Posted in U.S. Film

JACKIE (2016)

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A film by Pablo Larraín

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig

Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and want to preserve her husband’s historic legacy in doer to do that the invites a journalist in her own term to tell her story.

What a beautiful performance by Natalie Portman who is married to a French guy and suppose to live in France soon that is beside the point. Noah Oppenheim’s brilliant screenplay fells claustrophobic  and it is centre on Jackie. Jackie has  invited a Life Magazine  journalist played by  ( Billy Crudup) in which Jackie is invited to give her own version of what happened on that fateful day in Dallas, Texas.

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Here Natalie Portman embodied Jackie essence so well that you forget that you are watching Portman you think you are watching Jackie who had the physical illusion of the elegant woman whose fashion statement, sense of style and grace. But Portman capture much more how she walk, talk, breath, her speech, her smile, to the grief-torn woman in total control of her public and private image, that revealed her vulnerability in private. Of course her priority is clear making a mark in history and leaving a legacy for people to remember. Plus her husband indiscretions where Larrain did not go there it kept it on Jackie the all time. We see Jackie going from room to room with new outfits popping pills, drinking wine, vodka, and smoking cigarette wondering in her mind what is she going to next. Peter Sarsgaard here shines as Bobby Kennedy I did not recognised him at first until he started talking. Plus Greta Gerwig who plays Jackie confident and John Hurt is the Irish Catholic priest with whom Jackie can let her guard down. The assassination scene here is perfect, short and beautifully shot. Even the music for building the tension was dead on. Even the decor and the costumes were out of their world I think Larrain nails it here. Here you have it a great film not to be missed.

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

THE FOUNDER (2016)

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A film by John Lee Hancock

Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch

Here is an entertaining biography  of this ruthless business man who wanted to make McDonalds a household name and entrepreneurship at its most purest form.  Andthe founder is born.

Every business has a beginning, a blue print where satisfaction is meet. Ray Kroc is a man with a vision not an original idea, a vision from an original idea. Kroc’s claim to fame was taking a popular local hamburger restaurant  and turn it into a franchise with a symbol of American excellence: fast, efficient, one of a kind. Well we are talking about McDonalds. So how did it start?

It is a fascinating story here about it all came together. Personally I am not crazy about McDonalds back in the day it was good at some point but I come from where my culture is fine dining great food that taste good , now days some McDonalds are not clean enough and the food is no longer quality even their fries, like I said back in the day it was good. McDonald’s creator brothers Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch) McDonald You will se how they started with this ingenious idea to deliver food fast and efficiently. In the end shit happens and friction between the owners and ray is going to start and it is not going to be pretty. Great performance by Michael Keaton who incarnated Ray beautifully well and it is a joy to see him having a good time doing it. Potential and opportunity are the things that drove Ray to success plus other thing and no spoiler here. Laura Dean here shine as Ray’s wife. My thing here if you have an idea you better act on it have the vision of seeing big and take care of it yourself or someone will. To me here the film stand out and is very entertaining and fun to watch how it was back in the day the decor the first McDonalds and of course the cars. And by the way you can make a better burger at home. I do.

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

HACKSAW RIDGE (2016)

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A film by Mel Gibson

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Vince Vaughn

Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge is a hard-hitting drama about faith, conviction and conflict. And why is that surprise me. It seems to me that Mel has this passion for religion and faith. After a while he was trying to get rid of his demons I won’t go in the details. It has been 10 years since Gibson directed Apocalypto (2006) and this Australian co-production (shot in Australia) is a  reminder of his strong vision and directing skills.The heart of the film is about morality.

It is the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a WWII Army Medic who refuses to carry a gun because killing is against his beliefs; he wants to save lives, not take them. Strongly influence by his dramatic childhood when his self loathing drunk father (Hugo Weaving) would beat up on his mother (Rachel Griffith) and became obvious that killing for the worst sin on earth. First his mother and father is trying to protect him not to enlist for the war obviously he did not work for his brother who enlisted and soon after Desmond who falls in love with a nurse enlist as well against his mother and father wishes.

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What better way to make a film from a director who is religious himself who also questioned his own religion plus Gibson has this great vision for the film and that makes it a different kind of war film. The beginning of the film is charming and you see how it was when a man court a woman with the romance that is going to follow. Soon after that the battle starts on the battlefield where bodies are piling up shooting and merciless Japanese getting to be killing machines.Vince Vaughn is awesome  as the bullying drill sergeant and  Sam Worthington is perfect as the battalion leader. The action is merciless, bloody, violent when to think a soldier without a gun went as a medic to save 75 wounded soldiers in extreme condition well my hat goes to him to top it all off he is the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Look out for footage of the real Desmond Doss at the end of the film.

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

FREE STATE OF JONES (2016)

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A film by Gary Ross

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali

American Civil War, defiant  Southern farmer, Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), becomes a deserter and ends up leading a small but effective armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other farmers and local slaves, Knight launches an uprising that leads Jones County, Mississippi, creating a Free State of Jones,a southern region that opposed and/or threatened to secede from the Confederacy.

Here is a different kind of civil war movie the one that is not in the history book that I know of. It tells the true story of a rogue farmer rebelling against the Confederacy. This man recruits fellow army deserters and runaway slaves in his fight against military confiscation of land and supplies. You see the state is supposed to take 10% but the state instead takes it all leaving the farmers to starve in the winter. Along the way, Newt breaks down barriers between soldier and civilian, white and black, free and enslaved. The film explain notes on the screen as it progresses through time. The performances are not too surprising here you know that McConaughey is going to be incarnated the personage perfectly well. As for Gugu Mbatha-Raw is terrific here as the slave who becomes the mother of Knight’s second son, the young man who is the bridge to the story’s extraordinary continuation some 85 years later.It is missing something in this story they are so much to tell that Ross I think was obligated to cut a lot of it. But it is still good. Mahershala Ali is memorable as the black slave Moses, who is one of the first freedmen when Abraham Lincoln freed  the slaves.

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

ELVIS AND NIXON (2016)

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A  film by Liza Johnson

Cast: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer

Say what Elvis has met the president Nixon? No way ! Way back in the 70’s elvis wanted to meet the president Nixon because he had some concern about the country and what direction is it taking plus the young people issues about drugs. So he decided to write to the president about it to see if he can see him to talk about those issues and more.

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This is the untold story of Elvis meeting Nixon. No transcript exists on these events, just a photograph that now has become the most requested photo from the US National Archives. one thing I did not know about Elvis is that he had  a deputy’s badge from Memphis. It also turns out that he went to meet Nixon so that he could become a Federal Agent At Large in order to influence the American youth to get them off drug. With a stroke of luck Elvis is in the house. It had to be funny to the politicians that Elvis wanted to meet Nixon. It is this crazy true story inspired by the book “Me and a guy named Elvis” Jerry Schilling,  who went on a trip , so someday he can tell us the story about  Elvis and Nixon. Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey deserves each other in this off beat comedy both of them has done a terrific impressions of their characters. Could you imagine this happening in a million years, well it did and what a beautiful film it is.

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Posted in Based on a true story, German film

DER STAAT GEGEN FRITZ BAUER (2016)

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A film by Lars Kraume

Cast: Rüdiger Klink, Burghart Klaußner, Andrej Kaminsky

English: The state against Fritz Bauer. 

The film take us to West Germany in the late 1950s where the government and state institutions are still populated with former Nazis and no one is  interested to expose them of their past  crimes. In such an environment our hero is Fritz Bauer  a Socialist, a Jew and a homosexual. He has everything against him. And yet, he is also an excellent tough lawyer. He finds  out that  his attempts to bring Nazis to trial are being stonewalled, and that his own staff are stealing files from his office, and tipping off Nazis in hiding, he decides to commit treason. You have to hand it to him he has balls. He will gets what he wants. He gets a  tip that Adolf Eichmann is in hiding in Argentina, he goes to Israel and gives the information to Mossad. Later he finds out that the man in question has moved to an other country he has been tipped off plus many other obstacles will follow.

And that is all I am going to say on this. The thing is here is a man who has two strikes against him has this will power to do something great and will stop at nothing. The film is beautifully well crafted as a thriller, as well as the acting is top notch. Here  the film tells us so much about the reality of post-war politics, they want to forget what happens instead to bring everybody to trial. Yes there are some injustice about how the homosexual were treated back then even put to jail. Here is a story that has not been told yet and thank god for Lars Krause who took upon himself to make this film. Not to be missed. It is a good film but an important one as well.

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Posted in Based on a true story, French film

LES INNOCENTES (2016)

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A film by Anne Fontaine

Cast: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza

English: The Innocents.

The reality is sometimes so horrible, atrocious, unbelievable, and the human being capable of such  horrors, at a time of war, it is just enough to be inspired to write a screenplay. No need to imagine stories, just imagine the following. This is done two young screenwriters, Sabrina B.Karine and Alice Vial of Philippe Maynial, who told them about his aunt Madeleine Pauliac. He did not know her because she died at the end of the second world war, but she left a diary, in which she tells the story she lived in a convent by Polish sisters,  the innocents.

Okay I know some of you is going to say a film about sisters in a convent what? no gun fight no explosions, not even a car chase, I am not going to see that movie. Did I say the horror at a time of war and it is inspired by a true story. Now that I have your attention let’s get on with it.

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Okay is is the reality of it Russian soldiers came it the convent and raped the sisters after the act the killed some of them. But Anne Fontaine here was interested about the human relations. Of course it is a question of spirituality, faith, and obscurantism, but also about the woman their femininity , their bodies, maternity, doubts, Transgression, tolerance and humanity. The film focusses on the meeting between Mathilde / Lou de Laage, inspired by the life of Madeleine, and Benedictine. Gradually they becomes to form a bond between them. Mathilde will bring comfort to them as they slowly will trust each other. The meeting of these two types of lives is fascinating. On one side a young woman doctor communist, atheist, modern, which is free from constraints in a man’s world,  uninhibited and happy with her body. And the other sisters who have made a vow of chastity, who are married to God, and find themselves in an unusual traumatic situation. Anne Fontaine is demonstrate the personal transformation of Mathilde as well as the sisters along with the mother superior who dos not known what to do with a child nor a less what is going on with her body. Lou de Laâge has impressed us with the film of Melanie Laurent Respire a different role here as impressed me with this role as she incarnated Mathilde perfectly well as well as the actresses from Poland Agata Buzek and Agata Zulesza. The innocents is a beautiful and touching film that’ll grab you by the throat forever!

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