GREEN BOOK (2018)

A film by  Peter Farrelly

Cast:  Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellin

1960’s An italian American bouncer who had two month to kill because of renovation at the club he was working at, ends up driving for a black musician  on a tour in the deep American south.

Here are two men quite different one black one white comes from different background get thrown together under unusual circumstances. Here is a mismatched buddy road trip with a message about race relations. And it is based on a true story. Green book it is a bit an old fashioned film making which is kind of nice for a change. It is a joy to see two actors like Mortensen and Ali their chemistry is so perfect and their performance is so outstanding. The film feels has similarities with Driving Miss Daisy.

Mortensen here has to gain 20 pounds which he said was fun to do but not fun to loose he said in an interview. Tony is from the bronx Italian descent and his vocabulaire is limited. (Tony’s son, Nick, co-wrote the script with Farrelly and Brian Hayes Currie.) Tony is the kind of guy with big appetites and loyal to his wife ( Linda Cardellini) and two young sons. He is happy to be living in the Bronx. However Don Shirley is an educated man well mannered with expensive taste and a genius musician.

Tony who finds himself out of the job due to the renovation of the club he is working at needs to provide for his family. So he accepts a job from the record company to be the driver of this musician. Yes there are the clichés thrown in there of what Tony thinks about the black people, plus the lesson learn with fast food and such. Too funny at times. The adventure will takes us across the country with the ups and downs. The green book back then was a guide used by black motorists to help them avoid the dangers and indignities of road travel, especially below the Mason-Dixon line. Well as we know from history the south was segregated. Tony was the bodyguard as well as a chauffeur. Don is a well known musician but is denied to dine with white people. It is a bit crude and offensive at times but back then that’s the way it was. Some Americans white and black the older folks were talking about it to me as I was listening to their stories was a bit shock that was going on in America. It is an intelligent screenplay where the two character are going to learn from each other. A nice film done the old fashion way that have funny moments and not so funny moments but played very well by two great actors. Do not miss this one.

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COLETTE (2018)

A film by  Wash Westmoreland

Cast:  Keira Knightley, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West 

ColetteSidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) was a French author and woman of letters nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948; also known as a mime, actress, and journalist. Here is her life story.

The real Colette in Paris.

Well first I thought the French cinema would at least make the picture but instead it is a US / British film. We begin the story with young Colette who is barely out of high school where she meets the man named Willy Dominic West. The relationship soon flourishes and they are to be married. She finds herself form the country to Paris in the middle of the art community. You see Willy is a writer well not really he tells writers to write the story that he wants him to write. Soon he can’t afford them so he tells Colette to write about her friend she went to school with. It soon becomes the best seller in France and Willy is praised for his book that he put his name to it. Soon after Willy ask her to write a sequel about Claudine. Back then it is a man world and women couldn’t be author. Of course comes the affairs from willy and the fact that Colette wants to become more independent. So she demand that her novel have her name on it as an author.

The film shows the struggle that a woman writer has back in the late 1800’s in the belle époque which the director as so beautifully put together. The chemistry of both actors is amazing and so is their acting. By the way Colette was most widely known for her 1944 novel Gigi (1944).

L’ORDRE DES MÉDECINS (2019)

A film by David Roux

Cast: Jérémie Renier, Marthe Keller, Zita Hanrot

English Title: The order of the doctors. 

Simon, 37, is a doctor. The hospital is his life. He works around diseases and see death every day in his department of pneumology and has learned to protect himself. But when his mother is hospitalised , Simon is going to find out that there is a fine line between the intimate and the professionalism, as his universe is going to be turned upside down. 

Davis Roux comes from a long  line of doctors in his family. He went to the Fémis the best cinema school in France. His brother who works in the hospital found out that his mother was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. However before that David followed his brother for 4 days to get the fell of what it is to be a doctor and what is his job consist of. Later Davis wrote the screenplay in a workshop at the Fémis. It was Nadine Lamari, his supervisor, and her classmates who pushed him to admit what was really the subject of the film. it became evident it was about the death of his mother. 

The film is in 3 parts you see Simon as a doctor doing his daily routine. The second part in civilian clothes where he takes care of his mother. the third part Simon comes back as a doctor and does what he does best get in his daily routine. 

The film is about the mother an the son’s relation between two human being and a lot of question is going to surface. What if a father believes that his son, a doctor and is powerless against death, can he save the wife and mother? What if the brothers and sisters do not see a favorable outcome and the fear of losing her. Why she does not want to do a scanner to see what is going on in depth? Why does she want to give up? How to handle this in a Jewish family, The film here makes you think about your mortality even question your religion. I have lost two cousins to cancer. It is a story that I can relate to. It is the story of his mother who didn’t want to fight anymore. Here is David Roux first feature film, overwhelming with humanity with a great actor like Jérémie Renier.

THE MULE (2018)

A film by Clint Eastwood

Cast:  Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Manny Montana, Andy Garcia, Alison Eastwood

At over 80 years old, Earl Stone is hard pressed. He is not only broke and alone, but his business is likely to be seized. He then accepts a job that – apparently – asks him to be the driver. Except that, without knowing it, he committed himself to be a drug smuggler for a Mexican cartel.

Based on a true story this film by Clint Eastwood which is a slow burning thriller of this 90 years old man who became an unlikely drug mule, transporting huge amounts of cocaine for a major Mexican drug cartel. It has a terrific cast and the usual theme that Clint seems to like: regret, forgiveness and the inevitability of mortality.

It is 2005 and you see Earl who sell plant and takes care of them has no sign of slowing down. Work always came first and he did not want to go to his daughter’s wedding. The next scene takes place 12 years later when Earl losses his business due to the internet and his house. Somehow he ends up to be a driver for the cartel. He delivers packages from point A to point B, and he seems to be the star mule because Earl becomes good at his job. There are comic elements in this thriller with a wonderful cast. It is a family affair here for Clint which his daughter plays his daughter in the film. There is the second story the one of the FBI agent plays by Bradley Cooper who is determined to catch the bad guys. Well here is a film that should be missed and yes Clint still got it.

The real McCoy

L’HEURE DE LA SORTIE (2019)

A film by  Sébastien Marnier

Cast:  Laurent Lafitte, Emmanuelle Bercot, Luàna Bajrami 

English title: School’s out

when Pierre Hoffman joined the prestigious college of Saint Joseph he discovered, that the 9th grade has some hostility and a dull violence. Is it because their French teacher has just thrown himself out the window? Because they are a class of gifted children? Because they seem terrified by What the future holds ? From curiosity to obsession, Pierre will try to decode their secret …

We all know that David Lynch has inspired many directors with no exception with Sébastien Marnier who in turn tries to do a film like Lynch. The theme here is simple it has an French quandary with an apocalyptic feel.

The story starts with a substitute teacher, 40 something Pierre Hoffman (Laurent Lafitte), who is put in charge of a class of gifted adolescent students after their teacher suddenly and inexplicably commits suicide by leaping out of a classroom window. Here is a group of student who are behaving strangely and is giving a hard time to their substitute teacher. Pierre starts investigate and things are going to get weird. It is not an easy film to make, it is a psychological thriller with dream sequences and unusual music attached to it. Here are some teanager who has lost faith in the adult and carry the weight on their shoulder. To them it is too late. As Pierre is trying to investigate in depth it is obvious they are up to something but what? The film maintains its tension from beginning to end and yes it is a slow cooker thriller with a bang.

EL ANGEL (2019)

A film by  Luis Ortega

Cast:  Lorenzo Ferro, Chino Darín, Daniel Fanego 

Buenos Aires, 1971. Carlitos is a 17-year-old angel-faced teenager that no one can resist. What he wants he gets.In high school, his Path crosses with Ramon. Together they form a charming poisonous duo . They engage on a path made of flights, lies where killing soon becomes a way of expressing oneself …

Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch born 19 January 1952 also known as “The Angel of Death” or “The Black Angel”, is an Argentinian serial killer. He was convicted of 11 murders, one attempted murder, 17 robberies, one rape, one attempted rape, one count of sexual abuse, two kidnappings and two thefted. He has been in prison since 1973.

Here Luis Ortega made a film about his life but kept out the rape part out well yes Carlos did rape and shot the first girl 5 times the second girl was raped and shot 7 times. Back in the 1970’s the public was fascinated in disgust that a young heartthrob teenager so good looking could do those horrible things. Where did all go wrong that must be the question that his parents ask themselves. His Parents are hard working middle class people where they tried to educate Carlos but somehow Carlos went on his own path of destruction. Carlos starts his criminal career as a petty thief, breaking into big mansions and helping himself to jewelry, cash and a motorcycle like if it was a natural thing to do. His parents are on to his lies, but he’s just getting started. Ramón (Chino Darín, The son of Ricardo Darin, Carlos) meets his first criminal mastermind and mentor, Ramón’s father, José (Daniel Fanego).

Ortega did not show how the character went on a dark path instead he had Carlos on a light path. Was Carlos bi or gay the director made it look like he was both perhaps a crush on Ramon. Carlos plays with his charm in order to get what he wants and people will be fooled by his looks. He soon gets a taste for killing when he does it by accident. The film feels like a velour, with warm color to make it feel like the 70’s which the decoration is straightforward 1970’s. For some reason Ortega left out some stuff. However there is a resemblance with the actor and the real Carlos. The Rock-n-roll music fits into this story of love, and murder in a style rhythmic like a musical comedy. Here filmmaker offers a pleasing and sarcastic spectacle.

GLASS (2019)

A film by M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:  Anya Taylor-Joy, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis,

Shortly after the events reported in Split, David Dunn – the unbreakable man – continues his hunt for The Beast, nickname given to Kevin Crumb since it is known to be able to endorse 23 different personalities. ON the other side, the mysterious man suffering from the glass bones syndrome Elijah Price is once again arousing the interest of the police by claiming to hold vital information about the two men …

The long awaited sequel Glass is finally here. First as you know you have Unbreakable, Split, and then Glass. David Dunn has been tracking down multi-personality serial killer Kevin Wendell Crumbs (James McAvoy). He eventually manages to locate his whereabouts and an inevitable confrontation with the police at which point landed both of the in the psychiatric hospital under the supervision of Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). It happen to be that Elijah Price a.k.a. Mr Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) is heavily sedated in a vegetative state. All three of them believe that they have super power. And the doctor Staple has three days to break them down.

The story is told in three part first the super heroes goes on about their lives and then get locked up in a psychiatric hospital. The second part is what is going on in the hospital. And third the final showdown. We all know that Shyamalan shoot a slow pace thriller and the action scenes are shot from a far. He does thing differently which is a good thing. The plot, with comics heroes, good vs evil, ended in the form of “justice rendered”. And Glass returns in the third act. Plus you have the twist towards the end as usual. The director is has taken elements from the previous films, s smart move there. As you as you like the universe that the director has created with the beautiful performances from the actors, plus the films that are connected to each other it is going to be entertaining ride.