9 items from 2014
Like Curry For Chocolat: Hallstrom Sticks to the Fruits of the Bestseller List
If you’re going to compare director Lasse Hallstrom’s latest film, The Hundred-Foot Journey to his extensive filmography over the past decade, then it stands out like a bright shiny penny. Another of Hallstrom’s adaptations of recently beloved bestselling novels, this tries to recreate the magical culinary delights that drove his 2000 hit Chocolat to such great heights. Here he has stapled another grand actress into the cast with Helen Mirren (moonlighting with her best French accent—the magical chocolate film had Juliette Binoche) and has producers like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg behind it. It’s an entirely prim and proper endeavor and appears clearly calibrated for a particular audience that favors a certain conservative strain to storytelling, where life’s uglier conceits like carnal knowledge and racist tendencies of the pastoral French are »
- Nicholas Bell
Beef bourguignon or tandoori goat? Career success or family loyalty? You can actually have it all, according to “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a culture-clash dramedy that presents itself as the most soothing brand of cinematic comfort food. As such, this genteel, overlong adaptation of Richard C. Morais’ 2010 novel about two rival restaurants operating in a sleepy French village is not without its pleasures — a high-energy score by A.R. Rahman, exquisite gastro-porn shot by Linus Sandgren, the winningly barbed chemistry of Helen Mirren and Om Puri — all prepared to exacting middlebrow specifications and ensured to go down as tastily and tastefully as possible. With the formidable backing of producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, the DreamWorks concoction should cater to a broad array of arthouse appetites, particularly among those viewers who embraced the similar East-meets-West fusion cuisine of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
If this Old World foodie fairy tale feels like »
- Justin Chang
In DreamWorks Pictures' The Hundred-Foot Journey, the opening of a new Indian restaurant in the south of France next to a famous Michelin-starred eatery is nearly cause for a heated battle between the two establishments, until Le Saule Pleureur's icy proprietress, Madame Mallory, recognizes her rival's undeniable brilliance for preparing masterful meals. The studio has released a new featurette where producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey explain the rivalry between these restaurants, showcasing how two distinct cultures found a way to come together. We also hear from star Helen Mirren, who plays French chef Madame Mallory, and director Lasse Hallström, along with brand new footage from this upcoming drama, arriving in theaters August 8.
In The Hundred-Foot Journey, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the »
The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the 1980s (with a particular focus on filmmakers from the New Wave), offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. Monsieur Hire will screen as part of the festival at 12pm Saturday, June 21st at the St. Louis Art Museum.
In a provincial French apartment block, Monsieur Hire (Michel Blanc) endures a solitary life of dull work as a tailor and vitriolic scorn from his neighbors. Hire’s only solace is an occasional night out bowling and his voyeuristic admiration of a neighbor, the ravishing Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire of “Vagabond”), a beautiful, free-spirited woman conducting a heated love affair through un-drawn curtains across the way. But when police discover the nude body of another young woman in a nearby vacant lot, Hire becomes the prime suspect »
- Tom Stockman
In The Hundred-Foot Journey, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant, the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own, escalate to all out war between the two establishments, until Hassan's passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory's enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their »
Bob Hoskins dead at 71: Hoskins’ best movies included ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit,’ ‘Mona Lisa’ (photo: Bob Hoskins in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ with Jessica Rabbit, voiced by Kathleen Turner) Bob Hoskins, who died at age 71 in London yesterday, April 29, 2014, from pneumonia (initially reported as “complications of Parkinson’s disease”), was featured in nearly 70 movies over the course of his four-decade film career. Hoskins was never a major box office draw — "I don’t think I’m the sort of material movie stars are made of — I’m five-foot-six-inches and cubic. My own mum wouldn’t call me pretty." Yet, this performer with attributes similar to those of Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, and Lon Chaney had the lead in one of the biggest hits of the late ’80s. In 1988, Robert Zemeckis’ groundbreaking Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which seamlessly blended animated and live action footage, starred Hoskins as gumshoe Eddie Valiant, »
- Andre Soares
The Cannes Film Festival has named the jury for its 67th edition, comprising eight world cinema names from China, Korea, Denmark, Iran, the Us, France and Mexico.
Cannes 2014: films
Those selected include Nicolas Winding Refn, the Danish director, screenwriter and producer who won Best Direction at Cannes in 2011 with Drive. His most recent film, Only God Forgives, played in Competition at Cannes last year.
Also chosen is Sofia Coppola, the Us director and screenwriter whose debut The Virgin Suicides was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 1999. Coppola, who won a screenwriting Oscar for Lost in Translation, made it into »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
One might think, given the experience and talent of those involved, that someone would have noticed that “Demi-soeur” was a recipe for disaster: A comedy about a mentally disabled person, while not necessarily a bad idea, is extremely tricky territory. Unfortunately, French actress-writer-director Josiane Balasko plunges in with all the finesse of a hopped-up Pollyanna, her simplistic interpretation of an impaired sexagenarian coming close to outright parody; vet comic thesp Michel Blanc’s Ecstasy-fueled transformation from raging misanthrope to beaming softie equally fails to convince. The outlook is dismal for this Rialto release, voted one of 2013’s worst films by Premiere.
Her mother having died recently, Nenette (Balasko, in a short gray bob and shapeless dress) has nowhere to go but a nursing home. Once ensconced there, however, she learns she cannot keep her best friend and pet tortoise, Totoche,” with her. She packs up and leaves, unnoticed. Setting out »
- Ronnie Scheib
A misbegotten dramedy about the hijinks of the mentally handicapped, Demi-sœur charts the adventures of developmentally disabled senior citizen Nénette (Josiane Balasko, who also directs) after the death of her mother compels her to track down her father — a search that instead leads to a reunion with heretofore unknown pharmacist brother Paul (Michel Blanc).
Nénette chats incessantly with her pet tortoise and befriends a heavy metal singer who gives her a bag of ecstasy he calls "sweeteners," which Nénette then puts in uptight Paul's coffee, turning him into a drugged-out loon who, the film posits in an especially sour joke, is now on her intellectual and emotional plane.
Out of his mind, Paul bonds with Nénette (by setti »
9 items from 2014
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