Romance

DE PLUS BELLE (2017)

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A film by Anne-Gaëlle Daval

Cast: Florence Foresti, Mathieu Kassovitz, Nicole Garcia

English: More beautiful 

Lucy is cured, her illness is almost a distant memory. Her family is pushing her to go ahead, to live, to see the world … So she meets Clovis, charming  and  arrogant. Intrigued by his frankness, Clovis will do everything to seduce Lucy, who has no desire to be seduced . In contact with Dalila, A dancing teacher, Lucie will learn to love, to finally become the woman she never knew how to be. For his mother, for his daughter, for Clovis …

This is the first film of costume designer Anne-Gaëlle Daval. Keep in mind there are many women director in my country than most. She who is accustomed, after all it is her job to dress actors and actresses, she will make us see these them naked, or rather get naked,  stripped of this second skin which is a protection, an interface between the body and the others.The film is the story of Lucie (Florence Foresti) told with decency and fragility and with a touch of humanity. When she meets Dalila (Nicole Nichole Garcia) the dance teacher will allow Lucie to get rid of her tinsel of that prevents to see her as she is and not as she thinks she is. With this little show a dance that we shade off her skin so a new one can be born. Clovis the seducer who is having trouble seducing Lucy is asking himself what is wrong with me or is it her?  The film is moving,  like a fairy tale. Yes we know how to make them very well but to sell this over seas it is going to be a tough one.

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YOUR NAME (2016)

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A film by Makoto Shinkai

Cast: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita

Shinkai Makoto’s dreamily emotional animation romance, the highest grossing film in Japan so far this year. Your Name is about a high school girl and boy, named Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) respectively, who wake up one day realising that their bodies have been swapped and they’ve never met each other before. Their bodies are not permanently switched,  it happens 3-4 times a week on random. They reluctantly try their best to adapt to each other’s life following respective rules. After a while, Taki decides look for Mitsuha to meet her for the first time but  as  the film progresses, it starts to add  a time-travelling supernatural element and the tense challenge of a natural disaster.

Tony surprise i found this story telling beautifully well done here and it has become a master piece. The body swap stories and been around for a long time but the director put some more element into it and in the second act there is an impressive twists. The body-swapping phenomenon are kept vague. I think it makes the mystery more of a compelling drama. It is quite spectacular toward the third act. And yes there is humour in there somewhere a nice touch and of course It’s so beautifully crafted and meticulously detailed.

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THE HANDMAIDEN (2016)

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A film by Chan-wook Park

Cast: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-woong Jo

South Korean director Park Chan-wook is probably best known for his 2003 Cannes Grand Prix winner Oldboy, and now he has come in with this other master piece The handmaiden

During 30s, during the Japanese colonization. A young woman is hired as a maid for a rich Japanese  living in a huge mansion under the thumb of a tyrannical uncle . But Sookee has a secret.

Park loves intricate narratives so Sarah Waters’ source material, the 2002 novel Fingersmith, fits  him well. You trow in there a pervert old man, something horrible in the basement, two beautiful woman, and a con artist,and a seemingly naive heiress all simmering together in a savory mixture of deception. Park moves the story from 19th century England to 1930s Korea under the Japanese occupation. The film has layer of mystery here in which you will be glue to the screen. Park has created a film of delightful erotic mystery that will please your brain. The Handmaiden is ultimately a tale of freedom and transformation very well choreograph as a four-course meal. The film has won the Grand prix at the Cannes film festival with the Prix du Jury.

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CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (2016)

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A film by Matt Ross

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George Mackay

Deep in the forests of Oregon , Ben (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his six children, isolated from the modern world. A devoted father, Ben has dedicated his life to raising his kids with a rigorous physical and  highly intellectual education, and drilled in them a rare and primal connection to the natural world. Suddenly the children must face the dangers and turmoil of an unfamiliar world, while Ben is compelled to rethink  what it means to be a parent.

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We will experience two lifestyle that is going to collide where a father is teaching his six kids survival skills in their forest wilderness home. Viggo Mortensen who slips naturally into the shoes of a mountain man who home schools his children and train them physically and mentally. Ben believe to tell the truth to his children don’t matter their age, especially about sex, if they ask a question about it, Ben will answer it with honesty. He has no-nonsense way in which he tells the children about sex, life and death that will shock you. Books play a major role and there are philosophical discussions. Plus at the end of the day they will sing a song even play instruments. When it is time to go on a road trip the kids have to put to the test their training and do they ever. There are some touching moment with the girl in the trailer park , some funny moment at the grocery store even when they get to their destination. Here there is a lesson learn yes it is good to prepare the kid into a survival mode but is it if they are not in touch with the rest of the world. Ben in confronted at what point when the incident happens is he a good father? what I am doing with my kids. To me you need both world. I think we have lost touch with nature. We became urban human too much.

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VICTORIA (2016)

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A film by Justine Triet

Cast: Laure Calamy, Virginie Efira, Jacques

Victoria is a thirty-something divorced lawyer who’s struggling to raise her two daughters. She is canny and cynical but on the verge of an emotional breakdown.At a friend’s wedding a little incident happens a friend of hers stabs his girlfriend in the stomach, later he wants her to defend him but Victoria refuses well……

Victoria is out of her games as she does not know too much about parenting due to the fact she is working a bit much. She is disorganized her apartment is a mess and she hire various baby sitters. Well she also dates different guys every time and has very little time to herself let along her children. As she is going to defend her friend Vincent (Melvil Poupaud) she is going down in a spiral with no end which the nervous breakdown will appear soon. To top it all off her ex his showing up harassing her. Even hire a former drug dealer who has no home to baby sit her children what more can happen?

Here is a  tight script, a simple and elegant mise-en-scène, well-balanced and inventive humour that shifts left to right. You in life the right person in your life could be right in the front of your nose like Victoria is going to find out after here breakdown but will she really mess it up or get it? She has a lot on her plate and trying to keep it together. Here is a film whose specification is perfectly executed.

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LUCIA Y EL SEXO (2001)

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A film by Julio Medem

Cast: Paz Vega, Tristán Ulloa, Najwa Nimri

English: Sex and Lucia

Lucia (Pax Vega), a waitress who gets a telephone call leading her to believe her lover has been killed in an accident.  His  name is Lorenzo (Tristan Ulloa). Off Balance , she goes to an island he often talked about, and there she meets Carlos (Daniel Freire), a scuba diver who directs her toward a guest house occupied by Elena (Najwa Nimri). We know, because of a prologue, that Elena is the mother of a daughter by Lorenzo. Ok we flash back six years to the first meeting between Lorenzo and Lucia, who tells him she admires his novel and is in love with him. They become passionate lovers, but eventually it goes down hill as he gets writer block in his second novel.  This novel is about how his friend’s sister has met Elena, put together the r dates  and concluded that Elena’s child is Lorenzo’s. Lorenzo then goes to see the child, who is being looked after by the sexy Belen (Elena Anaya), who is,  Elena’s roommate. But there is some confusion here; the scenes where he meets her may exist only in the novel, and Elena may be on the island. On the other hand …

Here is a great romantic story that is a little bit hard to follow and everybody will have their different take on it. There is various combinations here. The plot is a little bit absurd but the character are flowing because of it. There are a numbered of combination behind the characters so the end of the story is becoming endless sort of speak. Julio Medem says he wrote a screenplay and then a novel, and then wrote the novel into the screenplay, and so forth. Interesting concept here but you can get lost in the story and that is ok. The visual of the film is stunning it is shot on the island the rest was shot in the studio.

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MAGGIE’S PLAN (2015)

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A film by Rebecca Miller

Cast: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore

Here is a woman where her biological clock is ticking and decided to have a baby on her own but it derails when she falls in love with a married man her professor at the university  . to top it all off she destroys his volatile marriage.

This film got presented to the Berlin film festival. The film is a cool little comedy of SSD ( The scene of the sperm donation) a comedy that gently mock artistic circles and new York intellectuals. Maggie has a plan has in addition to its wonderful and eccentric leading lady ( Greta Gerwig)  a big plus, no doubt, with the presence of Julianne Moore who is a control freak, outrageously manipulative and perverse pure genius there. You will have a good time with this one guaranteed with laughter. As for the film it has a surprisedly a surprise ending with a beautiful spread. It is a sweet little jewel.

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