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.
A film de Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho
Cast: Barbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira
In the near future … The village of Bacurau in the Brazilian sertão mourns his matriarch Carmelita who died at 94 years. A few days later, residents notice that Bacurau has disappeared from the map.
Ok then here is a film that is worth looking at. In a near-future Brazil, Theresa (Barbara Colen) returns home for the funeral of her grandmother, she is the the matriarch of her village. Bacurau is a modern western satire. Suddenly the cellular signal disappear and the village is not longer on the map. They are deprived of water and basic supplies by the mayor (Thardelly Lima). It is s bit weird at times and you can tell that the directors were influenced by John Carpenter. They also have several points to make about wealthy and the corrupt right wing in Brazil, they weren’t afraid of telling it . The villagers here are deprived of basic needs like water, medecine and other basic needs. You will not know what genre of film this is going to be everyone will have a different opinions, when you see the flying saucer in the first part of the film you think it is going to be a science fiction movie, or a modern western or both. There are a few surprises in this film as well. It is nice to see Sônia Braga who was in Aquarius (2016) who plays a nurse here with a twisted sense of humor. it is a Brazilian drama, a political and social reflection that questions Brazil today perhaps a political film of sort with a modern western theme. It is going to make you think a bit.
Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg
Italy back in The 80’s , a romance will blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant aver the summer.
First love , the warm, sunny skies, gentle breezes and charming, tree-lined roads of northern Italy in the summer. what more do you want; Well two beautiful women massaging my body while I drink wine, I know I am dreaming but trust me it is going to happen soon. Just a feeling I got. Guadagnino takes us to they wonderful place where he is patient in telling you the story and you must be also as well. Not an easy thing to do I was wondering where this was going then he hit me. It’s the summer of 1983, and there’s nothing to do but read, play piano, learn about art and pick apricot and peaches and drink wine. Dam! life was so simple back then.
17-year-old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) visiting his family’s summer home with his parents: his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), a professor of Greco-Roman culture, and his mother (Amira Casar), a translator and hostess. Elio is growing up fast he is 17 years old who has an intellect of an adult. An American doctoral student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives for the annual internship Elio’s father offers . It seems that Oliver has everything and that Elio doesn’t ,that’s what the director want you to think. However the two are going to test even push each other though out the summer. They flirt, they try to one up each other on Literature, art and music. Elio how ever tries to romance a french girl on vacation there but thing are no going to go so well at first it is and then Olivier happens. I think Elio knew who he is but denied it to himself that is why he tried to romance this girl. The all film is shot beautifully well on location with some nice setting. There is a sweetness between the two as the story develop especially toward the end. Both actors here are well into their characters that goes double for the Franco-American actor chalamet, there is a fluidity between his languages from French, to Italian and english. A different kind of love story this time between two men. the most beautiful scene here is toward the end when Elio’s father talks to him. Even the ending felled so perfect.
Clara, a middle-aged widowed a former music critic who is retired is fighting a ruthless property firm for ownership of her lifelong beachside apartment.
The film open on a flash back in the 80’s where clara was younger with her husband and kid where she just survive breast cancer and left her with a scar. the next thing is 2016 she is still in the same apartment but a firm wants her out and makes an offer that clare refused to look at. There is a scene where clara is interview by a journalist where she is lecturing her about the way in which a record can hold a history. it is the scene that will throw the film off balance from the theme of it and Kleber Mendonça Filho gets away with it. Here is a woman who’s has such a force not to be reckoned with. Braga here shine in the role of Clara she throws is quite an unbelievable performance and Kleber Mendonça Filho makes the most of it doing some great close up so we can absorb her facial expression. The tension is rising very slowly here until the end where it is going to blow but not quite like you think it is going to go. The ambience of the film is superb here. Filho does a great job here to make the most of his actresses and actor.it is a thrilling, thoroughly engaging, and fascinating piece of cinema.
Devoured by stage fright, he fails the audition and reluctantly agrees to teach music to teenagers of Heliopolis, the largest favela in the city (Brazil). Yet in this hostile world, where dealers and gangs reign are supreme, Laertes will forge a strong links between his students and even discover their talent that will change their life forever.
An other based on a true story here is a man who is consumed by stage fright and can’t on with his life. He finds add jobs here and there until he reluctantly take a job teaching in the ghetto. Little did he know that they will need each other in order to survive and over come their fears. Yes the script is predictable, you even know where the story is going ,but it is still interesting to see how the film maker Sérgio Machado has told the story and even film it. Laertes is passionate, he lives for his music. With his ability to be always attentive to others, through his sense of humor, he manages to pass on his passion. As for teenagers who form the orchestra, most are non-professional actors. Their well-tempered endearing personality make them authentic comedians. The director does not shy away from the problems in the favelas. Or even the good people who are pissed at the police. Here is a well tied story that works but is predictable and you will have still a good time.
Cast: Regina Casé, Antonio Abujamra, Helena Albergaria
Anna Muylaert’s heartwarming The Second Mother (2015), starring Regina Casé is a crowd pleaser and festival favorite, it premiered at Sundance where Casé and Camila Márdila won the Special Jury Prize for Acting. Val (Casé), a live-in housekeeper for a wealthy family in São Paulo, has helped bring up their seventeen-year-old son Fabinho (Michel Joelsas). It came with a price she left her estrange husband and her daughter behind in order tomato money and sent some to her daughter she has not seen her in 10 years. One day Val gets a phone call from her daughter now 17, Jéssica (Márdila) contacts Val as she is coming to São Paulo to stake her entrance exam at the university. But once there she will destabilized the family.
Val welcomes Jessica to the home of her boss but Jessica outright refuses to conform to or accept the hierarchies in the affluent family’s home, she is hungry for knowledge wants to study architecture, she is smart and curious about the city, she wants to discover it. Carlos (Lourenço Mutarelli) has no need to work and is bored and is a loner. On the other hand his ambitious wife, Dona Bárbara (Karine Teles), is ambitious of her social status and is suspicious and pissed of Jéssica and her refusal to fit in. In the meantime you have Val who has a really good relationship with Fabinho but the mother does not how to interact with her son nor how to love him.
There is a refreshing political agenda and Muylaert shows us the class barrier here with a well structure script. There is some cool moment where Dona is forced to make breakfast to Jessica because her mother did not wake up in time.or the one where Val is serving dinner and the family is in silence mode because they are in their smart phone. I love that one the best. It is a wonderful flawless film here.
3 kids who lives by garbage dumps work there to and picks up plastic anything that is plastic and put it in a trash bag to be recycled. They are from Brazil. one of them makes a stunning discovery a wallet full of cash. Little did they know that their lives are about to change.
Here is a film in the style of Slumdog millionaire. It is from Andy Mulligan’s novel. Here is a director who has it right. He went to the poor neighborhood in Brazil and told the story as is. It is center on the kids that lives in poverty and their acting was flawless and for a kid this has to be hard work to be almost in every frame of the movie. They are kids who have no education nor future. Politician who are corrupt not helping the poor, than you have the police who is corrupt also that does not help. In brazil I was told that there is a corrupted politicians. So the poor on one side and the rich on the other. Nobody cares for the poor. There is a sense of hope in the movie which is nice. Outstanding for the acting for the kids, as well as Martin Sheen. The tension is there and continue during the film continuously. The suspense runs throughout the film also. It could be more realistic but it is entertaining no doubt. I do not want to say more than that just in case you didn’t see the film. It is a fine piece of film with a good ending.