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Glenn has been attending the 25th Stockholm Film Festival as a member of the Fipresci jury. Here he shares thoughts on three French films starring big names Catherine Deneuve, Jean Dujardin, and Gemma Arterton.
In the Name of My Daughter
As is common during a film festival, I had taken a seat in a cinema and completely forgotten what I was set to see. When the title card came up announcing ‘French Riviera’, I thought they were playing the wrong film as we had no such film on our schedule. Me in my festival state, stupidly didn't realise this was merely a location card. It wasn't until I checked the guide that I actually realised its name was In the Name of My Daughter. That title, far more verbose and clunky than is befitting André Téchiné’s movie, rather uncomfortably links the film to Jim Sheridan’s famous 1993 Ira drama »
- Glenn Dunks
Moviegoers far outside of Hollywood might think that the Oscar actually goes to the “best performance,” whatever that is. But those on the circuit know the award doesn’t always correlate with the nominated performance. Other factors include the idea that an actor is “due,” how well the film scores financially and, of course, likability.
So far this year, the best charm offensive has been waged by Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” It’s a fantastic, transformative performance that could win the best actor statue on its own merits. But helping the situation is the fact that Redmayne is almost ridiculously endearing.
Working against Redmayne is the fact that he faces some stiff competition, and »
- Jenelle Riley
The roulette wheel for Oscar-nominated white men under the age of 45 who could conceivably play Steve Jobs has now landed on Michael Fassbender. According to Variety, the actor is "in talks" to star in Danny Boyle's Jobs, which has already seen Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale bow out in the past month. Once Fassbender inevitably drops out, the roulette wheel will be down to Javier Bardem, Edward Norton, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Renner, Mark Wahlberg, Jared Leto, Jean Dujardin, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Michael Shannon, Joaquin Phoenix, Bradley Cooper, Casey Affleck, James Franco, Ryan Gosling, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonah Hill, and Haley Joel Osment. One of those guys has to say yes. »
- Nate Jones
The lesser-known but no less interesting Euro side of “The French Connection” story finally gets its due in Cedric Jimenez’s “The Connection” (aka “La French”), a meaty, export-ready true-crime saga — and relatively safe bet for U.S. distrib Drafthouse Films — that manages to be both more upbeat and more cynical than William Friedkin’s loosely fictionalized policier. Few would have thought the latter point possible, given the gritty original’s unresolved ending and the grim sequel it inspired. Still, “The Connection” can’t hold a candle to that 1976 classic as Jimenez adopts a vintage-kitsch sensibility, taking a disappointingly generic approach to his hard-to-follow narrative.
Already booking sprocket operas left and right since its Toronto Film Festival bow, “The Connection” not only sounds good on paper, but also boasts a lead turn from a suitably retro-looking Jean Dujardin, dudded out in sideburns and polyester suits for the role. Dujardin plays relentlessly dedicated magistrate Pierre Michel, »
- Peter Debruge
Directed by Cedric Jimenez
Not to be confused with the 1971 classic The French Connection starring Gene Hackman, director Cedric Jimenez’s second feature The Connection essentially tells the European side of events of the infamous drug operation. Academy Award-winner Jean Dujardin leads a strong cast as Pierre Michel, a magistrate stationed in Marseille, determined to cut off the supply chain but unaware of how high up corruption from the local Corsican mob has spread up the political food chain.
Through the French Connection, morphine base from Turkey was processed into dangerously pure heroin in France and smuggled to New York City, causing widespread corruption on both sides of the Atlantic in the ’60s and ’70s. Jimenez’s film, loosely based on actual events, takes off in 1975 when Michel arrives in the drug unit from the juvenile department. He’s shocked to find an office full of thumb-twiddlers »
- Misa Shikuma
By Anjelica Oswald
Hollywood films portraying the world — including the troubled side — of show business have garnered best picture nominations for years. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) could be a serious Oscar contender and features Michael Keaton as a former film star known for his portrayal of a superhero named Birdman. He attempts to renew his career by writing, directing and performing in a Broadway play. The film hit theaters Friday. Here are ten best picture Oscar-nominated films about show business (in chronological order):
1. The Red Shoes (1948)
The film is a tragic story about a young ballet dancer (Moira Shearer) who is forced to choose between her future dance career and the composer she falls in love with. The film was nominated for five Oscars and won two.
2. All About Eve (1950)
Anne Baxter stars as Eve, an aspiring, conniving actress who »
- Anjelica Oswald
Say the words “French Connection” and plenty of images come to mind: Gene Hackman in a porkpie hat, the grit and grime of pre-Giuliani New York City, and some of the most nerve-jangling, eardrum-rattling car chases ever committed to celluloid. And yet “The Connection," while clearly indebted to the slick, entertaining amorality of William Friedkin’s classic cop thriller, is neither a remake nor a re-interpretation. It is instead a much different story, albeit one that draws inspiration from the same true events that were the basis for the 1971 film that saw Hackman chase down crooks on foot in an ill-fitting Santa suit. A new French trailer has arrived, promising down-and-dirty thrills, plenty of action, and the dependably chiseled mug of the man once dubbed “France’s George Clooney,” Mr. Jean Dujardin. On the basis of this trailer, “The Connection” promises to be a leaner, cleaner film then Friedkin’s sprawling, »
- Nicholas Laskin
Jean Dujardin anchors the cast of Cedric Jimenez' classy Gallic crime thriller La French. Based on the same true events that provided the basis for The French Connection, the film is known in these parts simply as The Connection and with the French theatrical release drawing near the full trailer has arrived online. No English subtitles, unfortunately, but big bags of cocaine and gunmen on motorcycles are kind of their own language, n'est ce pas?...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Following the footsteps of Gaumont International Television, Breton, who is the former boss of Marathon Entertainment, has tapped a well-seasoned American executive, Ashley Stern, to run the Los Angeles office, which will focus on development and marketing.
Stern was previously VP of development and production at Ensemble Entertainment where she worked on such acclaimed series as “The Pacific,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Magic City.”
Meanwhile, Breton appointed international sales exec Jean-Michel Ciszewski to run the shingle’s distribution arm from the Paris office.
Shingle was created to produce, finance and distribute original programming with universal themes and strong international market potential. Breton told Variety that aside from developing in-house series, “Federation Entertainment will also acquire shows – produced by third-party outfits — to finance and distribute them.”
Added Breton, “The »
- Elsa Keslassy
Three years ago Jean Dujardin became the first French actor ever to win a Best Actor Oscar, for The Artist. That charming film, meticulously designed in the style of a late-1920s black-and-white silent film, was transformed from an ingenious stunt into something more by Dujardin’s brilliance as a swashbuckling Hollywood star circa 1928. A pastiche performance, yes, particularly paying homage to Douglas Fairbanks, but nonetheless one with delicacy and emotional depth. Few Americans heard of him before The Artist’s sleeper triumph. Fewer still of its writer-director Michel Hazanavicius. Yet they were already something of a signature creative duo in France, on the basis of two movies that got just moderate arthouse exposure in the U.S. but were big commercial hits abroad. Some of us who had seen them enjoyed The Artist very much—but semi-guiltily still preferred the brassier, vulgar, laugh-out-loud joys of Oss 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006) and its sequel, »
The Connection (La French), 2014.
Directed by Cédric Jimenez.
French police magistrate Pierre Michel wages an obsessive six-year battle to bring down Marseilles’ infamous “French Connection” drug ring.
A motorcycle weaves through the traffic where it connects with a car where the passengers are executed at point blank range. Meanwhile a police magistrate who is responsible for juveniles tries to convince a teenage female drug addict to go clean and tells his own story of how he was able to overcome his gambling problem. The two storylines become intertwined as the lawyer gets promoted to dismantle an infamous and ruthless drug network which has members of the police force, local and government officials on its payroll; the death of the young girl from an overdose ignites an obsession which will see him bend the rules in an effort to make that justice prevails. »
- Trevor Hogg
Plot: A magistrate (Jean Dujardin) stationed in Marseilles in the seventies, tries to dismantle the infamous .French Connection. which is supplying millions of dollars worth of heroin to the United States. His main target is the kingpin (Gilles Lellouche) at the head of the organization, which the media dubs .La French.. Review: Those of you reading this who may only be familiar with Jean Dujardin through his Oscar-winning turn in The Artist or his small part in The Wolf Of Wall »
- Chris Bumbray
Once again today I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more. Alright, here goes nothing: Best Picture – Moneyball The nominees here for this ceremony were The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. »
- Joey Magidson
The Connection (titled La French in its native county) has the makings of a great film, which is what makes the final product such a disapointment. Drawing upon the same case that was the basis for the William Friedkin classic, this companion piece to The French Connection should have it all - power, money, hubris, drugs, car chases, and exotic locales. As a kind of academic exercise it's telling what this film fails at in contrast to the 70's iteration. Where Friedkin's film is taut, with some epic set pieces (that car chase!), delightful dialogue -- "Pick your feet in Poughkeepsie!" and the amazing banter between Scheider and Hackman in their prime -- with this telling, we get an Oscar-caliber actor in Jean Dujardin...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Paris — With a record 41 French pics playing at Toronto, Gallic movies will have the largest presence among foreign-language films at the fest. Meanwhile, Luc Besson’s blockbuster “Lucy” is sure to boost this year’s French films’ export figures, having grossed $218 million worldwide so far. But in reality, French-lingo movies are struggling to access theater screens, pushing local sales agents to seize different and non-traditional opportunities.
This certainly has been the case at recent movie markets, where sales agents are closing more and more deals with select digital platforms that are opening up to European arthouse fare. And while all-rights deals are proving harder to clinch, French movies are becoming hot material for foreign-language remakes in markets with strong local film industries. C’est la vie.
“Foreign-language remakes are getting more popular in markets like South Korea, India, Argentina and Brazil, which are dominated by local films and Hollywood movies, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Ever since Martin Scorsese made Goodfellas, giving the crime thriller a shot of sleek cool and moral complexity that moviegoers had not seen since the days of Delon and Melville, directors have hoped to recreate that film’s bustling energy and unnerving stabs at violence. In the process, many of those filmmakers have just ripped off Scorsese’s stylistic impulses, like electric montages to American rock and roll music, and glorified, sweeping long takes. However, Scorsese’s proclivity to craft absorbing, deeply conflicted heroes and villains is harder for others to master. Case in point: Cédric Jimenez’s stylish but formulaic true-crime thriller The Connection, which makes its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this week.
The title refers to the infamous “French Connection” heroin ring. Seasoned moviegoers and fans of 1970s cinema know that name from the Oscar-winning thriller with Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle. Well, that »
- Jordan Adler
As we look in the rearview mirror of the summer blockbusters, September heralds the start of the fall movie season. Filled with Hollywood heavyweights and A-listers, here’s our Big list of the most anticipated movies coming to cinemas this autumn and during the holidays.
Our exhaustive list includes films that are playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival as well the ones that already have a theatrical release date. With the awards season on the horizon, we also added a few bonus films at the end to keep your eye out for in the months ahead.
Pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper and get ready for Wamg’s Guide to the 100+ Films This Fall And Holiday Season.
We kick it off with what’s showing in Toronto at the film festival that runs September 4 – 14.
- Movie Geeks
Everyone is excited about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's big wedding news - especially their pal George Clooney! George told People, "How great is that? I'm really happy for Brad and Angie and their whole family." George didn't provide any additional details, but he may have even attended the nuptials since he's currently in Europe himself. He's been filming a Nespresso commercial in Italy with Jean Dujardin and has gotten a few visits from his fiancée, Amal Alamuddin, on set. Brad and Angie haven't shared who specifically witnessed their wedding, but they did tell Popsugar that the ceremony took place "in the presence of family and friends." »
Gaumont Film Company and Drafthouse Films have just released an international teaser for Cédric Jimenez’s 1975-set crime thriller The Connection, starring The Artist Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. Inspired by true events and shot on 35mm, the film follows Dujardin as Pierre Michel, a young magistrate with a wife and kids who goes after the mafia-run French Connection drug organization and tangles with kingpin Gaetan Zampa (Gilles Lelouche of Mesrine: Killer Instinct).
Austin-based Drafthouse picked up U.S. rights out of Cannes based on an 8-minute sizzle reel and is plotting an April theatrical release, along with home video and digital formats. Drafthouse, the distribution arm of The Alamo Drafthouse, which hosts the genre festival Fantastic Fest in September, will offer exhibitors the option of screening 35mm prints in addition to DCPs in select markets. The Connection (Fka La French) is produced by Alain Goldman and Legende Films. Check out »
- Jen Yamato
La French Trailer. Cédric Jimenez‘s La French / The Connection (2014) movie trailer stars Jean Dujardin, Benoît Magimel, Céline Sallette, Gilles Lellouche, and Guillaume Gouix. La French‘s plot synopsis: “Academy Award-winning actor Jean Dujardin (The Artist, The Wolf of Wall Street) stars in this high-octane crime epic chronicling a violent [...]
- Rollo Tomasi
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