5 items from 2014
2014 saw Patrick Brice officially plant his feet with Craigslist’s ad from hell horror pic Creep (originally titled Peachfuzz) being picked up (by RADiUS) prior to its SXSW premiere and a month after this, he began shooting The Overnight. A 360° switch in genres, set in Los Angeles, this is being proposed as a night to remember between couples, with a rom com quartet of folk in Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche (who we fondly remember from breakout roles in Patrice Leconte’s Ridicule and Cédric Klapisch’s L’Auberge Espagnole). Oddly enough and comparatively, the year ahead might be an even taller order to fill for Brice, with volumes II and III in the Creep series possibly going into production, but for the time being, and according to this article (above photo cred of Schwartzman and Brice in musical harmony) this will aim at both Sundance »
- Eric Lavallee
Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart Blu-Ray Review
There are few movies that are as wild, original, and filled with soul as Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, and the only problem with that is that it’s going to make you think someone else directed it. (He didn’t.)
Adapted by Mathias Malzieu from his own bestselling novel and the gold-selling album by his band Dionysos, Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a magical story that feels like a new breed of myth, and it comes to you through brilliant animation.
Born on the coldest day in the history of the Earth, Jack’s heart is frozen solid. To save his life, midwife Madeleine grafts a tiny cuckoo clock into his chest to take its place. Everything will be fine, she tells him, so long as he follows three rules in order to keep things running smooth – He can never touch the clock’s workings, »
- Marc Eastman
★☆☆☆☆It's been almost two decades since idiosyncratic French filmmaker Patrice Leconte delivered a near-masterpiece in the form of 1996's Ridicule, an opulent and hugely absorbing period drama of verbal sparring in the court at Versailles. It's safe to say that A Promise (2013), the director's first English-language foray, won't be knocking that aforementioned feature off the top spot any time soon. This stodgy Euro-pudding (German story, English adaptation, French director) was always going to run the risk of being a little uneven, but the end result is still disappointingly stilted and inert. Leconte directs this early 19th century love triangle with all the weight and depth of a leisurely ITV afternoon drama.
- CineVue UK
No bodices were harmed in veteran French filmmaker Patrice Leconte's chaste and bloodless English-language debut, a love-triangle costume drama that never sparks the artful sensuality found in his earlier hits like The Girl on the Bridge, Ridicule, or The Hairdresser's Husband.
Perhaps diluted in translation, this awkwardly scripted adaptation of Stefan Zweig's novella Journey into the Past casts Anglo-Saxon actors in Belgium as an austere stand-in for cusp-of-wwi Germany. Recognizing ingenuity and dedication in his newest employee, steelworks baron Karl Hoffmeister (Alan Rickman, stately and bored) quickly promotes modest engineering prodigy Friedrich Zeitz (Richard Madden, a handsome wet noodle) to be his personal secretary.
Herr Hoffmeis »
He’s fallen out of favor a bit in the last few years, but there was a time when Patrice Leconte was one of the most popular foreign filmmakers in the U.S. While he was never a favorite with the hipper critics, over the 1990s and early 2000s, films like “Ridicule,” “ The Girl On The Bridge,” “The Man On The Train” and “Intimate Strangers” became staples on the festival circuit, won BAFTAs and Cesars, and became sizeable arthouse hits. But the director’s recent films like “Beauties At War” and “The Suicide Shop” have struggled to find audiences at home and abroad, and so Leconte seems to have made another ploy for a bigger crowd: at the age of 66, he’s made his English-language debut. And with an impressive cast mixing veteran performers with rising stars, and source material from “Letter To An Unknown Woman” author Stefan Zweig, it »
- Oliver Lyttelton
5 items from 2014
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