THE MUSTANG (2019)

A film by  Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts Jason Mitchell, Bruce Dern

Incarcerated in a prison in Nevada, Roman has no contact with the outside world or with his daughter … In an attempt to get him out of his silence and violence, he is offered to integrate a social rehabilitation program through training wild horses. Alongside these mustangs as unpredictable as him, Roman will gradually learn to control himself and overcome his past.

Nevada prison, convict Roman Coleman is unable to keep his temper in check. Matthias Schoenaert doesn’t hesitate to declare that he isn’t good with people after years of confinement. He gets rehabilitation help from a prison therapist (Connie Britton). Here is a man who killed someone who feel remorseful, who is broken and even angrier than ever. Roman even has outburst of anger from time to time but by enrolling into the social rehabilitation program he is going to find a little bit of peace with himself. The inmates here have a chance to get rehabilitated and when they get out to be able to reintegrated into society and have a regular job. Two totally opposite worlds, one of a prisoner and a horse, who will nevertheless learn to understand each other and learn from each other. It seems horses are the solution for roman to get on the right path. Matthias incarnate the role of this emotional man who has a temper but wants to get better. In a way the horse that he named Marquis who also has a temper are going to heal each other in the weeks to come. Here Roman wants to take control of his life and have a normal life. The are unanswered question towards the end but I like it this way.

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SIBYL (2019)

A film by  Justine Triet

Cast:  Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Laure Calamy

The film is presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2019Sibyl is a novelist reconverted into a psychoanalyst. Caught up by the desire to write, she decides to leave most of her patients. As she searches for inspiration, Margot, a young actress in distress, begs her to receive her. Margot is in a middle of making a film , she is pregnant with the main actor … who is in a relationship with the director of the film. While she exposes her passionate dilemma, Sibyl, fascinated, record her on her cell phone secretly. The words of her patient nourishes her novel and takes her back in her past. When Margot implores Sibyl to join her in Stromboli for the end of the shoot, everything accelerates at a vertiginous pace …

Sibyl (Virginie Efira) mother, sober for years from alcohol decide to ditch her patient to write an other Novel, after all she was a successful write at one time. She goes to alcoholic anonymous weekly, has her circle of friends as well as a boyfriend. At first when Sibyl receives Margot she fells like she is the mother that has to nourish her child as well as to protect her. That is the first act. The she goes on this island now sibyl has new rules that she has to obey from the director Mika (Sandra Hüller) plus in between there are the flashback of the life of sibyl from time to time. Here is a novelist who is going to have a melt down. Terrific acting from Exarchopoulos and Efira who are plugging themselves in a waterfall of emotions not an easy thing to do. Terrific directing from Justine Triet who directed Vitoria previously.

BLANCHE COMME NEIGE (2019)

A film by  Anne Fontaine

Cast:  Lou de Laâge, Isabelle Huppert, Charles Berling

English title: White as snow

Claire, a young woman of great beauty, arouses the irrepressible jealousy of her mother-in-law Maud, who goes so far as to premeditate her murder. Saved in extremis by a mysterious man who lodge her on his farm, Claire decides to stay in this village and will awaken the excitement of its inhabitants … One, two, and soon seven men will fall under her spell! For her, it’s the beginning of a radical emancipation, both carnal and sentimental …

Here is the fable of snow white rewriting in today’s contest By Anne Fontaine who breaks the codes and delivers a burlesque fable. Once upon a time … Snow White, but like you never seen it before. I have to say that because the subject matter that she chooses she is unique in a way. She takes elements of the fable like the the 7 dwarfs and the poisoned apple turns it around into a modern fable. Claire (Lou de Laâge, who is perfect in the role) survives an attempted murder orchestrated by her mother-in-law Maud (Isabelle Huppert).who is jealous. Claire found herself in this foggy village in the mountains where she will awake the excitement of seven men and she Claire discovers her desires. Of course the men has their fragilities and their weakness without the clichés. The film is done in a form of a thriller. Maud who is trying to find her to finish the job. Funny at times in this strange and comic tale that Anne seems to give it a fresh look. By the way the cinematography is breathtaking.

TEL AVIV ON FIRE (2019)

A film by  Sameh Zoabi

Cast:  Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton

Salam, 30, lives in Jerusalem. He is a Palestinian and an intern on the set of the hit Arabic series “Tel Aviv on Fire!” Every morning he crosses the same checkpoint to work in Ramallah. One day, Salam is arrested by an Israeli officer Assi, fan of the series, to try to get away, he claims to be the scriptwriter. Taken to its own trap, Salam will be imposed by Assi a new scenario. Obviously, nothing will happen as planned.

Salam (Kais Nashif) a Palestinian living in Israel, he’s working as a production intern on the TV series named Tel Aviv On Fire, set in 1967 on the verge of the Six-Day War, it is clear that he is here because his uncle is a producer of the series and tries to rekindle the relationship of an ex girlfriend. Salam is here on the set as a person who reviews the authenticity of the language spoken. When he goes back home, Officer Assi , fan of the series ask him if he is the screenwriter, and bang Assi read the latest script and demand that he writes the story as he sees fit. To top it all off the next day the original writer had enough and leaves the set. Salam’s uncle promote Salam to screenwriter. Ho! boy. Salam here has no inspiration and has writer’s block. but you will not believe that is going to happen.

The director here is being conscious and careful about the ongoing issues about the Israeli and the palestinian, and balances the humour and the narrative perfectly well. Here Palestinians and Israelis has to live together regardless of the past and it is not an easy thing to do. Salam here is in his neck but seems to try to get his head above water. He is trying to get his old flame back in the process. Making a series is a hard thing to do and is a lot of work. Nobody seems to be on the same page. Here Salma is trying to make everybody happy will he succeed at getting his old flame back and will he succeed in writing a successful ending. Well see the movie.

MON BÉBÉ (2019)

A film by  Lisa Azuelos

Cast:  Sandrine Kiberlain, Thaïs Alessandrin, Victor Belmondo

English title : Sweetheart

Heloise is the mother of three children. Jade, her “youngest daughter”, has just turned eighteen and will soon be leaving the nest to continue his studies in Canada. Jade’s departure approaches, and in the stress that this represents, Heloise remembers their shared memories, those of a tender and fusional mother-daughter relationship, and anticipates this departure by playing the apprentice filmmakers with her IPhone, so she has memories to look back to when Jade is gone …

Nearly three years after “Dalida”, more than ten years after “LOL “, the director Lisa Azuelos returns with Mon Bébé going back to the family theme that she does so well especially the mother daughter relationship. It is filmed with ease and grace and I so love that. Extremely well writing, entertaining, well casting need I say more. Ok I will say more first Sandrine Kiberlain delivers the role beautifully well has great chemistry with Thaī Alessandrin who is a new comer I think and to top it all off Victor Belmondo the grandson of Jean-Paul Belmondo is in this film. A bit of a autobiographie in there somewhere like her film LOL. The director here admitted that she was faced with the departure of her own daughter who like in the film has decided to study in Canada. So she decided to write it finally but under a form of fiction. It is an emotional film but not too emotional with some moments of pure beauty. We know that the last child that is going to leave it is going to be difficult for the mother to let her go. It is hard for a mother to let go her child into to the world the mother wants always to protect her child don’t matter what. Azuelos avoid the clichés here and what a terrific film she directed. You will have a good time guaranteed.

SYNONYMES (2019)

A film by  Nadav Lapid

Cast:  Tom Mercier, Quentin Dolmaire, Louise Chevillotte 

Yoav, a young Israeli, lands in Paris, hoping that France and the French language will save him from the madness of his country.

Here is a film when you will get out of the theater you will feel amazed, seduced, marked, impressed, shaken, moved or you are going to hate it period. Here is a man who is a soldier lands in Paris. He is running away from his country and the crazy things that is going on there. he want no part of it. Yoav wants to be French and learn French. The first scene when he walks in this empty apartment has this beautiful meaning. He gets undressed takes a shower when he is done he goes to get his clothes but his backpack and clothes are gone. he is freeing and looks for his clothes from room to room nothing. he gets down the stairs and want to go outside but hold off and goes back upstairs knocks on doors to see if someone will help him, but no one does. He goes back in the bathtub and passes out. when he gets naked he is going toward a new identity, taking the shower washes out what he lived in Israel. A young rich couple finds him in the bathtub and shelter him give him some clothes and food. Now Yoav is some ready to survive in Paris and to try to be a French citizen. Dressed (often in an orange coat) in the streets of Paris, he wanders through words, synonyms that he shouts. He tries to stop and rest but he is restless wanders between Caroline and Emile. The film here is full of energy and Nadav Lapid finds the right balance to give it some new energy because a story about an immigrant has been done before so many time, but this one I got to admit is a little weird at times like when A photographer and makes him do things that are strange. The film is full of energy and Yoav is trying to find an identity in his quest but is he going to find it? Yes, the film has a perfect ending.

LES SORCIÈRES DE SALEM (1957)

A film by  Raymond Rouleau

Cast:  Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Jean Debucourt

English Title: The Crucible

Salem, 1692. Industrious farmer, John Proctor, has made love to 17-year-old Abigail, a young woman that he and his wife have taken in. Well his wife is frigid and john has needs. His wife finds out and tells Abigail to get out of her home. Abigail wows that she is going to get revenge. She accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft and manipulates younger girls to support her claims of seeing spirits. The town’s minister and politicians are now going to war against witchcraft and will clean Salem of it by hanging witches.

Here is a jewel of a film based on a true story . Signoret won the 1957 BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress and Mylène Demongeot was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer in the same year. In the 1957 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Best Actor Award was given to “all actors of Les Sorcières de Salem in collective, and especially to Yves Montand. Not too bad here for a film. Screenplay adapted by Jean-Paul Sartre from the 1953 play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller.

It is 1692 in Salem John Proctor is the only member in the town’s assembly who resists the attempts of the rich to gain more wealth on the expense of the poor farmers. John got caught by his wife who is sick (well back in those days that is what they called it but she was frigid) with the maid Abigail which in turn got fired and left the Proctors. Abigail wanted her revenge and when a group of women are accused of witchcraft seeing her opportunity Abigail manipulate Mary and other girls into whitcraft which they will accused a bunch of people of being witches and sorcerers. Outstanding performances by the actors here. Mylene Demongeot which at the time was a new to the scene of acting is seductive, maleficent, and sensual. Simone signoret is astonishing as well. It is a powerful film worth seeing.