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This latest assured gem from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne recalls the work of their spiritual ancestor Robert Bresson in its rigorous examination of a simple moral dilemma. In a rural French town wracked by economic tough times, Sandra (Marion Cotillard, in a tour-de-force performance) learns that, having just returned to her job at a solar panel manufacturing plant after a leave for clinical depression, she is now going to be laid off, because her sixteen co-workers have voted to fire her rather than lose their 1,000 euro bonuses. This news hits Xanax-popping Sandra hard, given that going back on the dole will take a toll on her family’s financial circumstances – not to mention that it’s a blow to her already fragile sense of self-worth. Nonetheless, Sandra f »
Loosely based on a real-life incident employed effectively by the filmmakers as a last-act plot twist, Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s “The Lesson” is a spare, stripped-to-essentials drama about economic stress and mounting desperation that should resonate with a wide range of international audiences. The naturalistic style of the storytelling is stealthily enthralling, as is the lead performance by Margita Gosheva as a provincial Bulgarian schoolteacher who is slowly, inexorably driven to the edge by crushing debt. It may seem counterintuitive to suggest a no-frills film this bleak might have surprising commercial potential, but respectful reviews and, more important, appreciative word of mouth by ticketbuyers who empathize with Gosheva’s character could stoke attendance for this potent “Lesson.”
The deliberately paced, ineffably foreboding opening scenes recall the grim warning in Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Shoelace” about “the continuing series of small tragedies that send a man to the madhouse. »
- Joe Leydon
Marion Cotillard's performance is one of the primary draws for the powerful drama "Two Days, One Night," which premieres on October 5 at the New York Film Festival and opens in limited release on December 24, but it's also Belgium's Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Can it score bids in that race as well as Best Actress? -Break- Oscars predictions update: Scott Feinberg--Tom O'Neil [Podcast] Belgium has never won the Foreign Film Oscar, despite seven previous nominations, most recently for "The Broken Circle Breakdown," which lost last year's prize to Italy's "The Great Beauty." "Two Days" is written and directed by brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, who have never contended at the Oscars despite abundant international acclaim for their work. For Cotillard, it actually hasn't been that long since she won her Oscar for "La Vie en Rose" (2007) &n...' »
Two Days, One Night
The end of Sandra’s (Marion Cotillard) journey does not matter, it is the journey that does. And though that sounds entirely conventional, even cliché, it might be the brilliance of Belgian auteurs Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne; their ability to get away with plot points that would seem at home in the most Hollywood, middlebrow fare comes off as resonant, enthralling, and emotionally realistic. Thus, in Two Days, One Night, the Dardennes prove their relevancy and potency as directors once again.
But let’s not give all the credit to them: Cotillard is frankly mesmerizing as Sandra, a woman who must go from co-worker to co-worker to convince them to vote in her favor so that she can keep the job that she needs in order for her family to make ends meet. As an actor, »
- Kyle Turner
The film-festival circuit this time of year is not unlike presidential-primary season. Venice or Telluride are sort of like the Iowa caucus, an important first step for a film to generate some name recognition and Oscar buzz—but not exactly the setting for a coronation. Toronto is the traditional Oscar-campaign battleground, a sort of New Hampshire primary that often separates the contenders from the pretenders. Last year, Toronto unofficially nominated 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club, and those films went on to collect major awards.
But this year, the races still remain wide open after the first new rounds, »
- Jeff Labrecque
The New York Film Festival kicks off this evening, though not with Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (that comes next weekend), even though I couldn’t resist leading off this year’s round-up with this glorious sunburst of a poster for that film’s German release.
Keyart doesn’t seem to have been created yet for some of the newest films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden, the Safdies’ Heaven Knows What, Pedro Costa’s Horse Money, Eugene Green’s La Sapienza, Nick Broomfield’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper, and Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind, but I have managed to find posters for the other 23 films in the Main Slate of the Festival. Some are repeats from my Cannes Competition round-up earlier this year, though I have tried to find newer designs if possible (like that striking Saint Laurent). Posters are presented »
- Adrian Curry
As the Oct. 1 deadline for the foreign-language Oscar race draws near, India has chosen Geetu Mohan Das’ “Liar’s Dice,” surprising awards watchers who expected other titles such as Priyanka Chopra starrer “Mary Kom.” South Korea, meanwhile, has submitted “Sea Fog,” directed by rookie Shim Sung-bo.
In the coming weeks Italy, Russia and China (nearly always a late entry) should send their selections. So far over 50 countries have sent in titles, although last year there were more than 70 entries. After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approves of the films, a select committee will whittle the submissions down to a short list of nine titles. Another committee then selects the five nominations to be announced Jan. 15. The Oscars will be held Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Films that have been submitted thus far, including country, title and director:
- Shalini Dore
Keeping track of the Foreign Language submissions for the Oscars each year is something I constantly forget to keep on top of, but I have just done a full update as we are now up to 56 total submissions, only 20 shy of last year's record-breaking 76 submissions with only eight days to go before the October 1 submission deadline. Notable new entries on the list include Belguim's submission of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's festival favorite Two Days, One Night as well as Canada submitting Xavier Dolan's Mommy, which knocked the socks of Cannes audiences and did the same to me in Toronto this year (read my review here). It should also be noted France has submitted Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent instead of last year's buzzy title Blue is the Warmest Color, which missed the release date cut off date last year, making it eligible for this year's Oscars, but the »
- Brad Brevet
Canadian wunderkind director Xavier Dolan scored the Jury Prize in his first time in the main Cannes Competition earlier this year with Mommy. The film has now been selected to represent Canada in the Foreign Language Oscar race. While the last Canadian film to win an Oscar was 2003’s The Barbarian Invasions, the country has had a strong showing with four nominees since 2006. Mommy is 25-year-old Dolan’s fifth film as director and his second to rep Canada after his 2009 breakout I Killed My Mother. Produced by Nancy Grant, Mommy stars Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon and Suzanne Clément. It’s set in a fictional Canada, where a new law allows distressed parents to abandon troubled children to the hospital system. Séville International handled sales of the film which was acquired by Roadside Attractions domestically.
Another Cannes competitor, Two Days, One Night, has been chosen to rep Belgium. This is »
- Nancy Tartaglione
By Anjelica Oswald
With the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival now over, all eyes are on the 52nd New York Film Festival, which runs Sept. 26 to Oct 12. The festival’s lineup includes some festival favorites from these past few weeks, including Whiplash and Foxcatcher, but the festival’s premieres have been gaining buzz since the lineup was released. Here is a list of the top 10 films to see in New York (in alphabetical order with their festival date):
Birdman (Oct. 11)
Dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
This dark comedy features Keaton as a former film star who created a Broadway play in an effort to make a comeback. The film premiered in Venice to rave reviews before heading to Telluride where it created more Oscar buzz. It will close the festival, which the Academy Award-winning Her (2013) did last year. »
- Anjelica Oswald
The jury, presided by Joëlle Levie, chose the film for its “cinematographic quality and its powerful topical and universal subject matter.” The committee, made up of six industryites, also pointed out the film’s strong international potential of the film due to the presence of Cotillard, who won an Oscar for her performance in “La Vie en Rose.” “Two Days, One Night” received upbeat reviews at Cannes and was sold by Wild Bunch in more than 60 territories.
IFC Films, which will release “Two Days, One Night” on Dec. 24 in the U.S., has already started positioning the film for the Academy Awards, presenting it at key festivals, including Telluride and Toronto, as well as the upcoming New York and Los Angeles AFI fests. It will »
- Elsa Keslassy
The 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival announced its line-up in a press conference today.
Here is the complete list of films which will be screened at the festival:-
Dir.: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari (Ethiopia / 2014 / Col / 99)
History of Fear (Historia del miedo)
Dir.: Benjamin Naishtat (Argentina-France-Germany-Qatar-Uruguay / 2014 / Col / 79)
With Others (Ba Digaran)
Dir.: Nasser Zamiri (Iran / 2014 / Col / 85)
The Tree (Drevo)
Dir.: Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia / 2014 / Col / 90)
Next to Her (At li layla)
Dir.: Asaf Korman (Israel / 2014 / Col / 90)
Dir.: Alex Sampayo (Spain / 2014 / Col / 87)
Dir.: Raphaël Neal (France / 2014 / Col / 81)
Dir.: Chaitanya Tamhane (India (Marathi-Gujarati-English-Hindi) / 2014 / Col / 116)
Dir.: Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria / 2014 / Col / 98)
India Gold Competition 2014
The Fort (Killa)
Dir.: Avinash Arun (India (Marathi) / 2014 / Col / 107)
Unto the Dusk
Dir.: Sajin Baabu (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 118)
Names Unknown (Perariyathavar)
Dir.: Dr. Biju (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 110)
Buddha In a Traffic Jam
This year’s European Film Awards are officially out of the gates with a not so lean 50 film submissions to select from. The 27th edition collects titles that date back to last year’s Venice and Toronto Int. Film Festivals moving into Sundance-Rotterdam-Berlin and finally Cannes of ’14. Among the 31 European countries represented, we’ve got likes of the Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan leading the huge pack of contenders including Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. Here’s the complete list of 50!:
Directed By: Milko Lazarov
Produced By: Veselka Kiryakova
Written & Directed By: Jessica Hausner
Directed By: Jaime Rosales
Produced By: Jaime Rosales, »
- Eric Lavallee
More than 30 European countries represented in the line-up.Scroll down for list in full
The 50 films recommended for a nomination for the European Film Awards (EFAs) have been unveiled.
The European Film Academy and Efa Productions revealed the titles at a press conference in Riga, Latvia where this year’s 27th EFAs will take place on Dec 13.
A total of 31 European countries are represented. In the 20 countries with the most Efa members, these members have voted one national film directly into the selection list.
To complete the list, a selection committee consisting of Efa Board Members and invited experts have included further films. Those experts include Screen International chief film critic and reviews editor Mark Adams (UK), Marit Kapla (Sweden), Stefan Kitanov (Bulgaria), Paz Lázaro (Spain), Christophe Leparc (France) and Elma Tataragic (Bosnia & Herzegovina).
In the coming weeks, more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy will vote for the nominations in the categories European Film, Director »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Belgian brothers who have been making films together since the 1970s, are, to me, the successors of Vittorio de Sica, the father of neorealist cinema, whose films were, as theirs always are, low-budget, minimalist dramas about the struggles of working-class people just to get by.
Over the past 15 years, three of the Dardennes’ films — Rosetta (1999), The Son (2002) andThe Child (2005) — have been submitted by Belgium as the nation’s official entry for consideration in the best foreign language film Oscar category. However, despite the fact that each was widely acclaimed and the first and third won Cannes’ Palme d’Or (they remain the only Belgian films ever accorded that honor), none were even nominated by the Academy.
On Sept. 19, Belgium can do its part to correct this injustice by submitting as their 2014 entry the Dardennes’ latest film, Two Days, One Night, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Two Days, One Night
Written and directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Sandra (Marion Cotillard) spends the majority of Two Days, One Night knocking on the doors of her co-workers and modestly pleading with them to decline a significant pay bonus so that she can save her job and her family. Some are instantly receptive to her request while others blow her off and even resort to violence. It’s an episodic structure that is executed with measured precision and tension from master Belgian auteurs and critics-darlings Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike). Acting as the antithesis of the hardworking, stubborn, and desperate titular character from the directing duo’s immaculate Rosetta (1999), Sandra’s glowing and unwavering empathy towards those who stand in opposition to her is the crux of her character and the streamlined grace that runs through this humbled marvel of a film. »
- Ty Landis
Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Belgian brothers who have been making films together since the 1970s, are, to me, the successors of Vittorio de Sica, the father of neorealist cinema, whose films were, as theirs always are, low-budget, minimalist dramas about the struggles of working-class people just to get by. Over the past 15 years, three of the Dardennes' films — Rosetta (1999), The Son (2002) and The Child (2005) — have been submitted by Belgium as the nation's official entry for consideration in the best foreign language film Oscar category. However, despite the fact that each
- Scott Feinberg
Editor’S Note: This is a capsule review. The full review will be released once the film hits theatres.
What the writer-director pair of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne seem to understand, and what makes Two Days, One Night such a rich, truthful examination of mental illness, is that depression is not a singular emotion. Sadness is what protagonist Sandra (Marion Cotillard) feels after finding out she’s been laid off from her job in order for 16 fellow employees to get their annual bonus. Depression is the combination of doubt, self-pity, guilt and pride that make her feel helpless when given the weekend to convince her co-workers to save her job.
Two Days, One Night is a film of remarkable empathy, both subtle and heart-swelling. For every deliberate moment of surprising or earned compassion, there are a dozen small acts of kindness that go unnoted. Casting Cotillard is the only real »
- Sam Woolf
Happy Labor Day everyone, and welcome to September as well. Over the past week or so, the Telluride Film Festival has unspooled a number of Academy Award contenders, in effect launching the Oscar race ahead of the start of the New York Film Festival as well as Toronto Film Festival. Those other two festivals will screen titles over the months of September and October, but with Telluride in the books, it’s one fest that we can analyze a bit to see what’s what. With their unique format (they never announce what films are playing in advance, so you never know what will screen), Telluride is always an X factor, but this year especially they’ve had no shortage of Oscar hopeful movies in their lineup. Some flicks upped their stock, while some need to be downgraded, but overall it’s a fest well worth discussing. First off, here »
- Joey Magidson
Nymphomaniac and Philomena among selected films.
The European Film Academy has opened voting for its People’s Choice Award 2014, allowing film fans across Europe to elect their favourite film of the past 12 months.
The winner will be announced at the 27th European Film Awards in Riga, Latvia on Dec 13.
Votes are cast here.
Last year’s winner was Ruben Alves’ The Gilded Cage.
This year’s nominees are:
Beauty And The Beast dir. Christophe GansIda dir. Pawel PawlikowskiNymphomaniac dir. Lars Von TrierPhilomena dir. Stephen FrearsThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared dir. Felix HerngrenTwo Days, One Night dirs. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
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