CLIMAX (2018)

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A film by Gaspar Noé

Cast: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub

In the mid 1990’s, 20 French urban dancers join together for a three-day rehearsal a in somewhat dance school located at the heart of a forest to perform  one last dance. They then party with a large sangria bowl. Quickly, the atmosphere becomes charged and something  strange will happen that night. It seems obvious to them that they have been drugged, they neither know by who nor why. And it’s soon impossible to resist the temptation to do whatever which suppose to be a night in paradise becomes a descent in hell will they survive the night?

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Ok here it is this film was shot in 15 days on a 5 pages script due to the fact Noé had to edited it and put the music to it and to present it at the Cannes Film Festival. Noé’s non professional actor/professional dancers play performers in a 90s French dance troupe on an US tour. The film open with audition tapes of the dancers, pay attention of the video tapes behind them all those films is what inspired to make this film for Noé. Then you get the dancing number that is perfect to start this film. Soon after they drink the sangria and may the hallucinating begins. Someone has spiked the sangria with a drug , it is manifesting into some kind of primitive dance into the dancers souls. It is unknown what kind of drugs and how much. Panic sets in, sexual craving, anger, and questions like who spiked the bowl? comes into mind and they are trying to control themselves. Hysteria sets in and it is electrifying it is never dull and the music keeps going at which point it is going  like a wave going up then down. The tension is build up and stays there for the rest of the film. It is a wild ride with consequences and a high price to pay. It is at times hypnotic. Interesting experimental original film here.

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BONHOMME (2018)

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A film by Marion Vernoux

Cast: Nicolas Duvauchelle, Ana Girardot, Béatrice Dalle

Marilyne ( Ana Girardot) and her boyfriend Nicolas Duvauchelle)  had a car accident . Her boyfriend however hit his head on the windshield. He now has a mind of a child and Marilyne must take care of him.

The two characters were living their everyday lives like everyone, work, going out with friends, traveling, vacation. Marion Vernoux’s films never left the country, however her films are well made and well thought out needless to say her films are not selling outside France it is what I have been told. Here is a touchy subject and it was difficult for her to write without offending anyone. All shots are well thought out. This is why she chose  those two actors Nicolas Duvauchelle, Ana Girardot which are high-caliber actors. Head trauma here is a taboo subject and it can be correct with surgery in some cases. However here Vernoux has put a little humor into it.  Some scenes will be sensitive to some viewers. Also Vernoux shows us how it is difficult to take care of someone with this kind of injury. Here is a film that is innovative with an effective script. I hope the film will sell to other countries. 

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SHÉHÉRAZADE (2018)

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A film by Jean-Bernard Marlin

Cast: Dylan Robert, Kenza Fortas, Idir Azougli

Zachary, 17 years old, gets out of jail. Rejected by his mother, tries to go back to his old gang but they won’t have him so he hangs out in the mean streets of Marseille. This is where he meets Shéhérazade.

Shéhérazade does not live in the land of Arabian Nights. She is 16 years old, lives in Marseille in the ghetto and is a prostitute. But it is where Zachery this lost kid who is now along will meet her on a corner of the street. However he has a parole officer who has to watch him to make sure he gets a job. He has a place in this home for kids who just got out of jail and want to rebuild their life. Zachary here leaves to see his old friend and to see if the old gang can get him his old job back dealing drugs. They won’t have him and find himself alone and nowhere to go. Later he meets Shéhérazade who is a prostitute and an unlikely love relationship is going to flourish. Without really realizing it he will get this new job sort of speak but consequences are going to follow. Their slang language is hard to decipher but the two actors were comfortable playing their character. Cruel reality of this huge metropolis bathed in shimmering colors but also  with violence and poverty. The film has a fresh energy  despite the difficulties inherent in their way of life. Things are going to get out of control with them but one more time Zach will face his demons and will get rid of them to live like a normal person,  well maybe. a terrific film here by Jean-Bernard Marlin about adolescence in love with emotional baggages and demons.

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THE BROTHERS SISTERS (2018)

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A film by Jacques Audiard

Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal

Charlie and Elie Sisters live in a wild and hostile world, they have blood on their hands from the criminals, from the innocents … They kill anything on their path, after all  It’s their job. Charlie, the youngest, was born for that. Elijah dreams only of a normal life. They are hired by the Commodore to search for and kill a man. From Oregon to California, an implacable hunt begins, an initiatory journey that will experience this crazy link that unites them. A path to their humanity?

who would of know that Audiard a French director would done one day a western in a english language with Americans actors and a great cast at that. Reilly went to the Deauville film festival and ask Audiard to read this book because he wanted to make it a film and wanted to play in it to top it all off. He was a fan of Audiard’s film like I am saying to Audiard this one is has your name written all over it. Audiard loved the book and decided to do hi first adaptation. And what a film it is.

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The backdrop of the story is the gold rush that is going to take place. But here the brothers has to do one job kill a man. We follow the brothers who are like growing man in a 12 years old mind. The pairs are cold-hearted hit man for the dude named the Commodore. Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) is this Heavy drinker running after whores while Eli is more looking after his brother. The opening of the film is outstanding in this shoot out in the dark night. The brothers do not give too much thought about killing a household full of people. What I like about it is the reason remain unknown. Just used your imagination. On the way we meet two other characters Hermann Kemit  warm (Riz Ahmed)  and Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal), a British-accented bounty hunter for hire. Along the way the brothers who are on the trail of the man they have to kill will and will leave themselves a bloody trail, after all they have a reputation. Here Rielly delivers a comic performance that is well in balance with the terrific acting of Phoenix after all they  demonstrate tremendous chemistry throughout the film. It is a tale about with a sentimental heart, in a dangerous blood trail deep in alcohol. A must see.

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PREMIÈRE ANNÉE (2018)

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A film by Thomas Lilti

Cast: Vincent Lacoste, William Lebghil, Michel Lerousseau 

English: The freshmen 

Antoine begins his first year of medicine for the third time. Benjamin arrives directly from high school, but he quickly realizes that this year will not be a cake walk . In a fiercely competitive environment, with tough classes and nights dedicated to studying  rather than partying , both students will have to work hard to find the right balance between today’s hardships and tomorrow’s expectations.

After Hippocrate (2014) and Medecin de Campagne (2016) here Lilti invites us to discover the medical school and the competition of the entrance examination that goes with it  denouncing the passage of an unequal educational system. In order to do this, Lilti follows the course of two of students who, if they have to pass  the entry exam in order to become a doctor, have neither the same path, nor the same motivations.

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Benjamin (William Lebghil) knows his way around his dad is a surgeon and medicine is running through his veins , however Antoine (Vincent Lacoste) who is his third time trying to pass his first year, he is intelligent and study hard but does not pass and he is having a hard time. The two are going to meet and they will share the studying, the all nighter and so forth. Lilti demonstrates the ability to portray with  humanity, with humour and the sadness that goes with it. To him it brings back memories when he was a student like I said in the previous film Lilti was a doctor , he just left the practice to pursue his other passion film making. The camera invites us to share as close as possible to the crowded amphitheaters where there are at least 400 students taking the exams and in the university’s library where they are packed of students studying in the early morning plus the families’ lives of the two students we are following. A third film well done here with a great script with a great casting where the two actors are the phenomenal chemistry. The thing is here there is a bit of realism with some great humour. Do not miss this one.

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LE MONDE EST À TOI (2018)

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A film by Romain Gavras

Cast: Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, François Damiens

English title: The world is yours

A small time drug dealer has a dream and he is unable to make it happen, so he does one last job in Spain which will get him the money to get the life he so dreams for. Two things however has to happen here, get rid of his overbearing mother and to get a girlfriend that is missing in his life.

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Here is a crime comedy that we were waiting for which Gravas has pulled off very well with a couple of screenwriters. A goofy sort off crime comedy with a perfect casting. Adjani becomes  mother who loves to spend money as well as to steal it , is the head of a gang of North African pickpockets, Philippe Katerine a business lawyer with rather amateur aspects, and Vincent Cassel a former father-in-law of the most disturbed. It has a cocktail of action and goofy characters that is going to be a delicious platter of pastries with laughter. It has the cliché  of the french suburb on fire where the drugs and the dealers takes over at night.   Le monde est â toi maintain a rhythm from hell and has a lot of surprises at every turn.  Terrific performances from the actors here and fun to watch especially Vincent Cassel who is busy those days. Here Gravas reinvent comedy in France with a bunch of gangsters who are obsessed with their power and money but also in taking the throne. And gravas has giving a boost in reinventing a perfect french comedy. Watch this one while drinking whiskey with moderation.

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AU POSTE! (2018)

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A film by Quentin Dupieux

Cast: Benoît PoelvoordeGrégoire LudigMarc Fraize

English: A police station

A police station. A tête-à-tête, in custody, between a commissioner and his suspect.

Keep in mind it is an absurd Comedy that Dupieux knows how to do so well. It is  weird and weirder, plus here the director plays with the words so I do not know if this film is going to go overseas. You think that those people are stupid and how do they function like that everyday? The director navigate this big ship of absurdities. It is a crazy night at the police station the actors gives it a fluidity to the story which, can never cause annoyance by its short duration of an hour and 13 minutes . It is like airplane the movie  but done the french way. I guess that is the shortest review.

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