Posted in French film

JALOUSE (2017)

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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.

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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. 

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

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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borg mcenroe

Posted in British film, Chinese film

THE FOREIGNER (2017)

 

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A film by Martin Campbell

Cast: Katie Leung, Jackie Chan, Rufus Jones, Pierce Brosnan

A  businessman seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A conflict takes place with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities. But this business owner has a buried past.

Yes Jackie Chan is back with a thriller that works here. The Foreigner, based on the novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather, feature Jacky Chan and Pierce Brosnan an unlikely pair for a film.The stories of Hennessy and Quan soon crosses each other. Quan (Jackie Chan) is forcing the hand of the authorities so they can find and tell them the killer’s names the one who killed his daughter. He  has a buried past and lost every thing even his last daughter. Of course, now Hennessy (Pierce Bronan) is forced  to turn against Quan and Hennessy bring more Irish men to protect his family which is going to bring me with some hand to hand combat. well you want to see Jackie do his thing but he is getting a little older now at age 64 he is doing fine. Hennessy here has a buried passed as well and some things will surfaced as the story goes on. The Foreigner here is not the great film but it is entertaining and has a few twist and turn. It is nice to see Jackie still doing his thing but a little more on the realistic side no spectacular stunt here.

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THE FOREIGNER

Posted in Belgium Film

LE FIDÈLE (2017)

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A film by Michaël R. Roskam

Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Eric De Staercke

English tile: Racer and the jailbird 

A love Story of Bibi (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a young racing driver with very upper-class roots and a high-flying gangster Gigi (Matthias Schoenaerts).

I am going on a limb here but it is perhaps the best movie since the beginning of the year. A story that mixes love, action, racing, gangsters , in a dark and romantic thriller, filmed at the speed of a fourth gear, with a sense of context and rhythm that has a bright, intense scenario, that gets darker and darker as the story unveil itself.

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Michaël R. Roskam is returning to his homeland in Belgium to make this Neo-Noir triller once again, will surprise the spectators who hope to find a premature plot. It begins on a classic themes, that of an irresistible romance between two characters madly in love with each others with some scene of an incredible robbery. He Gino his friends call him Gigi at first you do not know what he does for a living and she, Beatrice her friends call her Bibi, is a car racer sure of herself . Could we dream more than a beautiful couple at the movies? In addition to the sensual charm that emerges thought out the actors. the film seems to be set within a few minutes, he lives in fear but want to settle down, and she is constantly looking  for adrenaline while trying to unravel the secrets of her man. It is done in old fashion photography with images of a  film noir like back in the day. There are 3 chapters to the story Gigi, Bibi, No flowers. I think they could be very well addicted to each other due to the fact she could told him to buzz off after she found out. The director  films particular well the scenes of the robbery with an immersive fluidity that raises them among the best views on the big screen in recent years. It is not over done with excessive explosions and such, it has realism into it. the main point of the story which the director never let up is the painful destiny that each time catch up with the two damned lovers to plunge them into a misfortune that will only bring them a little closer to each other. Adèle Exarchopoulos here shines big time and delivers the role of a life time so far. Her character takes the command and Adèle embodies it completely with grace. Matthias Schoenaerts plays this man who has fears and is breaking down each time there is an obstacle or mess up.  The Fidèle is a surprising work of art in the way that it succeed in taking steps to be not predictable and preserves as a backbone the love of the two lovers. 

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Posted in French film

AU REVOIR LÀ-HAUT (2017)

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A  film by Albert Dupontel

Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Albert Dupontel, Laurent Lafitte, Mélanie Thierry

English title; See you up there. 

November 1919 two survivors of world war I,  an genius artist, the other an accountant decide to mount a scam in this crazy period of the 1920’s the company will be as dangerous as it is spectacular.

Here is a different war film in the beginning of the 20th century where the war was senseless  and brutal although Dupontel find some humanity and creativity into it. The adaptation of Pierre Lemaitre’s bestseller happily proves that the former comedian is capable of giving us something else than the comedies loaded with black humor that made his success. Based on the reconstruction of the years 1918-1920 . The first quality of its realization is undoubtedly the care brought to the artistic direction to recreate this effervescent historical period I might add it is so well done you think you were there. Whether it is the uniforms worn by the soldiers in the trenches or elegant outfits of the Parisian bourgeoisie, each suit is a purely beautiful. It is the same for the set. Filming in with a digital camera you can feel that you are the period and that it is film on a roll of film from back in the day. The beginning of the film starts in the trenches is very impressive a brutal. Dupontel remained relatively faithful to Lemaitre’s novel, by focusing  on the human drama experienced by the two main characters, played by Nahuel Perez Biscayart and himself. Hopeful he will get a caesar but then again we will have to wait. Overall the ensemble cast forms a magnificent film which it is going to become a classic. Do not miss this one. The translation of the title is Goodbye up there.

« AU REVOIR LÀ-HAUT » Réalisé par Albert DUPONTEL

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Posted in U.S. Film

LOGAN LUCKY (2017)

 

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A film by Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig

In real life there are losers, winners, negative thinking and positive thinking. The thing is here in the new film of Soderbergh here are some unlucky bunch of people who are trying to get a little luck in doing a heist and then some and are they going to get lucky? 

It is a ridiculous entertaining film here with comedy. The gang that includes a wounded veteran, an unemployed former coal miner, a hairdresser and other motley members conspires to rob a Nascar race sponsored by Coca-Cola. The film begins by introducing the characters as you watch you beginning to think what the hell are those bunch of misfit up too. But don’t judge the book by its cover as they say. Our protagonist have one thing in mind the heist getting the money and a lots of it. In all this you will have some other characters that will pop up from time to time followed by a smoking mirror. There some inventive Ideas here too mixed with humor. Soderbergh never speeds through the twists and bumps. It lets the story in cruise control so you can enjoy the moments and the humor. Lucky Logan is a terrific film here and for the new writer Rebecca blunt, well done.

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Posted in Swedish film, uncategorized

THE SQUARE (2017)

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selection officiel competition

A film by Ruben Östlund

Cast: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West

Sweden’s Ruben Östlund makes a comeback, this time in the Competition selection, with a film punctuated at the inequality of the civilisation with some of the strangest scenes.

Christian (Claes Bang) who plays a museum director who’s life is disturbed when he is the victim of a crime. The film is dry, satirical and  a dark comedy that is totally unique. A little warning due to the fact that this film is a little strange it is going to be a hard sell in the US and some of you might love it or hate it. The film puts Christian through essentially a series of skits which are alternately thought-provoking, shocking or delightfully made with awkwardness. It is about a man who is about to lose control of his life. The film is masterfully does not only become a satire of the modern art but also at life itself. When Christian gets into a series of gag some of the audience nervously was laughing or not at all. There are some disturbing scenes at times and you are going to wonder what the hell is going on in this guy life who somehow is going to be the hero of our story. If you like dark humour that is disturbing at time feel free to see this one.

the square

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