Posted in French film

L’AMANT DOUBLE (2017)

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A film by François Ozon

Cast: Marine Vacth, Jérémie Renier, Jacqueline Bisset

English: The double lover

Chloe, a fragile and depressed young woman, undertakes psychotherapy and falls in love with her psychiatrist, Paul. A few months later, they settle down together, but she discovers that her lover has hidden some of her identity.

Here Ozon did not win at the Cannes films festival but adapted the screenplay from  the novel Lives of the Twins by  Rosamond Smith, this stylish over-the-top genre cocktail combines satire, melodrama, tongue-in-cheek horror tropes, and a hell of a visual especially at the beginning of the film has done a hell of a thriller here where you are going to have a good time watching this extravaganza and don’t forget the wine please.

A the beginning of the film the editing is an audacious move that you have not seen before well I have not. L’Amant Double may be a film that puts one in mind of nineties erotic thrillers but there’s also a lot of Hitchcock / De Palma there too, and as this opening  Ozon put his own sauce to it. The story goes like this ,  Chloe (Marine Vacth) depressed god to a psychiatrist named Paul (Jeremy Renier) who soon fall for each other. Soon moves in together and one day Chloe discovers that Paul is hiding something. The visual here is outstanding resemble at a film like Vertigo an homage at Alfred Hitchcock of course. the film is filled to the brim with pure cinematic imagery brutally edited in such a way that it ressemble at several film at times. Ozon once said I have no intention of making a classic film. I want to experiment , I want to push boundaries and he has done just that with is film. He spends is time on human relationship here and made it a, brilliant erotic-Freudian thriller, hitchcockian just as much as naughty and quite disturbing.

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Posted in French film

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.

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Posted in French film

DE TOUTE MES FORCES (2017)

De toutes mes forces

A film by Chad Chenouga

Cast: Khaled Alouach, Yolande Moreau, Laurent Xu

English: Of all my strength 

Nassim ( Khaled Alouach) first time in a Parisian high school and seems as carefree as his pals. No one suspects that in reality he has just lost his mother and returned every night to a youth center. Despite the goodwill of the director, he refuses to be assimilated by the young people of his youth center. Like a tightrope walker, Nassim sails between his two lives, which must not meet at any price.

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Here is a teenager who will lose his mother where not even his uncle and aunt wants to take him because they can’t. He is put in a youth center for teenager where either their parents can not take care of them or they passed away. Nassim refuses to go but has no choice. He has to do with what he has to do with. He goes to a Parisian school and does not tell his friends where he resides now. He does not want them to find out to fear that they will think less of him. Nassim wants to be different then the others but he has all for success in his life and going to want to destroy it all due to the fact he is still angry with his mother for leaving him in this mess.  Chad Chenouga follows step by step the path of the young man avoiding the clichés. By sparing himself nothing of his fears, doubts, anger and determination, he creates an immediate empathy, especially as the young Khaled Alouach, with the face of an angel and curly hair, plays him perfectly well. Yolande Moreau, full of roundness and tenderness, torn between being the mother for them and being the strict director,  cop like transports us without restrictions to the heart of this intimate drama. There is a nice little film creatively written that avoid  all the clichés.

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Posted in French film

LES FANTÔMES D’ISMAEL (2017)

LES FANTOMES D'ISMAEL

A film by Arnaud Desplechin

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg

English: Ismael’s Ghosts

The first film at the Cannes films festival here is Ismael’s Ghosts. The execution of this film is obsessively near perfect and it’s not conventional.

On the eve of the shooting of his new film, the life of a filmmaker is upset by the reappearance of a lost love …

It is set up as a spy film at the opening of the film but the director through you off course from the start. it is not you typical film here , he shot it unconventionally with back and forth story telling form of flashback that is going to be a little confusing at first but you are going to find your way in. His style remains refreshingly free-spirited. Ismael (Mathieu Amalric) is preparing; a scrappy but enticing drama chronicling the life of his brother, Ivan (Louis Garrel). He is also obsessed about the disappearance of his former Carlotta (Marion Cotillard) wife some 20 years ago. He is fighting not to think about it too much. Here come this woman Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is shy & affectionately kind-hearted lover, encourages him to keep his head above water. But somehow his former wife reappear out of nowhere. There is a bit of frustration in this film but the actors are outstanding is a matter of fact the cast is perfect. It has its up and down here and a lot of drama. This high-caliber director has this awesome creative mind here but I know some of you will not like this one. Here in France there are a lot of critics that loves it, even the audiences.

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Posted in Based on a true story, U.S. Film

CHUCK (2017)

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A film by Philippe Falardeau

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber

The true story of Chuck Wepner, New Jersey’s liquor dealer, who held 15 rounds against the greatest boxer of all time, Mohammed Ali, at the heavyweight world championship in 1975, before finally losing by Technical KO, which Sylvester Stallone got inspired  and wrote the screenplay Rocky.

Chuck Wepner is the guy who was the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s scrappy underdog Rocky Balboa. When the film opens, Wepner is a Bayonne celebrity is the guy who walks into a bar greeted by cheers. Phylis, his wife (Elisabeth Moss) , loves him, supports him, but also has her limits, when it comes that her man is going out with other women. Phyllis is tough as her husband and she makes her point straight across. Ron Perlman plays Wepner’s manager, working out of a run-down gym, trying to scrape up gigs. Naomi Watts plays Linda, a local bartender whom Wepner falls for.

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Here Liev Schreiber doe a wonderful job incarnated Chuck who is this man who stand 15 rounds to Ali and became famous because of it. He was just a dude a heavy weight fighter who got a shot at the title. But what goes up must come down. Chuck has his problem of course loved women, did not know how to be a husband and a father to his kid. He got side track and forgot who really matters in his life. Stallone is played by Morgan Spector, who nails Stallone’s distinctive voice, as well as his enthusiasm. Chuck here got caught up into the fame big time. The fighting scenes in the ring was done as real as possible no over exaggeration , it was dead on. The costume and the era of the 70’s even the decor is absolutely right on. God I remember the 70’s what a crazy era. voila fun film to watch.

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Posted in Based on a true story, British film, U.S. Film

DENIAL (2016)

Denial

film by Mick Jackson

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall

Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), a noted historian and author, fiercely defends the memory of the Holocaust. She is confronted with an academic extremist, advocate of controversial theses on the Nazi regime, David Irving (Timothy Spall) , who challenges her to prove the existence of the Holocaust.

The thing about Mick Jackson’s film is the unexpected strategy the lawyers take to counter the claim the Holocaust never occurred. The film may be a little dry, but the topic is not. I did not know there was people who denied that the holocaust has never happened and to top it all off they have lawyer that will counter-claim that the holocaust never occurred due to lack of evidence. You have got to be kidding. David Hare’s screenplay focuses on the topic, immersing us in the protagonist’s life and beliefs. It is an intellectually interesting  film that raises not only questions about the Holocaust, but about the issues of  proving any historical event has occurred. It will take a large team of lawyer here to combat this imbecile David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt who is a fighter here can not be on the stand to testify which she struggled with it. Richard Rampton (Wilkinson) took upon this strategy never make eye contact which aggravated Irving big time. The court drama how ever has been done a la traditional a flaw here but the performances of the actors are A+ thank god for that. It is still watchable but not the great film that it should be been.

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Posted in Korean film

TUNNEL (2017)

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A film de Seong-hun Kim

Cast: Doona Bae, Jung-woo Ha, Sang-hee Lee

Lee Jung-soo (Ha Jeong-woo) is a salesman for Kia Motors, finishing up his work  and  going home. He’s got a cake for his daughter, getting fuel for the car , and heading home. On his way, he calls his wife (Doona Bae) to let her know how things have been, when suddenly a tunnel he is passing through (newly opened ) decides to cave in and trap him inside his car with nowhere to go. Is he going to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Yes an other Korean film here and a good one at that. Here is a dude who goes home and suddenly this new tunnel collapse and he is trapped under way under we come to find out later in the film. Character driving with emotions flowing around. The thing is here you see what the journey Lee is taking in order to survive the ordeal. There is a twist in the story if you want to call it that something I didn’t foresee but I knew how it was going to end because of one element they put in. Doona Bae which I love throws a great performance here as the wife of Lee. The film is design to keep you focus on Lee most of the time. You can feel what he feels, it is getting claustrophobic at time with the sound of the gravel that keep on falling to add up to the tension. Kim does not use too much or not at all music to get the tension going. Kim also shows you the dumb thing that the media is willing to do in order to get the story. Towards the end of the film you will question the morality here and ask yourself the question if this was happening now will it happen really like that. The question here what is the human life worth.

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