Posted in Norway film

THELMA (2017)

thelma

A film by Joachim Trier

Cast: Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrik Rafaelsen

A young student in Norway discovers falling in love which it is going to cause her seizures or maybe…..

The opening scene here in this film is a bit unnerving as you see a man and his young daughter hunting in the forest. When the father takes aim at a deer standing in the distance, the daughter is so taken by it when her father turns to point the rifle at the back of her head. Its effect spills over into the rest of the film, creating a hall of suspense.

The film jumps into the future a young woman now she is going to the University ti study biology. Soon after an other young woman sits by her then suddenly Thelma hand is shaking and birds are hitting the window which cause her to have a seizure. The doctor is trying to find out what she has. As the story goes along Thelma is drawn to an other human being that is going to put sin question her belief in god since she has been raised a christian. You sense that Thelma was raised in isolation and is just making friends which is a little weird to her at first. As she is trying to find out more about herself things are starting to happen.

thelma 2

Joachim Trier wrote this coming of age story like a fable/ horror . As she fall in love her psychological situation deteriorates. The seizures get stronger, more violent. Trier keeps the film firmly in Thelma’s point of view. Something will not be clear for some people throughout the flashback or even the present scenes. Not too worry at the end it all comes together. Remembering the look on her father’s face when he hold the gun to her back of her head was just religious paranoia or he was scared of what she might become. 

thelma-trailer-480x279

Advertisements
Posted in French film

M (2017)

M

A film by Sara Forestier

Cast: Sara Forestier, Redouanne Harjane, Jean-Pierre Léaud 

Mo is a beautiful dark brown, charismatic, who has a taste for adrenaline. During illegal underground car race, he meets Lila, who stutter and is shy , and it is love at first sight. He will immediately take her under his wing. But Lila is far from imagining that Mo carries a secret……

I know I know a love story but not the kind you think. Here Is a young lady Lila who is in a group session for people who stutter to top it all off she is shy. When she meet Mo it is love at first sight but she can’t speak to him she is does know him. Two broken people are going to fall in love and it is going to be a challenge. The insensibility of her father does not help and even the fact that Mo ’s family especially her mother who does not love him. Falling in love accepting the other person as they are, living together etc…. It is not an easy thing to do. Even in school where she is making fun of,  here Lila wants to pass the final exam so she can get her diploma but she has to pass the oral part and there is going to be a challenge because she is dead terrified of speaking in a front of stranger. Mo also carried a secret want to tell Lila but can’t he is too a shamed.

M 3

Love as a solution to all social handicaps: the solution may seem childish at first, but Sara Forestier takes care that the tenderness and does not hide an omnipresent dramatic setting. The family conflicts they are  facing  but also the tension of the exam for her and the professional integration for him, are all challenges that will only return them to their respective defensive  behavior: the silence for her, the violence for him. Here the director make sure that love does not resolve people’s problem and handicap. The two great actors here give great energy to this timeless romance.

M 2

Posted in Belgium Film, French film

JEUNE FEMME (2017)

jenne femme

camera d'or

A film by Léonor Serraille 

Cast: Laetitia Dosch, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Grégoire Monsaingeon

Broke with only her cat and her bag is locked out of her boyfriend’s apartment embark in the adventure in Paris.

Here is the portrait of a young woman who is in Paris knows no one there and tries to get a place to stay and food. Paula (Laetitia Dosh)  is in a hospital where she gets pissed off of why she is in the hospital to which she has been taken after trying to break down the door (with her head) of Joachim, a famous photographer. Suddenly after being back from Mexico her boyfriend does not want to see her anymore so with a cat and her bag at 31 years old  is in Paris all along trying to get a job and a place to stay. But very quickly this exuberant, straight-talking, hyper-social, sharp-tongued and  disturbed young woman is not entirely without resources, and may the adventure begins.

Laetitia Dosch, who  carries the film on her shoulders with here a great script. She gets into a melodrama mode with bits of humour. She meets characters along the way and even is mistaken for someone else in the subway. A woman who is damaged by rejection is going to seek into poverty, you will see how she is resourceful and trying to stay above water. And to top it all off her mother never wants to see her again. Nice one for a first film for Léonor Serraille with hope she will do good if not better in the near future. By the way the tile translation is young woman.

jeune-femme

Jeune femme

 

Posted in Based on a true story, British film, U.S. Film

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

Posted in French film

LE BRIO (2017)

le brio

A film by Yvan Attal 

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Camélia Jordana, Yasin Houicha

Neïla Salah grew up in Créteil and dreams of becoming a lawyer. Registered at the Parisian university of Assas, she is confronted  the first day by Pierre Mazard, professor known for his provocations and his prejudice conduct . To redeem himself with his conducts he is going to prepare Neïla for the prestigious contest of eloquence. At the same time cynical and demanding, Pierre could become the mentor she needs … Still, they must both overcome their prejudices.

The story is simple: after attacking Neila against a backdrop of racism and xenophobia, the great professor Pierre Mazard finds himself forced by the direction to prepare Neila for the annual eloquence contest to give this contest a little new blood as well as more social and ethnic diversity. You see that later they will need our two  characters are going to need each other in order in succeeding at their project. A beautiful dialogues of words even the phrases and the script is beautifully written. Attal  (Who by the way is also an actor) will tackle different topics: racism, provocation, eloquence, argumentation, immigration without ever dwelling on any. He focuses on the coaching Neila by Pierre. The two actors here deserves each other which bring me to their outstanding job. Brio is an entertaining film that proposes a reflection on the argumentation in particular, on the communication in general and deals with complex human relations if it is.

le brio 1

le brio 2

 

Posted in French film

JALOUSE (2017)

Jalouse_1

A film by David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos

Cast: Karin Viard, Dara Tombroff, Anne Dorval

English:  Jealous

Nathalie Pêcheux, (Karen Ward) a teacher who is divorced and has a daughter who is a dancer has an unhealthy relation with friends and daughter that is consumed by jealousy.

Nathalie feels the happiness and success of others as an aggression. The blossoming of her daughter’s beauty and youth becomes unbearable at a time when she feels that her life is declining. In addition, while they have always been very close, Mathilde now prefers to go out with her friends, Because she feels that her mother who is a dominant strong woman  abandoned her. So you think that is going to be it and stop there but no our directors do not stop there is more , Nathalie is not well  and has this middle age  crisis at age fifty which she is a  complex character with a thousand facets for which we end up getting affection for. That is the beauty of a well written script.

jalouse 2

Here comes Demoustier  full of life, a  young teacher determined to bring new ideas within the school  where they confront each other and butt heads , are some of the brightest and funniest moments of the film. Setting the stage for a suspenseful narrative that first depicts light crises, then increasingly unpredictable behavior that reaches a growing degree of violence.

Here Karin Ward who has this role tailored for her and is on the top of her game, she is funny and delightful to watch. The cast is tailored to the actress and actor as well it is refreshing and very rarely done in that fashion. Mathilde (Dara Tombroff) who is a former dancer at the Opera of Bordeaux has her first role to my surprise has done an outstanding job here. The film is a bit half angel / half demon with a touch of humanism. 

jalouse

 

Posted in Based on a true story, Danish Film, Finland Film, Swedish film

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