8 items from 2013
Moving bits of paper around (the old way) or painting with billions of pixels (the new) has conjured up some of the greatest films of all time. From The Iron Giant to Persepolis, Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 war movies
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• Top 10 movie adaptations
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. The Tale of the Fox
A sneaky fox plays a series of underhand tricks on his neighbours in the animal kingdom, among them a timorous hare and a gullible wolf. The king of the beasts, a lion, summons him to face charges but the fox proceeds to outwit everyone, including the king himself. When Ladislas Starevich told this tale in the 1930s it was by no means new – versions of the Reynard story had been circulating around Europe for the best part of a millennium – but the »
Eleven years after his Franglais smash “L’auberge espagnole” and eight years after sequel “Russian Dolls,” French writer-helmer Cedric Klapisch follows up with the zesty “Chinese Puzzle,” a New York-set comedy that serves as a seductive advertisement for modern urban living. Retaining the energy and zing of the earlier films but dialing down the youthful angst, the pic delivers witty, sexy fare that’s the fast-food equivalent of Richard Linklater’s thematically weightier “Before … ” trilogy. Given the presence of international marquee names including Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, its appeal to auds isn’t tricky to puzzle out.
While “L’auberge” was largely set in Barcelona, at an Erasmus educational program that mixed students of different nationalities, and “Dolls” pinged characters across various European cities, this time the action unfolds almost wholly in New York City. That’s where Englishwoman Wendy (Kelly Reilly) shacks up with her new American beau »
- Charles Gant
★★★☆☆ Like a distant Gallic cousin to Richard Linklater's Before trilogy - though worlds apart in terms of style and tone - it's been over a decade since Cédric Klapisch first introduced a multinational group of friends sharing an Barcelona apartment in Pot Luck (2002). Three years later, they were brought back together for a wedding in Russian Dolls (2005) and now a third outing arrives at Lff in the form of Chinese Puzzle (2013). Combining the director's free-wheeling style and the series' protagonist's 'complicated' life, this is a warm, funny and inventive (not to mention potentially final) addition to the likeable French series.
Romain Duris returns as genial lead, Xavier, a writer in need of inspiration and finding it through the tumultuous twists his previously tranquil life begin to take. After marrying and having two adorable children with series regular Wendy (Kelly Reilly), amour has cooled somewhat. Emotions are thrown asunder when »
- CineVue UK
The latest fateful daisy chain from Paul Haggis, seven years after Crash took the Oscar from Brokeback Mountain, Third Person is a work of staggering trash; an ensemble drama with the aesthetic of an in-flight magazine, but less classy writing.
Our axis is Liam Neeson, who we see tapping at his laptop in a posh Paris hotel: a blocked novelist, on account of the fag butts and empty wine bottle. "I'm not the one with the Pulitzer prize," loopy showbiz reporter Olivia Wilde tells him, after she's flown into town to continue their fling.
- Catherine Shoard
The romantic comedy-drama is the third film in writer-director Cedric Klapisch’s Spanish Apartment series and will be released theatrically in early 2014.
Studiocanal also sells the film worldwide.
Chinese Puzzle is the next chapter in Klapisch’s series that began with 2002’s Spanish Apartment, in which French international finance student Xavier (Duris) left his girlfriend Martine (Tautou) to move Barcelona to learn Spanish.
By 2005’s Russian Dolls, Xavier had given up finance and was trying to make it as a writer, traveling between »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Cohen Media Group has acquired all U.S. release rights to “Chinese Puzzle,” the third film in writer-director Cedric Klapisch’s “Spanish Apartment” series.
The film is produced by Ce qui me meut/Bruno Levy and co-produced by Studiocanal[/link] and France 2 Cinema in France, and Panache Productions and La Cie Cinematographique — Rtbf in Belgium. Studiocanal is also selling the film worldwide.
Klapisch’s series began with 2002’s “Spanish Apartment,” in which a French international finance student named Xavier (Duris) left his girlfriend (Tautou) to move Barcelona to learn Spanish. In 2005’s “Russian Dolls,” the student was trying to make it as a writer, traveling between Paris and London and juggling the women in his life.
In “Chinese Puzzle,” Xavier is still looking to find his place in the world and after the »
- Dave McNary
Alice Eve is fishing in her pocket for her iPhone to find me a picture. She's just been to Russia on a promotional tour for what is easily the biggest film of her career to date – J J Abrams' sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness – and the blonde Brit wants to show me a gift she was given, a set of specially commissioned Russian dolls featuring the images of Kirk, Spock and other Star Trek characters. "Isn't that genius?" she beams, proudly showing off memorabilia that would probably fetch a fortune at a Trekkie convention. »
Tautou, who was present on screen and in person at last year's closing screening of the late Claude Miller's final film Thérèse Desqueyroux, currently appears in Michel Gondry's Boris Vian adaptation Mood Indigo (L'écume Des Jours) alongside Romain Duris and due for a French release this month.
Tautou and Duris also have hooked up again for Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tête Chinois) which is Cédric Klapisch's follow up to Pot Luck (L'auberge Espanol) and Russian Dolls with the same characters another 10 years on. It is due for French release in December.
Thierry Frémaux, Cannes artistic director, is set to reveal this year's official selection at a press conference in Paris on Thursday April 18 »
- Richard Mowe
8 items from 2013
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