11 items from 2013
Pascal Bonitzer's good-looking family drama may be conventional but it's extremely well acted
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In this attractive family drama, Pascal Bonitzer, a former critic for Cahiers du Cinéma, is surprisingly close to the traditional, neatly turned middle-class cinéma de papa that Truffaut and other new wave directors scorned. Both of them exuding characteristic intelligence, Jean-Pierre Bacri and Kristin Scott Thomas play a well-off Parisian couple with an adolescent son. He's a professor of Chinese culture teaching a class for business executives preparing to work in China, she's an avant-garde theatre director, their marriage is approaching the rocks, and he can't bring himself to tell her that he hasn't managed to get his pompous father, a senior judge, to obtain a visa extension for a Serbian relative of hers. It's like a Haneke plot turned into a comforting boulevard play, but it's »
- Philip French
Nicolas Winding Refn is the latest in a long line of directors to find inspiration among plastic dolls
Only God Forgives 2013
For years, Kristin Scott Thomas has been trashing her brittle English upper-classness in French films, but anglophone audiences who still think of her as posh Fiona from Four Weddings and a Funeral might get a shock when they see her in Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-violent revenge parable. Sample dialogue: "And how many cocks can you 'entertain' with that cute little cum-dumpster of yours?"
Her Crystal is an abrasive, chain-smoking, bottle-blonde Messalina tottering around in fuck-me shoes and too much eye makeup, wielding Virginia Slims as though they were deadly weapons. She's the Barbie from hell, as if Paris Hilton had suddenly lived 20 more years and had a personality transplant from Lucy Liu in Kill Bill: Volume 1. Just as the hotel chain heiress apparently modelled her own makeover on Mattel's fashion doll, »
- Anne Billson
The pop pleasure and genre subversion of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive was enough to bewitch the majority of its viewers, but beneath its surface sensations were some fundamental filmmaking issues. In his new film, which also stars Ryan Gosling in vapid-stare mode, everything that covered up the bullshit is gone, leaving a hollow core of Refn’s cinema exposed. With minimal dialogue, Refn relies on the strength of his visual prowess and the presence of his actors. However, both of those "qualities" are entirely lacking: Refn has an inability to construct coherent space, and his caricatural figures stare and curse and fight without resonating as anything beyond mannequins (and I don't mean this in an interesting way). Taking place almost entirely in seedy Thai clubs and dark street exteriors, Refn tries to paste an Oedipal allegory onto a Bangkok »
- Adam Cook
Chandor, who made an impressive debut with Margin Call in 2011, ventures far from Wall Street — and dry land — for this followup, starring Robert Redford as a man lost at sea in a movie that purports to have even less spoken dialogue than “The Artist.” “Life of Pi” minus the tiger? Ideal viewing for Cannes’ beachside Cinema de la Plage? Only time will tell.
“Behind the Candelabra” (Steven Soderbergh)
Though it will premiere on HBO while the festival is still in full swing, it’s still hard not to be excited by the prospect of this long-planned Liberace biopic from retiring renaissance man Soderbergh, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon” (two actors Soderbergh has made excellent use of in the past) surrounded by Rob Lowe, Dan Aykroyd and Debbie Reynolds. Bring on the sequins!
With its raw, feral performance by »
- Scott Foundas, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
Jessica Alba, Pierce Brosnan and Kristin Scott (ex-Thomas?) are set to headline the romantic comedy How to Make Love Like an Englishman, as it was announced today by people from Southpaw Entertainment, Irish Dreamtime and Envision Entertainment. The film was written by Matthew Newman and will be directed by Tom Vaughan. The film will be introduced at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. The story follows Brosnan’s character, a Cambridge University professor who meets his match in Kristin Scott Thomas, and is forced to re-evaluate his life of hedonistic excess after he manages to get Jessica Alba, her graduate student stepsister, pregnant. “’How to Make Love...
- Vesna Sunrider
Jessica Alba, Pierce Brosnan and Kristin Scott are set to headline the romantic comedy How to Make Love Like an Englishman , Southpaw Entertainment.s Richard B. Lewis, Irish Dreamtime.s Beau St. Clair and Envision Entertainment.s Grant Cramer announced today. The film was written by Matthew Newman and will be directed by Tom Vaughan. The Solution Entertainment Group.s Lisa Wilson has come on board to handle international rights for the picture and will introduce the film to buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. In the film, Pierce Brosnan stars as a Cambridge University professor who meets his match in Kristin Scott Thomas, and is forced to re-evaluate his life of hedonistic excess after he manages to get Jessica Alba, her graduate student stepsister, pregnant. .'How »
Ryan Gosling gives and gets more beatings in two new trailers for his gritty drama Only God Forgives. It’s in the same vein as previous promotional materials, which paint his reunion with Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn as a bloody tale of revenge. The film centers on Julian (Gosling), an American exile living in Thailand. He’s running a boxing ring as a front for a drug business, and along the way his brother is murdered. Story: Ryan Gosling: Indie Megastar Who Asks to Get His Ass Kicked Julian’s response to the murder doesn’t sit well with his mother (Kristin Scott
- Aaron Couch
Yes, so the Cannes Film Festival lineup dropped this morning and there is a lot to talk about (and we'll be getting to that soon) but there are two things we know: Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" will be there, and it's still one of our most anticipated movies in the south of France. And even better, hot on the heels of the Cannes announcement this morning comes two brand new international trailer that is just as eye-poppingly badass as the first teaser. The French trailer forgoes the "Tur Kue Kwam Fun (Music Box Version)"-driven American spot and gives up a bit more of the actual plot, and all we can say is: Kristin Scott Fucking Thomas. Playing the matriarch of a drug empire, she looks to be an absolute powerhouse in the role, with Ryan Gosling doing his mostly silent thing as a man (forced?) to »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Ryan Gosling and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn are back together with the first trailer for Only God Forgives. Like his previous collaboration with Refn, Gosling once again seems to be playing a tough guy of few words, in a film the star recently told The Hollywood Reporter was "much more extreme" than Drive. Gosling plays Julian, an exiled American running a boxing club in Thailand as a front for a drug business. Story: Ryan Gosling: Indie Megastar Who Asks to Get His Ass Kicked The trailer for the crime drama starts with a voiceover from Gosling’s mother (Kristin Scott
- Aaron Couch
Creepy classroom voyeurism gives this poised French drama the promise of a big payoff, but it all ebbs away
François Ozon's new movie is a black-comic psychological drama with poise and self-possession. Featuring Fabrice Luchini and Kristin Scott Thomas, how could it have anything else? It begins grippingly, like something by Claude Chabrol, and yet the film's suspense begins to leak before the end and the comic and serious sides don't quite mesh. At one stage, there is a visit to the cinema to see Match Point – and, in fact, In the House does oddly come to resemble a goodish late-period Woody Allen. Luchini plays Germain, a high-school teacher of French literature; his wife, Jeanne, (Scott Thomas) runs a gallery, featuring bizarre and sexually explicit conceptual art. Germain is bored and depressed with his job, but is one day galvanised by the creative-writing assignments being handed in by talented »
The English Patient star talks about her big breakthrough, bad reviews – and why her worst performance is always screening on cable TV
What first drew you to acting?
Wanting to be somebody else. As a child, I played dress-up with great conviction. I'd walk to the village shop wearing my mother's clothes, pretending I was somebody different.
What was your big breakthrough?
There are the obvious ones, like The English Patient or Four Weddings. But on a more personal level, it was when I played Bérénice at the Avignon festival [in 2001]. I hadn't done any theatre since drama school. God knows what the performance was like, but to be able to go out on stage independent of any machinery was incredibly powerful.
Do you suffer for your art?
Frequently – though I'm talking "suffer" in inverted commas. You do get lonely; you're torn in every direction. And if you've had a long career, »
- Laura Barnett
11 items from 2013
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