13 items from 2015
Directed and written by Naomi Kawase
Alright-ness continues at this year’s festival with the Un Certain Regard opening film An (“Sweet Red Bean Paste”) by Cannes regular Naomi Kawase. The film stars Masatoshi Nagase as Sen, a middle-aged dorayaki pastry maker with alcohol issues and Kirin Kiki as Tokue, an elderly woman eager to work as Sen’s assistant in the pastry shop. The youthful touch is provided by Kyara Uchida as a shy schoolgirl having a hard time getting along with her single mother. Reluctant at first, Sen ends up admiring Tokue’s unique bean paste making talent and employs her to the displeasure of the pastry shop’s owner. Gradually, the three generations forge an intimate friendship as their respective traumas are revealed.
This humble drama offers a predictable, even if delicious, delve into »
★★★☆☆ Trying to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time is always an unenviable task. That was the challenge laid out to directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano as they seek to follow-up on the massive critical and commercial success of 2011's Untouchable, a light and hugely enjoyable odd-couple tale. Unsurprisingly, they have reunited once again with star Omar Sy for their fourth collaboration, Samba (2014). The result is a warm and engaging blend of romantic comedy and social drama, with Sy a shining light at its centre, but it lacks the irresistible charm which would have allowed it to replicate the magic of four years ago.
- CineVue UK
Clovis Cornillac’s “Blind Date,” a romantic comedy about the unlikely relationship between a puzzle builder and a classical pianist, won the audience award at the 19th annual Colcoa French Film Festival, which wraps on Thursday, while Alix Delaporte’s “The Last Hammer Blow,” a coming-of-age drama about an impoverished youth and his estranged father, took home the fest’s Lafca Critics Award.
Winning the audience award is a promising sign for “Blind Date,” which had its world premiere at the nine-day L.A. festival ahead of its May 6 rollout in France.
Of “The Last Hammer Blow,” the Los Angeles Film Critics Association jury stated collectively that its decision was “unanimous in our esteem of this visually stunning, restrained piece of cinema,” and that the film “was emotionally rich yet narratively spare.”
Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s “Once in a Lifetime,” about the travails of an inner-city school teacher, claimed both the »
- Steve Chagollan
Other winners at the French film festival in La include Alix Delaporte’s The Last Hammer Blow and documentary Steak (R)evolution.
The romantic comedy, which also stars director Cornillac alongside Mélanie Bernier, received its world premiere at the Los Angeles festival ahead of its May 6 release in France.
Alix Delaporte’s The Last Hammer Blow earned the Colcoa Lafca Critics Award following its North American premiere.
Once In A Lifetime directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar won both the Critics Special Prize and the Audience Special Prize.
The Best Documentary Award went to Steak (R)evolution by Frank Ribière and will be released in the Us by Kino Lorber.
The distributor also handles the First Feature Award winner SK1 by Frédéric Tellier.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
A feature debut, “La Vie en grand” tells the tale of Adama, a 14-year-old growing up in the projects, where he juggles the pressures of school and street life. With the help of his younger buddy Mamadou, Adama manages to get their lives on a different track.
“La Vie en grand” is produced by Bruno Nahon’s outfit Unite de Production, in association with Toledano and Nakache’s Ten Films.
Critics Week artistic director Charles Tesson said “La Vie en grand” “will let a wind of tenderness and freshness swirl through Critics’ Week.”
Penned by Olivier Demangel, »
- Elsa Keslassy
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Cannes Critics’ Week, devoted to first and second features, has unveiled the line-up for its 54th edition (May 14-22).
In total, 1,750 shorts and 1,000 features were submitted for consideration.
“On the poster the actress Lou de Laâge embraces the open horizon in front of her,” he said. “This wonderful energy and amazing life force it carries embody the desire leading us to discover the new breath of fresh air in cinema worldwide.”
The section will open with French Elie Wajeman’s second film The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes) set in Paris in 1899, starring the reportedly sizzling on-screen couple of Tahar Rahim and Adèle Exarchopoulos »
Paris — Elie Wajeman’s “The Anarchists,” a period drama starring Tahar Rahim (“The Past”) and Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), is set to world premiere on opening night of Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival, anchoring a strongly French-flavored lineup of first and second features.
Set in 1899 Paris, “The Anarchists” (pictured above) turns on a cop who infiltrates a network of anarchists and unexpectedly develops a sincere attachment for the group. It’s Wajeman’s follow-up to his 2012 debut film, “Aliyah” which played in Directors’ Fortnight, the festival’s other parallel program.
In addition to “The Anarchists,” Critics’ Week artistic director Charles Tesson selected two French films — Louis Garrel’s “Les deux amis” and Mathieu Vadepied’s “La Vie en grand” — for the Special Screenings section.
- Elsa Keslassy
Title: Samba Director: Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache Starring: Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim, Izia Higelin. While watching the latest film of the ‘Intouchables’ directors you will be pervaded by a sense of déjà vu. But whereas the delicate subject matter of the friendship between a quadriplegic and his assistant was attenuated by unpolitically correct humour, ‘Samba’ doesn’t seem to have the same courage in mocking cultural identity. Racism turns out to be a more sensitive topic to fool around with. Hence, at times the movie seems to be filled with an excessive dose of moral and benevolent behaviour. The French dramedy by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano tells [ Read More ]
The post Samba Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Ramin Bahrani’s “99 Homes” will be released on Sept. 25. Broad Green bought the film last September following screenings and strong reviews at the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
Garfield plays a construction worker evicted from his home by a real estate broker (played by Michael Shannon) and forced to move his mother (Laura Dern) and young son into a shabby motel. He then goes to work for the broker and must evict honest families from their homes.
“A Walk in the Woods,” starring Redford and Nick Nolte, will bow Sept. 2. It debuted at Sundance and is directed by Ken Kwapis; co-stars are Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman and Kristen Schaal.
Broad Green, operated by brothers Gabriel and Daniel Hammond as a production-distribution concern, has »
- Dave McNary
Berlin — On Monday, Variety teamed up with MoDrei to host a European Film Market party at uber-cool club Anita Berber on Gerichtstraße in Berlin.
For those not acquainted with the night-spot, they may have thought they had been lured to their doom at the murky end of a parking lot, but instead they found a warm and good-spirited gathering of some of the nicest people at the Berlin market dancing to music by DJ Flo Motion.
Moritz Hemminger, one of the partners behind MoDrei and an executive at Arri Worldsales, said they came up with the idea of the Berlin party “mainly to have a fun evening with our friends from the industry. We wanted to create an event that is more casual than the many more official Berlinale receptions taking place these days. And now with Variety on board we have the perfect partner for the MoDrei venue,” Hemminger said. »
- Leo Barraclough
In one of the widest-open Cesar races in recent years, Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu” will face off for best picture with Olivier Assayas’ “Sils Maria,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” and talked-up newcomer Thomas Cailley’s “Love at First Fight” at France’s 2015 Cesar Awards.
“Timbuktu,” which world premiered at Cannes, earned eight Cesar nominations and will also compete foreign-language Oscar next month.
The Cesar race is dominated by “Saint Laurent” with 10 noms. Coming second is “Love at First Fight,” a performance-driven romantic comedy that proves to be yet another gem discovered by Directors’ Fortnight topper Edouard Waintrop (following last year’s “Me, Myself and Mom,” which ended up winning five Cesar kudos).
Also making the best picture cut, in a nomination line-up underscoring France’s wide production range: Robin Campillo’s “Eastern Boys,” French dramedy blockbuster “La Famille Belier,” helmed by Eric Lartigau, and Thomas Lilti’s admired medical drama “Hippocrates. »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
The first edition of the San Cristóbal De Las Casas festival has reached its end. It was a nice way to begin the year and a second edition seems to be a given, as pretty much each and every screening I attended was packed. The official press release indicates there were 13,000 people attending the festival during eight days. On Friday, January 24, the fest screened as closing film Samba, the latest from The Intouchables' Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, and announced the award winners. Check them out below: Short Film Competition Jury: Javier Solórzano, Eduardo Trías and José Ramos Winner: Esclava (dir. Amat Escalante, Mexico) Special Mention: Slikebal (dir. Bernardino López, Mexico) and Outono (dir. Marco Amaral, Portugal) Documentary Feature Competition Jury: Imunga Ivanga,...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
For the occasion, “Lucy” star Scarlett Johansson recorded a video introduced by Unifrance’s managing director Isabelle Giordano during a packed press conference, attended by not only Besson but also Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu” producer Sylvie Pialat, France’s minister of culture Fleur Pellerin, Cnc president Frederique Bredin, and helmers Michel Gondry, Joachim Lafosse and Nadav Lapid, among many others.
“The qualities that really drew me to work with Luc Besson — and is a huge part of the success of ‘Lucy’ — is his passion to achieve greatness. Luc is a perfectionist, and he has a certain idea of what he wants and won’t stop at anything to get it, and that’s what inspires everyone to strive for their greatest, »
- Elsa Keslassy
13 items from 2015
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