FÊTE DE FAMILLE (2019)

A film by  Cédric Kahn

Cast:  Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Bercot, Vincent Macaigne 

English title: Happy birthday

Today is my birthday and I would like us to talk about joyful things.” Andréa does not know yet that the arrival “surprise” of her eldest daughter, Claire, who has disappeared for 3 years and decided to come back and to take back what is due to her , but will upset the family and may the yelling begin. 

Happy birthday, a dramatic comedy less austere than Festen. But it stand out which you will have a good time. The two protagonist here are claire (Emmanuelle Bercot) and Romain (Vincent Macaigne) who are in this little fantasy world. It is their mother’s birthday and the revelation of secrets will surface all along that day. Romain here is the one who pretend to be a film director and wants to film the family on his mother’s birthday. Claire who left 3 years ago in the US comes back out of the blue. Claire’s daughter is a little pissed off at her mother for leaving. Vincent (Cédric Kahn) is trying to keep the family together also he is the one who makes the most money here. Here is a family trying to get the party started who is going to be surprise to see claire that they have not seen for 3 years and little by little the plot and the tension is going  to rise slowly to the point it is going to blow over at the end of the movie. Deneuve’s character is full of humanity and feels for her daughter and his trying to protect her. She deliver a great performance as usual as for Bercot she has said in an interview that she approach this role like a sporting event due to the emotional role she had to play. Over all not too bad here for this film but could be better and funnier.

 

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ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE (2019)

A film by  Arnaud Desplechin

Cast:  Roschdy Zem, Léa Seydoux, Sara Forestier 

English title: Oh Mercy!

Roubaix, a Christmas night. Commissioner Daoud travels the city where he grew up. Cars burned, altercations, theft etc…. At the police station Louis Cotorelle, freshly graduated detective arrives. Daoud and Louis will face the murder of an old lady. Two young women are interviewed. Claude and Marie. Poor, alcoholic, in love.

it is inspired by the documentary of Mosco Boucault Roubaix, central police station, current affairs which puts in scene of a police station , Roubaix once capital of the textile industry become now one of the cities poorest of France with 75% of its territory classified as ghetto and 43% of the population living below the poverty line, to give an account of the life of its inhabitants. What interest Desplechin is the story telling of this new detective fresh from the academy who with his commissioner are faced with a murder that needs to be solved. It is a dark thriller which is cooking on a slow burner. It is how the police investigate a murder and how they are going to interrogate the suspect or suspects. Living in the ghetto not an easy thing to do for this two young women who lives next door of this 80 years old woman who got murdered. It is Christmas and crime in on the rise that time of the year. To top it all off the commissioner played by Roschdy is investigating about this man who got attacked by a bunch of men well so he said. Here is a commissioner who does not let anger or the doubt take over, he is calm and wants to solves his cases. Also this new detective Louis (Antoine Reinartz), a newly promoted young lieutenant , his character is inspired by the classic cop exploited so many times on TV. He lacks experience and does not know what to make of Roubaix this city that is so unknown to him. Many of you are going to find this film boring but it is all about the everyday at the police station and how they investigate. Well done here as we can see that Roschdy is on top of his game.

LE DAIM (2019)

A film by  Quentin Dupieux

Cast:  Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy 

English title : Deerskin

Georges, 44, and his jacket, 100% suede, have a project.

After Au poste Dupieux sets himself in a different kind of film where some of you will love it or hate due to the fact it is a little weird. Here is a character who is in a a self-destructive neurosis. It’s up to Jean Dujardin, who had not yet had the opportunity to work with the director, who has the privilege of incarnating this man who gradually loses his reason, in favor of an unconditional love for his suede coat. Surprisedly Dujardin delivers the role of a sociopath which we know only his name. The coat seems to get him unconditional love that is was not able to get from his wife. Adèle Haenel also delivers a solid performance, appearing like a guardian angel, to Georges until the scenario raises a doubt: who manipulates who?

There are touches of black and offbeat humour , with some unusual music score and yet Dupieux surprises us in telling the story from beginning to the end . Love or hate there is not between with this film.

MON INCONNUE (2019)

A film by Hugo Gélin

Cast: François Civil, Joséphine Japy, Benjamin Lavernhe 

English Title: Love at second sight. 

Overnight, Raphael finds himself immersed in a world where he has never met Olivia, the woman of his life. He is trying to find his way back or is he going to win her back his wife that became a complete stranger? 

With his third feature film “Love at second sight”, Hugo Gélin questions the evolution of love and friendship in time. it is a feel good movie romantic and full of comedy so I suggest to take your girlfriend or spouse to this wonderful film. Right off the bat we meet Raphaël (François Civil), passionate about writing his science fiction novel. And Olivia (Joséphine Japy) passionate about playing the piano. One of them start to have success in his life. Raphaël will lead his best friend Félix (Benjamin Lavernhe) in his adventure by making him his driver to carry him from his home to his publishing house, through out the tv interviews. While his wife is perfectly content that her husband has found successful but as we see it takes a toll on her because Raphaël is so into his career that he forgets to see her plus she has made so many sacrifices. One night they argue and the next day Raphael finds himself propelled into a parallel world. In this world he is not known and is a teacher in high school with his best friend both are single. 

The adventure begins and Raphaël tries to find a way to go back to his world or does is he going to stay in this miserable life so he thinks. Gélin’s film here is full of life, it gives you that feel good feeling, and has comedy a good recipe for this kind of film. A beautiful romantic comedy directed by this wonderful director Hugo Gélin which I can’t wait to see his next film. 

GOD EXISTS, HER NAME IS PETRUYA (2019)

A film by  Teona Strugar Mitevska

Cast:  Zorica Nusheva, Labina Mitevska, Stefan Vujisic 

In Stip, a small town in Macedonia, every year in January, the parish priest throws a wooden cross into the river and hundreds of men dive to catch it. Happiness and prosperity are assured to the one who achieves it.
That day, Petrunya throws himself into the water on a whim and takes the cross before everyone else.
His competitors are furious that a woman dared to participate in this ritual. The war is declared but Petrunya is holding out: she won her cross, she will not give it back.

Here is a feminist satire that seeks to understand the complexities behind the rampant prejudice against women in her country. The film opens with a birds eye view shot of Petrunya (Zorica Nusheva) in an empty swimming pool that means the luxury and glamour but in an empty one means misery , and unemployment which is the case for Petrumya. She is now 32 unemployed and living with her parents in Stip a small town in Macedonia. She goes in an interview for a job that is not going to go well but when she return home she comes across the holiday of Epiphany where man are going to swim in the river to get the cross that the priest is going to throw in the river. The one who gets it will have prosperity and happiness. Petrumya for some reason dives in the water and finds the cross that will put some events into motion.

The director here shows the suburbs that are depressive, and deserted where misery reigns. Here Petrumya who does not want to get the cross back, she sicks to her guns without letting go don’t matter what. Her mother is not supportive at all and thinks she is ugly without saying it. The situation gets darker and more violent. Here is a woman who has little self esteem and slowly thought out the day will rise to the occasion. Terrific acting from Zorica Nusheva who has some great energy through out the film. Like the reporter in the film says we still live in the middle ages. The end couldn’t be more perfect pay attention what Petrumya does.

BIRDS OF PASSAGE (2019)

A film by  Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

Cast:  Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes 

In the 1970s, in Colombia, a Wayuu family of natives found themselves at the heart of the flourishing sale of marijuana to American youth. When the family honor tries to resist human greed, clan warfare becomes inevitable and endangers their ancestral lives, culture, and traditions. This is the birth of the drug cartels.

A girl named Zaida (Natalia Reyes) has just completed her ritual period of isolation and her people are celebrating her emergence, which symbolizes her readiness for marriage. And the prospect soon after the announcement tells her you “you are going to be my wife”  announced by Rapayet (José Acosta), from an other family. Zaida’s mother, Ursula (Carmiña Martínez), who seems to be the leader in her family , seems suspicious of Rapayet as soon as makes his intentions known.  She ask for a dowry that she seems to assume is way beyond the man’s means; it includes scores of goats and cows the main thing that one will ask as well as some valuable necklaces that are not easy to find. Not long after that he returns with all the dowry items. The way he enriched himself enough to afford his pretty and pricey bride is where the film’s crime story begins. Birds of Passage is based on actual events from the 1960s-’80s and is told in four chapters, followed by a epilogue.

The Wayúu family believes in traditions and also in ghosts and are superstitious. But the new young members does not believe in tradition and resist the old way of doing things. They value honor but soon became to understand that greed, power, violence and death will follow. The director here took an approach non Hollywood , they did not glorify the violence. The filmmakers avoided direct, up-close depictions of violence. Sometimes we see only its results. Here is an independent film done right which is how the cartel took over back in the day. Now days the Cartel is going to take a hit because Marijuana is beginning to be legal in some countries. Do not miss this one.