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Chicago – One the hidden implications of World War II was the suffering of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (Ptsd) from the millions of soldiers who survived the horrors of that war. The difficulties associated with Ptsd are communicated with honor by Colin Firth in “The Railway Man”
The story is of a WWII veteran, played by Firth, whose obsessive and difficult nature is modified by a new wife, portrayed by Nicole Kidman. She seeks the truth of his behavior, and the secrets that are revealed could lead to his healing. Although the film had some real problems with timelines and composition, the sincerity behind it is authentic, and the truth of the narrative – based on the story of Eric Lomax – is reverentially displayed. Ever since “The King’s Speech,” it seems that Colin Firth has been flailing a bit, but in “The Railway Man” he reminds us why he’s »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
In Order of Disappearance
Written by Kim Fupz Aakeson
Directed by Hans Petter Moland
In the opening shot of the Norwegian crime thriller In Order of Disappearance, a plow thunders down a Scandinavian country road, clearing the path with massive snow blowers. It might be tempting to say that the film’s hero, Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgard) is like the plow, pushing anything and everything out of his way in his desire for revenge. That’s the way Hollywood romanticizes its heroes, even the ones that are darker and more unlikeable. But in Norway, they do things a bit differently, and this film is all the better for it.
Dickman is the driver of that plow from the opening scene, and his tireless work clearing the local roads earns him a Citizen of the Year award soon afterward. On that same night, Nils’ son Ingvar is found dead of a supposed heroin overdose. »
- Mark Young
Recently Lars von Trier has made headlines for his inappropriate comments and the sexual and violent nature of such films as Antichrist and now Nymphomaniac, but what isn't mentioned as often is some of his earlier work, films such as Europa, Dancer in the Dark and, of course, Breaking the Waves, which has come to Criterion Blu-ray in an impressive package, though there are some notes to be made. To begin, if you haven't seen Breaking the Waves you're in for a fascinating feature that can be interpreted a myriad of ways and argued for days without resolution. I've seen people refer to it as the ultimate religious film as it looks at a conflict of beliefs, one preaching the fear of God and the other dedicated to the love of God. At the center of this is Bess (Emily Watson) a devote believer in God and a character that »
- Brad Brevet
Norway-born Hans Petter Moland is probably best known for his extensive work with Stellan Skarsgard, from films like "Aberdeen" to "A Somewhat Gentle Man." The two are working together again for "In Order of Disappearance," a chilly story of murder and revenge in the mountains. Tell us about yourself: I live in Oslo, Norway with my wife who´s also a director, and six children. I grew up in the city and on a farm. I first came to the Us as an exchange student at 16 years old. I went to film and theatre school at Emerson in Boston and afterwards worked as a carpenter in South Carolina before got my first job as a Pa. I lived and worked in New York for about six years. I became an adult here, worked here, married here and learned to really love New York. It´s a bit more comfortable to »
Almost entirely ignores the amazing aspect of this true story that makes it worth telling, and even the very good performances point us in another direction than the intended one. I’m “biast” (pro): like the cast; enjoy stories about WWII
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The Railway Man starts out like a sweet little romance, when Colin Firth meets Nicole Kidman, somewhere near Edinburgh in 1980, on a train he’s only on because his encyclopedic knowledge of train schedules is allowing him to compensate for an unexpected delay in his travel plans. “I’m not a trainspotter,” he assures her — and us — not that most prototypical of British nerds; “I’m a railway enthusiast.” Later, he is able to contrive a second meeting with her because of his, yes, trainspotting superpower. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Criterion has announced their July 2014 titles and among them is one fans have been waiting a long time to see introduced, David Cronenberg's head-exploding sci-fi Scanners, set for a July 15 release. The set will include a newly restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by Cronenberg, "The Scanners Way" visual effects documentary, a new interview with Michael Ironside, a 2012 interview with actor and artist Stephen Lack, an excerpt from a 1981 interview with Cronenberg on the CBC's "The Bob McLean Show" and Cronenberg's first feature film, Stereo (1969). Also on July 15 comes Robert Bresson's 1959 classic Pickpocket, telling the story of Michel (Martin Lasalle), a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. Features include: New, 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary by film scholar James Quandt Introduction by writer-director Paul Schrader The Models of "Pickpocket," a »
- Brad Brevet
Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac : Volume 2 takes us on a dark journey down the second half of a nymphomaniacs tale of lust, desire, and pain.
Nymphomaniac : Volume 2 picks up right where Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourge) left off as delves deeper about her into her life as a nymphomaniac to stranger named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard) who had found her bloody and beaten in an ally. This half of the story begins with her discovering new love with her old fling Jerome (Shia Labeouf) and eventually starting a family with him, but the film starts to become quite darker than the first as Joe loses her ability to achieve orgasm and goes to drastic, and even dangerous lengths to find pleasure again.
For reference, here is my review of Nymphomaniac : Volume 1
As I stated in my previous review, most people assume that Lars von Trier is going to fill this »
- Melissa Howland
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Judi Dench stars as an Irish woman who wants to find the son she gave birth to as a teen sent to live in a convent; Steve Coogan co-stars as the posh journalist who wants to write a story about her journey.
Why We're In: Based on a true story about Philomena Lee's travels to find her long-lost son, this is a sweet drama with moments of levity, thanks to the chemistry between Coogan and Dench.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Ah, yes. Another tale by Lars von Trier about tormented love, sex, and religion! Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson play newlyweds who are forced into some rather extreme circumstances after he's paralyzed while working on an oil rig.
Why We're In: This tragic tale gets the full Criterion treatment, including select »
- Jenni Miller
We move into the top 20 now, where the films become incredibly spiritual. One major component seen in many of these religious films: the overtones meant to instill a sense of mystery and wonder. You see it in films set in both sweeping landscapes and intimate settings. Whether or not any of the films on this list are condoning the acceptance or rejection of faith and religion is almost beside the point. The real point is that it is so influential on our culture that movies will always be made about it.
courtesy of lassothemovies.com
20. Babette’s Feast (1987)
Directed by Gabriel Axel
The 1987 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner (beating Au Revoir Les Enfants), Babette’s Feast is the story of two devout Christian sisters whose father – the leader of a small Christian sect in Denmark – has died. Unfortunately, Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodjil Kjer) find they have no way to gain new members, »
- Joshua Gaul
“The Railway Man,” which is rated “R” and opens in Chicago on April 18, 2014, also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Sam Reid, Ben Aldridge, Akos Armont, Tom Hobbs, Bryan Probets, Tom Stokes, Tanroh Ishida and Jeffrey Daunton from director Jonathan Teplitzky and writers Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson. Note: You must be 17+ to attend this “R”-rated screening.
To win your free “The Railway Man” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and based on the autobiography of Eric Lomax, the man behind the nickname of the title character, The Railway Man is yet another traditionally told period piece, elevated due to a wonderfully effective story and strong lead performances from Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. We're first introduced to Lomax (Firth) as a middle-aged British Army veteran of World War II. He's obviously a quiet man, but there are no visible physical or emotional scars, and for the time being his life is about to take a turn for the better. A chance meeting with a woman, Patti (Nicole Kidman), aboard a train results in love at first sight. The two eventually marry and find a house together, but the horrors of war can't elude him forever. It's never quite clear if Eric told Patti about his time in the British Army, but she's soon made well »
- Brad Brevet
Director Jonathan Teplitzky's The Railway Man opens in select theaters today and we've got an exclusive featurette on the building of the Thai-Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, as depicted in the film. Based on a remarkable autobiography, The Railway Man tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him, and his haunting past, in this powerful tale of survival, love and redemption. Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgard, Sam Reid, Tanroh Ishida and Hiroyuki Sanada co-star. »
Sneak Peek more Nsfw footage from the dramatic feature "Nymphomaniac", a two-part film, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Uma Thurman, Mia Goth, Shia Labeouf, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Jamie Bell, Christian Slater and Connie Nielsen:
"...'Joe' (Gainsbourg), who is a self-diagnosed 'nymphomaniac' sex addict, is found by 'Seligman' (Skarsgård) beaten in an alley. Seligman takes her home to care for her, and Joe recounts the story of her life, from birth to the age of 50..."
"We are making two films", said the film's producer.
"It is a big operation...We will shoot both and edit both – and we want to finish both at the same time."
Jensen also confirmed there will be two versions of each film: an 'explicit' cut and a 'softer' cut.
"The movie is what you think it is," said former "Transformers" star Labeouf.
"For instance, there's a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically »
- Michael Stevens
Michael C. here fresh from a four hour romp through Lars von Trier's sexual subconscious. First a review, then a hot shower. Or five.
It’s tough to think of a recent film more resistant to review than Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. Not only to does it vacillate wildly in quality between brilliant and dreadful, but it also feels redundant to review a movie so thoroughly engaged in the act of reviewing itself.
We are first introduced to Charlotte Gainsborg’s Joe laying beaten and unconscious in an alley. When Stellan Skarsgård’s Seligman picks her up off the ground and gives her a place to rest, she narrates her lifelong saga of sexual exploration to him by way of lengthy explanation for her current state. [More]
- Michael C.
My review of Nymphomaniac: Vol. I can be found here. Both volumes are now playing locally at the Violet Crown Cinema and are also available to rent through cable & digital VOD providers, including iTunes.
While the first installment of Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac focused on Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) graphically retelling the stories of her sexual history as a young woman to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), Nymphomaniac: Vol. II shifts to her adulthood. She's on an endless quest to recreate the enormity of feeling from a spontaneous orgasm she once experienced as a pre-teen, but as the story picks back up, we're at a stage where she basically has lost all sexual desire and, even worse, any pleasure from having sex. Joe has gone numb and can no longer have an orgasm, a loss that nearly destroys her ability to function. She goes on a quest to "rehabilitate her sexuality" and »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Written and directed by Lars von Trier
Denmark, Belgium, France, and Germany, 2014
Lars von Trier will never change, nor should he. Being a showman at heart, his career—and image—have been referred to as both serious and preposterous, and his latest work, Nymphomaniac, will not settle the debate, as it embodies the kind of wink-wink self-indulgence detractors loath, while providing enough intellectual insight and cinematic energy to be a worthy entry in the director’s already impressive oeuvre. In fact, Nymphomaniac is best viewed as a von Trier highlight reel, where aspects of his previous work are combined and referenced.
Starring a never-better Charlotte Gainsbourg as the sex-addicted Joe (Stacy Martin plays the younger Joe), Nymphomaniac opens to the sound of dribbling water playing over an empty black screen, and the moment is one part cheeky symbolism, one part atmosphere; von Trier setting the stage for the long »
- Griffin Bell
‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. II’: More interesting, more provocative, and more philosophical than its predecessor (photo: Papou, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kookie Ryan in ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. II’) (See ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. I’ Review: Lars von Trier an ‘Actual Genius.) Previously on Nymphomaniac: Vol. I… Adult Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), beaten and unconscious, is found in a snow-covered alley by Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), an unassuming fellow with a gentle demeanor who takes her to his apartment. In his austere dwelling she recounts her adventures as a young nymphomaniac in a series of stories, each preceded by director Lars von Trier’s requisite thematic chapter headings and cinematic asides. Young Joe’s (Stacy Martin) exploits, from her debut sexual experience with Jerome (Shia Labeouf), through her adventures on a train, to her very dramatic experience with a married man, his kids, and his wife (played by Uma Thurman in what might be the best 10 minutes of »
- Tim Cogshell
Chicago – The exploration of sexuality is a stark breakthrough in the “Nymphomaniac” film series by writer/director Lars von Trier. In the story of a woman interacting with her nature, there are shades of all physically active individuals. “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1” covered the younger days of the main character of Joe. Vol. 2 takes her to the next, and more brutal phase – challenging her life and her disposition.
This chapter is much darker, and contains von Trier’s characteristic pessimism on the human condition. The heroine Joe goes through numerous examinations of her strong carnal intuition and there are negative consequences in every unlit corner. The two films work separately. Vol. 1 is relatively more matter of fact – Joe does create chaos through her early sex life, but seems to find some semblance of connection. In Vol. 2, the reason she is found bloodied in an alley is revealed. Taken together – as originally »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
[Note: This review is of a censored, abridged version of Nymphomaniac: Vol. II. Director Lars Von Trier gave this version his approval, but did not create this cut.] In Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, Joe's (Charlotte Gainsbourg) nymphomaniac has gone from a lilting, slightly melancholy, comically punctuated romp to a place of loss and ruin. She has passed "innocent" discovery and, like any addict, needs a bigger fix. She can't help herself, and she becomes self-destructive as a result. In this way, writer-director Lars Von Trier is the same as his protagonist. He can't get away from his greatest flaws no matter how hard he tries, and in Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, he tries pretty damned hard. There are still bouts of silly melodrama and off-kilter jokes, but Vol. II is far more brutal than Vol. I [my review], and Von Trier (unsurprisingly) seems to feel more comfortable in an environment of pain and suffering. Nevertheless, for all the stumbles and false notes, he builds to something emotionally impactful. And then he fucks it up. Joe continues to relate her story to Seligman »
- Matt Goldberg
It’s been a long road to theaters for Frankie & Alice. The Halle Berry psychological melodrama finished filming back in 2009. You might remember that it was briefly released at the end of 2010 for a qualifying awards run that never quite caught on. And then the film seemingly vanished. This Friday, four years later, Frankie & Alice finally gets a proper release in select theaters. It’s a strange film marketplace where even an intimate character drama starring and produced by a former Oscar winner struggles to find a foothold into theaters. In the film, Berry stars as Frankie, a go-go dancer with dissociative identity disorder, who with the help of a benevolent doctor (played by the always great Stellan Skarsgård), attempts to confront whatever past misdeeds and/or tragedies caused the break in the first place. The film, an obvious passion project for Berry, deserves far better than its difficult ‘road to release’ would hereto suggest. »
- Tommy Cook
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