JOKER (2019)

A film by  Todd Phillips

Cast:  Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz 

The film, which tells an original story focuses on the emblematic figure of the sworn enemy of Batman. He paints the portrait of Arthur Fleck, an uncompromising man despised by society.

Little problem this film feels a little too much like Taxi Driver and the King of Comedy combine to me. it has a lot of similarities of this man who is alienated with mental issues. Ok Nice story telling here no doubt because most people love this film which have great performance from Joaquin Phoenix and even Robert de Niro. The story takes place in the 1980 in Gotham where the garbage truck strike makes big news on TV. Arthur Fleck played by Phoenix takes care of his mother. Here is a man who is broken by the system and where the world is rejecting him and in order to channel his anger is going to take it on people who has done him wrong. He meets his idol a talk show host similar than the one on the tonight show with Johnny Carson. It is dark as it is going to get. the violence is meant to shock here and it does. And yes the film belongs to Phoenix with a terrific performance.

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BACURAU (2019)

A film de  Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho

Cast:  Barbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira

In the near future … The village of Bacurau in the Brazilian sertão mourns his matriarch Carmelita who died at 94 years. A few days later, residents notice that Bacurau has disappeared from the map.

Ok then here is a film that is worth looking at. In a near-future Brazil, Theresa (Barbara Colen) returns home for the funeral of her grandmother, she is the the matriarch of her village. Bacurau is a modern western satire. Suddenly the cellular signal disappear and the village is not longer on the map. They are deprived of water and basic supplies by the mayor (Thardelly Lima). It is s bit weird at times and you can tell that the directors were influenced by John Carpenter. They also have several points to make about wealthy and the corrupt right wing in Brazil, they weren’t afraid of telling it . The villagers here are deprived of basic needs like water, medecine and other basic needs. You will not know what genre of film this is going to be everyone will have a different opinions, when you see the flying saucer in the first part of the film you think it is going to be a science fiction movie, or a modern western or both. There are a few surprises in this film as well. It is nice to see Sônia Braga who was in Aquarius (2016) who plays a nurse here with a twisted sense of humor. it is a Brazilian drama, a political and social reflection that questions Brazil today perhaps a political film of sort with a modern western theme. It is going to make you think a bit.

CEUX QUI TRAVAILLE (2019)

A film by  Antoine Russbach

Cast:  Olivier Gourmet, Adèle Bochatay, Elidan Arzoni 

English title: those who works

Senior executive in a large sea freight company, Frank dedicates his life to work. While facing a crisis in a freighter, Frank, alone and in a hurry, takes a decision that costs him his job. Deeply shaken, betrayed by a system to which he gave everything, he is forced to rethink his whole life.

Ceux qui travaille has a realism that captures the ferocity of the world of work. Since his childhood Frank (Olivier Gourmet) has work without complaining as he said to his children at the dinner table. He has climbed the top of the ladder to reach a position that comes with great responsibility at an international freight maritime company and to assure a comfortable situation to his wife and his children. He loves the action at work and has he is on the phone 90 percent of the time dealing and wheeling, passing in a few seconds from French to English, he effectively takes care of the slightest incidents that the ships in his responsibility may encounter. He gets up and goes to work early and leaves late at night. He is a hard working man but one day there is a problem with a cargo  he does the unthinkable to preserve the interest of his employer and the client who wants his merchandise deliver on time. He then looses his job over it which at that moment he is going to feel ashamed of what he has done. Not telling his wife that he got fired goes on to hire a consoler to see if he is interested in doing an other job in a different field. Trying to get hired in others company is going to be tricky. Frank here is both the anti-hero and hero of this story. There are a lot of pressure in this job that Frank is going to miss. There are rules and regulations that comes with this job to get the cargo on time and sometimes Frank break one or two rules in order to get the cargo is on time at his final destination. Here is superbly well acted and well writing film , an intelligent film with a perfect ending.

AU NOM DE LA TERRE (2019)

A film by  Edouard Bergeon

Cast:  Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon 

English: In the name of the earth.

Pierre is 25 when he returns from Wyoming to find Claire his fiancée and take over the family farm. Twenty years later, the farm expanded, so did the family. It’s the time of happy days, at least at the beginning … The farm has debts and Pierre is trying to stay above water by been over worked. Despite the love of his wife and children, he gradually falls into a deep depression … Built as a family saga, and according to the director’s own story, the film takes a human look at the evolution of the agricultural world of the last 40 years years.

Edouard Bergeon takes a personal angle here since he tells the true story of his father, crushed by the system and died in 1999. It begins with a sweet story, filmed with a retro light in an introductory scene where Pierre, on a motorcycle, drives through the fields to join his fiancée before making love to her passionately. The excitement of this beautiful story will quickly be disrupted by the economic concern, the debt that is going to follow which pushes this farmer played by Guillaume Canet to give everything that he has to his farm to the point of no return.

At the beginning everything is fine and the family was happy, the father of Pierre sold the farm to his son who is going to take over then an event is going to take place when Pierre is going to go crazy. Here the director is telling the story of his father who could not get out of debt which led to his emotional break down. Farmers in France are not making too much money to live on. Most of them borrows money from the bank and get help from the government and hope for the best. However the wife played by Veerle Baetens who is the most courageous tries to keep the family together. You see here Pierre wanted to be an entrepreneur instant of being the farmers he thought by expanding he was going to get out from under but unfortunately all hell broke loose. Outstanding job from the actors. Unfortunately there is a growing concern about farmers and their land. A surprising survey at the end of the film that surprised me.

MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON (2009)

A film by Stéphane Brizé

Cast:  Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Kiberlain, Aure Atika 

Jean is a good person: a good mason, a good son, a good father and a good husband. And in his daily life, between family and work, he crosses the path of Mademoiselle Chambon, the teacher of his son. He is a man of few words, she comes from a different world. They will be overwhelmed by the feelings that they have for each other.

Mademoiselle Chambon uses the language of love , canvas, and architecture . Vincent Lindon ( Jean) is a family man who has a wife and remodels old houses, he is a builder who loves his job and his family. He meet a substitute teacher Mademoiselle Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain) who’s life is lonely due to the fact she moves from town to town. The narrative here is about moods, lust, love , and feelings. Stéphane Brizé has adapted Eric Holder’s novel with such a perfect timing. It is about the body language combine with arts and music which both are interested. The two actors is are awesome with great chemistry in playing with their feeling and body language talking and listening to some music. Here is a perfect romantic film done softly with some great classical music.

DEUX MOI (2019)

English title: Someone somewhere

A film by  Cédric Klapisch

Cast:  François Civil, Ana Girardot, Camille Cottin 

A lonely young man who is looking for his cat that a neighbor has giving him when he did not want him but which he can no longer do without, a neighborhood grocery colorful store , and a dance classes that bring hearts and bodies together. Here are two lonely people who are trying to connect with people and you will think that is easy those days with all the apps and dating website to connect with someone but those two keeps on missing each other , and to top it all off they live next door to each other in different building. One has trouble sleeping the other can’t sleep and both sees a psychologist. They both lives boring life and has this daily routine. one is trying to get over her break up with her boyfriend the other is trying to get over his sister’s death. Will they ever meet and fall in love with each other?

Two people who might meet each other two who are depressed and trying to find someone to love in a big city like Paris. Klapish return to the city with this romantic film with humanism, his warm and energetic writing makes the film navigate with sincerity. It is easy to watch, fun at times with two great actors who are able to pull this off. He even shot scene next my my neighborhood. My suggestion take you girlfriend to dinner and later see this film. The director also film not far by my apartment.

LA VIE SCOLAIRE (2019)

A film by  Mehdi Idir, Grand Corps Malade

Cast:  Redouane Bougheraba, Maera Chouaki, Bakary Diombera 

A year in the heart of the school in Saint Denis … and what a big mess! Samia, young CPE novice, arrives from his native Ardèche in a High school deemed difficult in the city of Saint-Denis. She discovers the recurring problems of discipline, the social reality weighing on the neighborhood, but also the incredible vitality and humor of both students and supervisors. Among them, there is Moussa, and Dylan . Samia adapts and soon takes pleasure in channeling the passion of the most disruptive students . Her complicated personal situation naturally brings her closer to Yanis, a lively and intelligent teen. Even if Yanis seems to give up all ambition by hiding behind his insolence, Samia will invest all her energy to divert him from failing school and try to get him to project himself into a better future …

Now, the second film by Mehdi Idir and Fabien Marsaud comes at the right time for the start of the school year as it comes out on the screens during the last week of vacation. They wanted to write about their experience in high school but their experience dated from the 90’s so they had to got back to school to observe students in today’s world. Neither fiction nor documentary, the film holds both, with great accuracy and what a great job they did. The young actors here are outstanding being their first time on camera. The focus is this new CPE (Counselor Education Consultant), she has a lot of ambition for the young students and cares for them but it is not easy to stir them in the right direction. Some of them have troubles at home in their private life and the father is not present most of the time. This film is full of energy and comes to life where it has humor at times. It is not an easy thing to teach those kids. Terrific film by the two directors here now let’s see if the nail their third one. I can’t wait.