PUPILLE (2018)

A film by  Jeanne Herry

Cast:  Sandrine Kiberlain, Gilles Lellouche, Élodie Bouchez 

Theo is hand over for adoption by his biological mother on the day of his birth. It’s a birth under X. The mother Has two months to reconsider her decision … or not. Child welfare and adoption services are going to work. Someone will take care of the infant until they find someone to adopt Théo. The others must find the one who will become his adopting mother. Her name is Alice and she’s been fighting for adopting a child for ten years. PUPILLE is the story of the meeting between Alice, 41, and Théo, three months old.

Pupille is name for an orphan who is a minor. After the very successful Elle L’adore, Jeanne Herry turns to this sensitive subject rarely done or talk about in the cinema adoption, and here is a film that will take you from start to finish in the adoption process. It is a fictional story but very near real life. And so the adventure begin from the day where the mother gives birth to the social services, the nurses that takes care of the infant and finally the adoption. Herry here has done a beautiful choreography with this story, directing it with harmony. You will see how it is important to talk to the newborn to tell them what is going on even if they don’t understand. A man will take care of that in this story. Not too many men do this job to begin with but the world is changing nowadays. He will take care of the newborn until he gets adopted. Meanwhile the others social workers will try to find a mother suitable for Théo. Here Herry has wrote this perfect film as well as directing it. To top it all off the casting is excellent. Here is a beautiful film that cannot be missed.

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DIAMANTINO (2018)

A film by  Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt

Cast: Carloto Cotta, Cleo Tavares, Anabela Moreira

Diamantino is the global icon of football, a flamboyant hero touched by grace. When suddenly, at the World Cup, his genius is vaporized and  his career is at a dead stop . Problem: he knows nothing else. The fallen star, is now the object of national ridicule. He now has more time on his hand to discovers the world. 

Diamantino belongs to this new wave of films that dare to combine humor, science fiction and fantasy and revisit the founding myths (Frankenstein, hybridity, monstrosity, fear of the refugees) with audacity and talent. Film buffs, this film is for you. The directors mix a bunch of stuff in this film but also some issues like the refugee crisis and right-wing propaganda. It is also a story of love and affection. A stroke of genius for the directors Abrantes and schmidt. Plus there are more narratives than that, there are the two government agents, the two evil twin sister who are the sisters of Diamantino, the doctor Lamborghini too funny there. Carloto Cotta here give a sincere performance at playing dumb with a child’s mentality. Diamantino is imaginative, strange, and full of affection and love. It is unlike any other film. 

LETO (2018)

A film by  Kirill Serebrennikov

Cast:  Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum, Roman Bilyk 

English title : Summer

Leningrad. A summer in the early 80’s. Upstream of Perestroika, Lou Reed’s and David Bowie’s records are smuggled, and the rock scene emerges. Mike and his beautiful wife Natacha meet the young Viktor Tsoï. Surrounded by a new generation of musicians, they will change the course of rock’n’roll in the Soviet Union.

The story with no surprise takes off from the success story of this group of rock and roll that is going to rock the soviet union in the 80’s. When the film opens the group’s career is already well established, the audience seems to love them but there is something out of place here in the audience where everyone is sitting on a chair and watch carefully by the watchful eye of representatives of the State. No rocking, no dancing, not even taping their feet. And yes it is a black and white film.  These ambitious guys who wants to be rock stars are influenced by the western rock and roll records that gets into the country somehow that includes  David Bowie, T-Rex, the Sex Pistols, the Velvet Underground, the Talking Heads, Ziggy Pop, and more. Leto is based on the early career of Russian rock-n-Roller Viktor Tsoi. The film is full of music with some kind of funky eding from time to time. There is a love triangle, some great tunes to dance, the struggling of the band  etc….It is all there in this perfect film.   Somehow the director was one of the few who was banned from Cannes this year. He is under house arrest accused of corruption. A must see. 

WIDOWS (2018)

A film by  Steve McQueen

Cast:  Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debick

Chicago, where 4 women who has lost their husbands which left them with a debt take things into their own hand to get back the counter at zero to start a new life. 

Roger Ebert a critic from chicago (RIP Roger) said his favorite film was heist movies. Well Roger here is one for you. This genre of film that Mcqueen has done here masterfully has it all the corruption, the politician who is trying to get ahead that cut throat , money, thrown in a drug dealer with a mean streak. The bullshit that goes with it, plus the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer. 

The film open with  Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his wife making out to get a flashback of a heist that is going to go wrong. his crew (Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Coburn Goss) are in trouble and are trying to get away without a scratch. Soon enough you begin to find out their fate and that they are going to leave four wife widows. Four women Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez),  a mother of two who is just opening her own store, Amanda (Carrie Coon), who has a 4-month-old child, Harry’s wife Veronica (Viola Davis), which they have nothing in common. A debt has to be paid and they are going to do the unthinkable. Well it takes place in Chicago where of course in the mix there will be politician battle out the election. This heist is about survival with an emotional ride. Every characters are in place here no one is out of sync. The camera angle and the edditing are so perfect it is not even funny even the flashback are a work of art. even the song in to that says ‘We have a lot of work to do today. Crying is not on the list’. One more thing politician are a bitch aren’t they? Do not miss this one. It is going to be a classic. 

MAUVAISES HERBES (2018)

A film by  Kheiron

Cast:  Kheiron, Catherine Deneuve, André Dussollier 

English title: Bad seeds 

Waël,(Kheiron) a former street child, lives in the suburbs of Paris, performs small scam with Monique (Catherine Deneuve) a retired woman who lives with him but one day while doing the scam Monique bumps in this old acquaintance a man who she has not seen in 40 years. Victor, (André Dussolier) offers Wael, at the insistence of Monique, a small volunteer job in his center of children excluded from the school system. Wael finds himself gradually responsible for a group of six teenagers expelled for absenteeism, insolence or carrying weapons. A bond will form with the student and may the adventure begin. 

Kheiron again exploits an autobiographical slice to defend the respect and especially the importance of education and the importance to pass it on. a beautiful story is going to be told before your eyes with flashback from time to time. Of course there are humour into it after all it is Kheiron we are talking about. The dialogues here are intelligent and well written, into a nice tight screenplay. Rather than stigmatize the violence of the ghetto, he prefers to emphasize the vitality of the characters and their energy to move forward with a touch of humanity. Also there is the immense pleasure to see Dussollier and Deneuve two great actors on the top of their games here. This terrific mix casting is a joy to see, with a message with can all get along and live among each other. A beautiful lesson of life to share with your friends. 

CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018)

A film by  Jon M. Chu

Cast:  Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh 

The story takes us native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. Ho! boy!!!!! Good luck. 

After teaching her economics class, Rachel (Constance Wu) meets her boyfriend at a crowded Manhattan bar in New York City. But she has no idea that they are not ordinary people, well her boyfriend is the Nick (Henry Golding) is the heir to one of the wealthiest real estate companies in Singapore. He keeps it a secret until they take off first class by plane. You see they’re traveling to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. 

Here is the film that is going to be a bath of gold, diamonds, jewelry and exotic cars plus helicopters and lavishing real estates. The film becomes predictable to me nothing you have not seeing before but there is a message here. I’ll get back to it. Rachel here is going to be overwhelm with a lot of gossip and bullshit. But she is witty, intelligent, and can out smart them all. Secrets will be revealed and so on. To get accepted in the family it is not going to be easy. In the middle of the film I knew were this was going. The message is the love of a mother for her son. The mother knows what is best for her son and is that. Crazy Rich Asians may feels like luxurious 1930s MGM comedy but asian style. The is an importance here about food, culture, and relationship. Not too bad for a film here you will have a good time but for my taste a little too predictable. 

KURST (2018)

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A film by Thomas Vinterberg

Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Léa Seydoux, Colin Firth, Mathias Shoenaerts

August 2000, The Russians Navy engages in exercise with the unsinkable submarine called the Kurst (K-141). But before performing this exercise, they celebrated the wedding of one of their comrade.

Mitkhail Kalekov (Mathias Shoenaerts) says goodbye to his wife who is played by Léa Seydoux and son. Shortly after departure the explosion occur due to the fact they could have prevented it but the orders are the orders. Another explosion followed and more violent than the other which force the crew to be in a small compartment with water freezing to death. The soviet government was trying to save them but their equipment was defective and did not want to admit to the English who themselves offer to help.

Government especially the soviet government are this bunch of liars who would admit that it was their fault and too proud to ask for help because they suppose to have the equipment to rescue them. Plus they lied to the families to top it all off, and why is that  not surprising me. We all know what happen it was news back then in 2000 august 12. Luc Besson who produced the film decided to go with what happen in the sub and the rescue attempt than showing more of the politics with the soviet government. Keep in mind that Norway wanted to help too but the soviet turn them down. The director tried to shoot the film in the soviet but the soviets would not have it, so it was film in France and Belgium. Also he was trying to get documents for his research but the soviets refused because those documents are classified. It is a sad thing to see that the government does not care about its people, especially those crew members that had families.

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