and eccentric mother who will make him one of the major novelists of the twentieth century, to life full of twists, passions and mysteries. But this boundless maternal love will also be his burden for life …

La promesse de l'aube

From 1920’s Poland in Mexico in the 1950s, from the airfields to the African desert, from pre-war France to London under the bombs, Eric Barbier exploits all the fantastic aspects of the life of Romain Gary to immerse ourselves into the world of Romain Gary. The beautiful chemistry of Gainsbourg and Niney works here it is like ballet it is flows trough their veins. To top it all off beautiful performance between the two. Romain’s mother eccentric and monstrous with incredible energy and strength of character adored her son to death. She wanted him to be somebody. Maybe she pushed him too hard or sometimes suffocate him by her love but she dictated his life at times a bit controlling. There are double promises here that both has to hold. Romain has seen her mother humiliated and he wants to avenge her. The cinematography and the decor are outstanding from Poland, to Africa, Nice France, and England the director has nailed it on the dot. The film offers a eulogy of will, tolerance and heroism with melancholy and humour. Did either of them hold their promises? Well you will have to see this beautiful film.

LA PROMESSE DE L_AUBE 2

BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

The-Battle-of-the-Sexes-Poster

A film by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough

The publicized true story about the on-court face-off between Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former World Number 1 Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) is not simply about the sport.

The film is not just about that match it is about a male chauvinist, gay right, legality pay for women it is just scratch the surface in the early 70’s.. It is a funny film at times and the dynamism between the two tennis player makes it entertaining. For me however the film is missing something. I got out of the theatre feeling ok about it. Do not get me wrong the film is entertaining but not the big film either. It has history in it. Billie Jean King has fought all her life so the women could have better pay as equal to the men tennis player to top it all off she is trying to hide the fact that she is gay. Back then there were too much male chauvinism and the women could do well if not better than man. The two actors here are on top of their games. To even put Bill Pullman as Jack Kramer that was brilliant. Bobby Riggs is a gambling addict and a chauvinist pig. Smart as she is Billie that is was training her ass off meanwhile Riggs was putting on a show little did he is going to eat his words. Billie is good under pressure some people are and she was wearing him out to death. Riggs is out of shape. The film comes together toward the match between the two with the tension, thrills and the ridiculous moments . And the winner is.

Battle-of-the-Sexes-(2017)-2-Full

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

BORG / MCENROE (2017)

borg mcenroe

A film by Janus Metz

Cast: Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård

The story in 1980 rivalry between Borg and McEnroe. McEnroe the rebellious bad boy of tennis and Borg the god of tennis.

Here is the thing I am a big fan of Tennis so I decided to see this film right away. My mom was working in this sport company they gave her box seat (Front row seat) to see all the matches at Roland Garros back in the 70’s. I saw Borg, Connors, Stanislas, Ivan Lendl, Rob laver etc…is a matter a fact Connors was on the court and running to hit the ball kept running was right in the front of me looked at me and said “man this guy is killing me” Connors was the cool dude who was joking around once in a while. So When it came around 1980 I was in the US and I saw that match Borg / McEnroe.

mcenroe-borg

The Real McEnroe and Borg 

For borg the pressure is on he has everything to lose he has 4 Wimbledon championships under his belt as for McEnroe he had nothing to lose, he was the underdog. I remember seeing him on the court getting pissed of pulling his hair out and the press had a field day. The film show the 3 days before the march, the preparation, the games, how the player prepares themselves mentally and so forth. Then there are the occasional flash back when they were teenagers. McEnroe the party boy and Borg was like a robot focused, nothing gets to him. Amazing! Shia leboeuf delivers an outstaying McEnroe and was trained by professional tennis players so they do not look like he is the actor playing tennis But McEnroe playing tennis. As for Sverrir Gudnason who even looks like Borg has incarnated Borg extremely well. By the way the young Björn Borg is played by Björn’s real son Leo Borg. Director Janus Metz lets the action flows as the drama goes back and forth like a tennis ball. The film was watchable you could feel the tension rising, I remember watching the match and was on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately we all know what happen the next year and I think that is why Borg retire at 26 years old as he said I have done it all in tennis.  Better retire on top I guess.

BorgVSMcEnroe-Shia-LaBeouf-1200x520

borg mcenroe

CARBONE (2017)

Carbone

A film by Olivier Marchal

Cast: Benoît Magimel, Gringe, Idir Chender, Gerard Depardieu 

Just about to lose his business, Anthony Roca (Benoît Magimel), an ordinary man, develops a scam that will become the heist of the century. Gets in bed with criminals and overtaken by the crime, he will have to deal with betrayal, and murder.

Olivier Marchal likes squeaky leather, the smell of cold cigarettes, cops, gangsters  and the wicked atmosphere the bad neighbourhood of Paris’ suburb . This is normal, the French filmmaker was himself a cop, now converted into a director / actor , a fan  of the thriller genre and crime thriller.Which makes him one of the recognizable directors of the French cinematography landscape.

carbone 3

A huge scam led by Antoine Roca (Benoit Magimel), honest entrepreneur but riddled with debts that would be around one million euros. In spite, a father-in-law (Gerard Depardieu) intractable and brittle, a marriage that goes to pieces and a company that is going under, Antoine decides to launch a scam that will pay him big. The breakout of the century revolves around a carbon tax fraud. Every company has its share of CO2 emissions. If it is not exceed a certain among of CO2, the companies receive an envelope from the French state to compensate. By mounting a handful of  dummies companies  offshore, it is easy to recover an astronomical sums within a few months.

The film opens with Antoine shot on the side walks reciting an Arabic proverb. Then we go back 5 months earlier. The thing is here os a man who’s life is beginning to be hell because of the business that his father in law left him to manage is going to fold if it does not find the money for the debt he owes. Here is a man who is desperate where his wife does not like him very much anymore not his father in law. He needs a million euros to get the scam stated but one you borrow money from the mob there is not going back. Antoine is maybe on the top of the world Money start flowing in , the women, the parting the fancy cars all that comes into play and will atrratc other criminals, but soon after that the decent in hell is going to follow. He is going to try to fix things but when all hell breaks loose there is no stopping it. Here money is king and Marshall demonstrate this very well. The cinematography is Neo-Noir setting here. A brutal film with a soft finish, and yes it is based on a true story.

carbone 2

Post Navigation