4 items from 2015
Paula Hawkin's bestseller is going to run right over eager Gone Girl fans.
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- Kate Erbland
Too often, In the Name of the Daughter, the latest from auteur André Téchiné (and his seventh to feature Catherine Deneuve), feels like a missed opportunity, trying to play too many angles when it could have been more powerful following one strategic aim. Psychological thriller, jilted love story, historically inspired mafia fueled casino war rivalry, a powerful female crusader, a strange two decades late trial, and an unsolved murder mystery are all bundled up in here, and sometimes this leads us through a fascinating maze. However, the film works best as a relationship study, featuring a pair of performances that are at, the very least, enjoyable. But much like his last film, 2011’s Unforgiveable, the French helmer is increasingly less interested in the why or how of his narrative, and maybe his wayward neglect for traditional storytelling explains »
- Nicholas Bell
Horse & Carriage: The Elkabetzs’ Kafkaesque Interpretation of So-Called Sacred Institution
The third film in a trilogy examining the relationship between a husband and wife comes full circle with Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a viciously astute examination of Israel’s divorce procedures. Brother and sister directing duo Roni and Schlomi Elkabetz began their enterprise back in 2004 with To Take a Wife, which continued with 7 Days in 2007, though it isn’t necessary to have seen either of these features to appreciate what they’re doing here with this deliciously crafted drama that’s as infuriating as it is highly engrossing. If on paper it sounds like a tedious slog of a subject matter, put aside those assumptions because the Elkabetzs’ have made an invigorating, emotionally charged powder keg, a film that simultaneously harpoons the misogynistic practices of the rabbinical courts just as it gives powerful agency to its highly determined female protagonist. »
- Nicholas Bell
Over the course of their decade-long co-directing partnership, Israeli sister-and-brother duo Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz have distinguished themselves by sheer commitment — to character, to technique and to one another.
“When we meet to work, we are on another planet,” Shlomi says of their process. During the prep phase, the duo laugh, discuss and debate constantly. “And then once we’re on set, we hardly exchange a word.”
Theirs is a unique partnership in many respects, not least of all because Ronit ranks among Israel’s most respected actresses, the winner of three Ophir awards, fluent in French and recognized abroad for such arthouse movies as “The Girl on the Train” and “The Band’s Visit.”
Ronit stars in all three of the siblings’ features, after “The Seven Days” and “To Take a Wife,” each time playing the same character: an Orthodox Jewish woman named Viviane faced with the various challenges of her community. »
- Elsa Keslassy
4 items from 2015
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