Comedy

EL CIUDADANO ILUSTRE (2017)

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A film by Gastón Duprat, Mariano Cohn

Cast: Oscar Martínez, Dady Brieva, Andrea Frigerio

English title:The Distinguished Citizen

Daniel Mantovani (Oscar Martinez) is a celebrated Nobel Prize-winning author living in Barcelona. His stories set in Salas Argentina but he has not return in 40 years is a matter a fact he never planed to go back. To the surprise of everyone he agrees to personally collect a trophy/reward as a ‘distinguished citizen’ and maybe rediscover his roots. It is a decision he is going to regret as the driver that pick up gets a flat tire in a middle of nowhere.

The local welcome him and the mayor boost his image because he is with a successful writer although who has not written a novel in 5 years. The Mayor has all the activities in place even the interview and the workshop with Mantovani which also include a painting competition. Meanwhile, his old friend Antonio brilliantly played by Dady Brieva who delights in seeing his friend so he can show off the fact that he married Mantovani’s old girl friends. Well thing s are not going to go to well if you know what I mean. As the film goes on you are going to feel that Mantovani is in danger and that he might or might not make it out of this town in one piece. The film is a bit predictable here but it is a well done and written dark farce.

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MONSIEUR ET MADAME ADELMAN (2017)

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A film by Nicolas Bedos

Cast: Doria Tillier, Nicolas Bedos, Denis Podalydès

How did Sarah and Victor get along for more than 45 years? Who was really this enigmatic woman living in the shadow of her husband? Love and ambition, betrayals and secrets nourish this odyssey of an unusual couple, where they are taking us on the great history of the last century.

Victor Adelman, writer. In 1971, he meets Sarah, a free spirited  and independent girl, to whom he does not attach any particular importance. On the other hand, Sarah is taken  by him. But later on would become the woman of his life. For 45 years, like all couples, they will experience ups and downs, joys and sorrows. He will make her suffer everything: his infidelities, his lack of inspiration, his perversity and even sometimes his contempt. She will become his  muse, his inspiration. Like all women in the shadows she will keep with the appearances. But we are not there yet. For now, it all begins with the end. We have just buried the famous Victor Adelman, who died in suspicious  circumstances. A young writer  proposes to write about his life life. To do this, he meets his wife who gives him what was almost half a century of living together with this unusual character.

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Can you live with someone for 45 years here, the good , the bad and the ugly is going to come out but the director here has put an element a little perverse with this  eccentric character, he put everything under a microscope the meeting the parent, the kids, meeting the future In-laws, the success the high and the lows etc…. Here the director does a great job at telling the stories in chapter and get straight to the point. It is a beautiful love story injected with comedy.

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TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN (2017)

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A film by Aki Kaurismäki

Cast: Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela

English title:

 

Helsinki. Two destinies that will cross each other. Wikhström, in the fifties, decides to change his life by leaving his alcoholic wife and his work as a sales representative to open a restaurant. Khaled is a young Syrian refugee, stranded in the capital by accident. He sees his asylum application rejected but decides to stay despite everything. One night, Wikhström finds him in the courtyard of his restaurant. Touched by the young man, he decides to take him under his wing.

Here is a narrative of crossing paths, an apology for a rare optimism. Finnish director and writer Aki Kaurismäki, not happy with the way refugees are seen and portrayed in today’s society, created a story almost like an apology and an attempt to manipulate your emotions. How is it possible to change one’s behavior or the way people think, however, is subject to never-ending discussions.

Khaled (Syrian actor Sherwan Haji) goes to Finland on a cargo ship. The circumstances surrounding his arrival are not yet fully unknown that is what I like here. After taking a shower he goes to the police station and seek Asylum. What I like is that they take his fingerprint on a digital machine that will stream to the laptop as the police officer does the report he types it on a type writer too funny.  Some how after escaping the war he part ways with his sister with all of the chaos that is going on he gets arrested and thrown in jail. While he waits for the bureaucracy to kick in he is trying to find a way to find his sister only to end up later by the garbage can of a restaurant where the owner can’t help himself to help him.

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Although set in this day and age, the story looks, like and feels like in is stuck in the 60’s 70’s maybe a stroke of genius from the director. With it bold design and colour the viewer is going to feel like they are in an other dimension welcome to the twilight zone. This dramatic comedy has a life of its own with nonsensical lines are delivered with the straightest of faces in to navigated in such a way that it keep the dignity of the characters. Like I said pure genius here and yes an other successful film here. A series of local artists perform songs that merge blues and tango with local sounds an interesting concepts here that makes this film unique. I am telling you now do not miss this film directed with this unique director, I’ll say it again it is pure genius.

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DE PLUS BELLE (2017)

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A film by Anne-Gaëlle Daval

Cast: Florence Foresti, Mathieu Kassovitz, Nicole Garcia

English: More beautiful 

Lucy is cured, her illness is almost a distant memory. Her family is pushing her to go ahead, to live, to see the world … So she meets Clovis, charming  and  arrogant. Intrigued by his frankness, Clovis will do everything to seduce Lucy, who has no desire to be seduced . In contact with Dalila, A dancing teacher, Lucie will learn to love, to finally become the woman she never knew how to be. For his mother, for his daughter, for Clovis …

This is the first film of costume designer Anne-Gaëlle Daval. Keep in mind there are many women director in my country than most. She who is accustomed, after all it is her job to dress actors and actresses, she will make us see these them naked, or rather get naked,  stripped of this second skin which is a protection, an interface between the body and the others.The film is the story of Lucie (Florence Foresti) told with decency and fragility and with a touch of humanity. When she meets Dalila (Nicole Nichole Garcia) the dance teacher will allow Lucie to get rid of her tinsel of that prevents to see her as she is and not as she thinks she is. With this little show a dance that we shade off her skin so a new one can be born. Clovis the seducer who is having trouble seducing Lucy is asking himself what is wrong with me or is it her?  The film is moving,  like a fairy tale. Yes we know how to make them very well but to sell this over seas it is going to be a tough one.

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PATIENTS (2017)

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A film by Mehdi Idir, Grand Corps Malade

Cast: Pablo Pauly, Soufiane Guerrab, Moussa Mansaly

Based on the self-biographical book by Fabien Marsaud, alias Grand Corps Malade, Patients  introduces us to the world of paraplegic, quadriplegic, traumatized (a words that the famous slammer would not deny) Cranial, frontal and  many of which are, alas, young people whose life has decided to play a dirty trick.

Do not get me wrong here those patients who are in this situation some for the rest of their life does jokes like the one pass the salty, and others to give them a little laugh now and then so they don’t go nuts. They are perfectly functional people who see life a little differently. We follow a group of young people whose main occupation is to wait for them to be helped with drinking, eating, dressing, telephoning, peeing, pooping and all those operations and more , were a normal human being  who is perfectly functional take for granted. Yes there is the doctors that helps them to rehabilitate them and even a psychologist on hand. Some are doing well other does not and does not accept the fact that some day it will be better or just accept the fact that is the way  is for them. A little romance will surface with a woman who check in. Some will do better than others but they all have stories and past that they can not escape. It is like they are in prison in their own bodies. The film also shows the friendship  and the bond that will form between them as they say “Together we are strong” a terrific little film here that you can’t afford to miss.

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ROCK’N ROLL (2017)

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A film by Guillaume Canet 

Cast: Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard, Philippe Lefebvre, Gilles Lellouche, Yvan Attal,  Kev Adams,  Maxim Nucci,  Johnny Hallyday.

Guillaume Canet, a 42-year-old actor, is questioning the day when, where on a set of shooting, a young collaborator tells him that he is no longer an object of desire for the women of the younger generation …and bang!!!

Since I am in France I have read an interview with Canet who said he came up with the film poking t himself and his life as an actor when he was being interview a while back the interviewer said to him you are not very Rock’N Roll are you. Meaning he his at his place well manner, and well dressed that is how he is in real life. He said to her no not really. Now he wanted to make fun of his life and of the industry where they told him the image of a star is that don’t smoke, stay in shape, no grey hair on your head, wriggles are a no-no etc… Basically forbidding to age. So he decided to write this film with his friends. And this film is pure joy.

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He doesn’t hold back on his actor’s ego, cinema’s obsession with youth and even takes a crack  shot at the trashy way actors are treated by casting directors like they were in a ferry   tale. Everybody plays themselves here not exception. You will find that Marion Cotillard with a Canadian accent Québécois she is preparing for the role of Dolan’s film even plays on her image of a tornado of awards. The uneasiness of loosing at the ceasar, messing up a kid birthday party, cocaine-paralytic bust on YouTube, being difficult on the set etc…Basically he is have a middle age crisis. It is also its ability to implement this on both sides of the camera. Here Canet is back with this comedy that rocks but with all due respect to the viewers I have to say this the film towards the end is a little too much. Still it is so good. Have fun.

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TISZTA SZIVVEL (2017)

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A film by Attila Till

Cast: Szabolcs Thuróczy, Zoltán Fenyvesi, Ádám Fekete

Tiszta szívvel in english means Pure heart. But the english title is Kills on Wheels 

Ruspaszov, a former firefighter, has been in a wheelchair for three years following an accident at work. Cynicism and alcohol help him less and less to endure his condition. Zolika, just 20 years old and a comic book enthusiast, has always been in his wheelchair. Their improbable encounter will give them  a taste for life. Especially when Rupaszov, after getting out of jail is putting himself at the service of the head of the local mafia, decides to use their handicap as cover …

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Here is a brilliant funny film done a la Quentin Tarantino do I have your attention now and yes it is a Hungarian film. A film about handicapped on a wheel chair in the heart of the mafia why not? It has not been done before and could her funny at times.Rados, and become drug traffickers. A simple  story, but which conceals under its plot much more complex theories.

Rupaszov is an ex-fireman who despite his accident turns to alcohol because it is the only thing to do so I thinks. He is like into a deep sleep where no one is able to help him. Zolika, on the other hand, is disabled by birth ( Zoltán Fenyvesi) dreaming of becoming a recognized cartoonist. But to whom inspiration is lacking, because too many  examinations and medical treatments that he has under go. Those two are going to meet and in a funny way is going to need one an other in order live  life to the fullest. This tale tells the story of freedom beyond disability. There as they get to know each other they will be in tune with each other giving them some kind of balance. It is funny at times. Here is the third film by Till but it is the first time that is distributed  in France. This one kick ass.

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