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Archive for the tag “Biography”

I, TONYA (2017)

I tonya

A film by Craig Gillespie

Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

Ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when she married her husband Jeff Gillooly.

I was in the United States when the news broke even watch Harding stake and I though she was great but there was some off beat. After watching the film I said and even seeing it on the news at the time I said to myself there it is I was right.

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Director Gillespie film it from the interviews that that on every channels at the time plus some flashback to tell what real happened. He also affectionately mocked the sport a bit without mocking Harding herself. You see Harding had those seriously ridiculous outfit for her competition and even had Rock-N-Roll music instead of classical to do her routine. She wanted to be different from the others but that did not go well with the judges. She always said what was on her mind straight forward no bullshit. She was not loved by her mother. She thrived in the sport because she wanted to be loved by her fans. Allison Janney ( who did a great job here) absolutely tears it up as the profane, chain-smoking LaVona Harding, constantly insulting Tonya and messing with her mind so she could become a great champion. Janney has won a Bafta award for Best supporting actress and well deserved at that; I just read this not long ago.

As soon as Tonya married her first husband it went to hell from there. Sebastian Stan Who plays Jeff Gillooly plays a little goofy. The relationship that they had was not healthy either. Soon after the incident happened which Tonya said she is no guilty as the media found her guilty at the time. Her all career fell apart. The big investigation was going on at time and the news show like Hard copy,  20/20 and the others banked on it they were fighting for first place . Margot here after 5 month of training she actually performed a triple axle (Not too perfectly well with computer generated image was perfect on film) and was one of the 7 women who has performed it. Tonya was the first one to do so. Margot performance is outstanding here and even Tonya herself liked the film. If you saw the news like I did back then after seeing the film you will have a different opinion of her. I know I did. You will have a good time watching this and the casting is perfect with some superb performances. Do not miss this one.

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LA DOULEUR (2018)

LA DOULEUR (2018)

A film by Emmanuel Finkiel

Cast: Mélanie Thierry, Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay

English: Memoir of pain

June 1944, France is still under the German occupation. The writer Robert Antelme, major figure of the Resistance, is arrested and deported. His young wife Marguerite, writer and a figure of the resistance also, is torn by the anguish of not having news of him plus she has her secret affair with her comrade Dyonis. She meets a French agent of the Gestapo, Rabier, and, ready to do anything to find her husband. She seek help from an other man will she be able to find her husband and will he be still alive? 

Some of you will not like this film; It is the biography of Marguerite Duras and is a key figure on the French twentieth-century literary scene. Born in French Indochina in 1914, Duras studied and worked in France and lived in Paris during the Nazi occupation, and was in the Résistance. After all she won an Oscar for best original screenplay for the film 1959 film Hiroshima mon amour. But this film is told with a narration of literature. Her book was published in 1985 Memoir of pain finally comes to life at the movies. La Douleur flows like blood in the veins. Finkiel plays on the literary codes with a narration of Mélanie Thierry with a sad and depressing  voice. Thierry is act mostly with her facial expressions. She sees her relationship growing with Rabier. But also with Dionys (Benjamin Biolay). Finkiel allows us to wander, to merge into the spirit of Marguerite Duras. Duras is a faded flower that fights with her latest weapons as a resistant and writer that she is. She leads a troubled life. The film is a slow burner but a little long although I found it nice to watch a different view a view of a woman in search of her husband.

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GREATEST SHOWMAN (2017)

The Greatest Showman é

A film by Michael Gracey

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron

The Biography of P.T. Barnum who had this vision and was ahead of his time a the greatest show on earth as he called it.

Here is a terrific piece of musical who has songs like hip hop and avoided to put the classic music into it smart move. It is purely entertaining with great dancing numbers. The film starts with the title song “The Greatest Show,” with repetitive thumping percussion, Hugh Jackman (P.T. Barnum) in red long coat and top hat takes us on a dazzling tour, The all number is perfect choreography. The story takes us when his father and him as a young boy goes to this house (Rich people) and Barnum got interested to this young girl the daughter of his father’s customer. Than you see him all growing up and getting an idea of what he wants to do with his life. Both his wife and kids having almost nothing coming from nothing and marrying the daughter of a rich man and they were happy the way it is. However P.T. Barnum had an idea in mind.  He launches out on his own, creating a theatre in the heart of New York City. He gathers together people with special talents as well as those with physical abnormalities (a big bearded lady, Siamese twins, a dwarf who would eventually be known as General Tom Thumb, Barnum’s first “breakout star”). The audition sequence is fun to watch and Jackman is dazzling in it. Not all people loved what he was doing but Barnum was so taken by being recognised in he was consumed by it. He even promised his wife that they will have a big house. He discover other talent Jenny Lind,(Rebecca Ferguson) the “Swedish Nightingale,” whom Barnum took on a whirlwind concert tour through America. Even meet the queen of England. Overall the casting is perfect and it is entertaining as hell . By the way Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus folded up its tent for good, after 146 years of uninterrupted operation soon after the film got released, due to the pressure of animal activist and poor attendance. Do not miss this one.

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DARKEST HOURS (2017)

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A film by Joe Wright

Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas

During world war II the new prime minster Winton Churchill (Gary Oldman) has this big decision to make to negotiate peace with Hitler or fight until the end.

Here is a great film by Joe Wright and did he ever nailed it. Some how Dunkirk the film of Nolan and this film are connected beautifully well. The problem is some of the member of the parliament wanted to negotiate peace but Churchill wanted to go to war, he did not see peace negotiation with Hitler and that was smart. He wanted to fight until the end. Hitler here was this madman who was killing and taking countries left and right however Winston knew that negotiate with a madman is not going to end well and it was a sign of weakness. Oldman here has the perfect role that fits him like a glove and what a beautiful performance. Kristin Scott Thomas is terrific in the role of Clementine. My favourite scene is when he goes in the subway and have a talk with the people in the train. Although he had a trade mark smokes cigar, love his whiskey and champagne. In the darkest hour Churchill was at his best. Just imagine the pressure he was under. A terrific film here not to be missed.

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MOLLY’S GAME (2017)

molly's game (2017)

A film by Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner

She was nicknamed the poker princess and when she was in a room she was in total command. She made a fortune running high-stakes games for the wealthy and powerful. Inspired by Bloom’s memoir of the same name, “Molly’s Game” bounces back and forth in time between Molly’s arrest by the FBI for running an illegal gambling operation and the  efforts to persuade a New York lawyer  to represent her and flashbacks to how she built her  empire.

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Molly moves to LA to continue her studies but she stumbles into a game of a card from her boss who wanted her to manage a poker game every week. We even go back further when she was a kid the time she was rebellious against her father. Her first game you will get the narrative voice over of how the game works, who is coming, the terminology , the strategy. As she tries to convince a lawyer played by Idris Elba, you continue to see the flashback and you beginning to see that Molly was dominating her game in a work of powerful men? however the chemistry of the two actors dazzle on-screen. The film is a bit long and entertaining as hell. The scene with her father where Molly is reached her low point is priceless. The thing is the film moves well a the beginning maintains its speed slows down a little and the kill shot is sent. A woman in a man’s world where Molly has done very well and the thing is also those kind of illegal games and Molly being good at her job will bring some unwanted attention.

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LA PROMESSE DE L’AUBE (2017)

LA PROMESSE DE L_AUBE

A film by Eric Barbier

Cast: Pierre Niney, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Didier Bourdon

English title : Promise at dawn 

From his difficult childhood in Poland to his adolescence under the sun of Nice, to his aviator’s exploits in Africa during the Second World War … Romain Gary lived an extraordinary life. But this eagerness to live a thousand lives, to become a great man and a famous writer, it is to Nina, his mother, that he owes it. It is the crazy love of this endearing and eccentric mother who will make him one of the major novelists of the twentieth century, to life full of twists, passions and mysteries. But this boundless maternal love will also be his burden for life …

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From 1920’s Poland in Mexico in the 1950s, from the airfields to the African desert, from pre-war France to London under the bombs, Eric Barbier exploits all the fantastic aspects of the life of Romain Gary to immerse ourselves into the world of Romain Gary. The beautiful chemistry of Gainsbourg and Niney works here it is like ballet it is flows trough their veins. To top it all off beautiful performance between the two. Romain’s mother eccentric and monstrous with incredible energy and strength of character adored her son to death. She wanted him to be somebody. Maybe she pushed him too hard or sometimes suffocate him by her love but she dictated his life at times a bit controlling. There are double promises here that both has to hold. Romain has seen her mother humiliated and he wants to avenge her. The cinematography and the decor are outstanding from Poland, to Africa, Nice France, and England the director has nailed it on the dot. The film offers a eulogy of will, tolerance and heroism with melancholy and humour. Did either of them hold their promises? Well you will have to see this beautiful film.

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BORG / MCENROE (2017)

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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.

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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.

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LE REDOUTABLE (2017)

LE REDOUTABLE

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A film by Michel Hazanavicius

Cast: Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo

It is the life Of Jean-luc Goddard at the time when he married actress Anne Wiazemsky. Anne Wiazemsky and Michel Hazanavicius wrote the screenplay from her autobiography “Un an après” ( one years after).

Le Redoubtable portrays Jean-Luc Godard circa 1968, in the period of his life in which he embraced radical politics and revolution, turned his back on his earlier work, and married 19-year-old student Anne Wiazemsky, the star of his film “La Chinoise,” who had also been the child actress in Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar. Here is where louis Garrel shines he embodies Goddard perfectly well even looks like him. His performance is outstanding and I don’t think the critics thought he could pull it off. Here goddard is portrayed as this jerk who has an enormous chips on his shoulder. Goddard began to be involved in politics and even went in one manifestation after an other. His earlier work he did not like and thought that the rest of those director did not know how to make a film. Hazanavicius told someone that Goddard was god like when he did his early work. But something sparks in his brain where his film began to be more political. 

LE REDOUTABLE (2017)

Anne (Stacy Martin) does as well a perfect job to portray Anne plus Michel has nail the period with the fashion and the decor here. The film here has an outrageous scenes after an other where you see Goddard who is going to destroy the marriage. There is some stuff that i didn’t know about Goddard but i m not revealing the rest of it I do not want to spoil it for those who has not see it yet. If you are a fan of Goddard I recommend this film big time.

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HHhH (2017)

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A film by Cédric Jimenez

Cast: Rosamund Pike, Stephen Graham, Mia Wasikowska, Céline Salette

The explosive rise of Reinhard Heydrich, a fallen soldier, trained towards Nazi ideology by his wife Lina. Himmler’s right arm and leader of the Gestapo, Heydrich became one of the most dangerous men in the regime. Hitler appointed him to Prague to take over the command of Bohemia-Moravia and entrusted him with the task of devising a definitive plan of extermination. Two young soldiers, Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik. One is Czech, the other Slovak. They both joined the Resistance to free their country from the German occupation. They trained in London and volunteered to accomplish one of the most important secret missions, and one with the most risky: eliminate Heydrich. For the Resistance their comes first above all. On May 27, 1942, the fates of Heydrich, Jan and Jozef rocked  the course of history.

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Adapted from the homonymous novel by Laurent Binet, Goncourt Prize in 2010, HHhH (Himmler Hirn heisst Heydrich, or The Brain of Himmler is called Heydrich) returns to a little known but essential episode of the Second World War. The operation Anthropoid whose mission is to send two young Czechoslovak paratroopers trained in London to prepare the assassination of Reinhart Heydrich, one of the worst leaders of the Nazi regime. Vice-protector of Bohemia-Moravia played a major role in the organization of the Holocaust and was in charge of the control of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile extermination units entrusted with the task of eliminating real or imaginary opponents in the Third Reich) . Cédric Jimenez turns to a radical and uncompromising historical thriller. Opposing the frightening rise of a being without faith or law to the heroic bravery of young people ready to do anything to save their country. They even connected with a couple of girls there and had a moment of passionate love before they went into battle. However they knew there was a small chance that they were going to get out  alive. Courageous yes. Heroes most definitely those are the heroes of our times. Actually they had the balls to go through with it, in doing so they rocked history forever. Here is a shocking film with a brilliant performances by the actors especially Jason Clark. To all those who fought in WWI And WWII My hats goes to you and Thank you.

Jack O Connell/JAN KUBIS, Jack Reynor/JOSEF GABCIK

RODIN (2017)

Rodin

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A film by Jacques Doillon

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Izïa Higelin, Séverine Caneele

This film is presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2017. In Paris, in 1880, at the age of 40, Auguste Rodin received his first commission from the State: the Gate of Hell composed of figurines, some of which will make his glory as Le Baiser And The Thinker. He shares his life with Rose, his constant companion, when he meets the young Camille Claudel, his most talented pupil who quickly becomes his assistant, then his mistress.

No, Rodin certainly does not reveal a simple biopic. Doillon,  explores the most inventive and paradoxically the least appreciated period of the sculptor’s career during his lifetime, is primarily concerned with sentimental drama. At 40, the artist tackles one of his most ambitious creations: the door of Hell.  He wishes with this work to give a tangible illustration of the Circles of Hell from “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, is a roundabout way of expressing his repressed impulses and feelings. Panting like a boxer in the ring, sometimes brusque, sometimes passionate, Rodin is interpreted to perfection by Lindon, who is this exceptional actor who nails it dead on. It is a joy to see him pulling no punches and going full blast like a torpedo. He said in an interview he had to learn how to sculpt 5 hours  a day for 5 months. Rodin was a hard worker who has a long time girlfriend , and also a mistress who was his student. Camille was crazy about Rodin and was hoping that he left his girlfriend, however Rodin had a weakness for women. Lindon here won for best actor for the measure of a man last year maybe well I do not want to jinx it for him. I hope he does.

Rodin film

Izïa Higelin, Vincent Lindon

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