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Over the last decade, Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has made a mix of hard-hitting and compelling films, from his sombre take on a Montreal school shooting in Polytechnique to his Oscar nominated 2010 drama Incendies. Denis released two films in 2013 that both starred Jake Gyllenhaal: the experimental and brash Enemy, which provided a surreal and haunting look at a spousal relationship; and Prisoners, a kidnapping drama with Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo joining the fray.
Villeneuve’s latest film may well be his best yet (he certainly thinks it is). Sicario is a richly drawn story about the moral ambivalence at the heart of the war on drugs. Emily Blunt plays Kate Macer, a seasoned FBI agent, who takes on the cartels directly with the assistance of a team led by Matt (Josh Brolin). Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a mercurial figure with a sordid past, also joins Kate »
- Jason Gorber
One filmmaker on the rise in a big way is Denis Villeneuve, from Quebec, Canada, who just premiered his latest film Sicario to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival (here's our review). He's next set to direct the Blade Runner sequel/reboot/restart with Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, not to mention Roger Deakins as cinematographer. His previous work is also impressive (and worth seeking out): Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy. And if you want to go back even further, you can now watch his 2008 short film Next Floor that mocks the "endless symphony of abundance". It's a wicked commentary on excess that's powerful to watch. Thanks to The Playlist for the tip on this short. Description from Vimeo: During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with cavalier servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, »
- Alex Billington
It's a good time to be a filmmaker from Quebec these days. With the international successes of the Quebecois directors- Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners, Sicario and tapped to direct upcoming Blade Runner sequel), Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y., Dallas Buyer's Club, Wild), Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar, The Good Lie), Quebec is once again recognized as a great incubator for cinematic talent. I discovered director/musician Stéphane Lafleur at this year's New Directors/New Films series. His lovely film Tu dors Nicole had me searching for all his previous films. Unlike the above mentioned directors, Lafleur possesses altogether different sensibilities: his droll, absurd humor and portrayal of loneliness are often akin to that of many Scandinavian filmmakers or Urlich Seidl or even early Tsai Ming-Liang. I had a chance to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Anyone who has seen Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy” knows that the filmmaker does not always gravitate toward linear storytelling closed off to interpretation and analysis. “Prisoners” is more clear-cut, but Villeneuve does a great job maintaining speculation and intrigue throughout the thriller. Even the incredible “Incendies,” which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film four years ago, is a rollercoaster ride with unpredictable reveals and reversals. Still, none of these films come quite as close to mind-bendingly perplexing as his 2008 short, “Next Floor.” Read More: 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel. “Next Floor”—a virtually dialogue free nine-minutes—takes place entirely around a dining table. A hodgepodge of gluttonous individuals—mostly men, but with a few women—all in dusty clothing, eagerly and rapidly cram as much food into their mouths as possible. The spread is lavish (and sorry, vegetarians, you’ll most likely find it. »
- Zach Hollwedel
With Harrison Ford back as Rick Deckard, Denis Villeneuve in the director's chair, and Ryan Gosling eyeing a key role, the Blade Runner sequel was already in good hands, but now fans have another big reason to get excited, as it was recently announced that cinematographer Roger Deakins joined the film's crew:
Press Release (via The Playlist) -- "Los Angeles, CA, May, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to Blade Runner, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-ceo’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 reteams with Villeneuve on what will be their third feature collaboration, havingpreviously worked together on Alcon’s Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Villeneuve’s upcoming film Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, »
- Derek Anderson
Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve is quickly becoming a crucial voice in cinema, crafting human stories of immense power and durability. His one-two-three punch of Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy has been enough to get him noticed in film-savvy circles, but his latest film Sicario may be his best work to date. It's a bleak drug-trade thriller on the surface but deep down it's really a dense character study with comments on the violence in this modern world. It's in the same ballpark as other modern commentaries like Traffic and Zero Dark Thirty but with its own unique flavor. Emily Blunt dominates the film as Kate Macer, an FBI agent with a tough exterior in a male dominated field. When we're first introduced to her she's just discovered a gruesome find tied to a major drug cartel operating on both sides of the U.S.A. »
- Marco Cerritos
You could sort of say we’re on his jock and we wouldn’t argue much. This is because French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has been non-stop killing it in recent years and he’s the kind of filmmaker we love because he uses genre as a Trojan Horse to explore the heart and soul of mankind. He’s a thinking man’s filmmaker and it shows in his work. The searing drama “Incendies” earned him a Foreign Language Academy Award nomination, “Enemy” with Jake Gyllenhaal was a nightmarish existentialist thriller, and “Prisoners” with Gyllenhaal again and Hugh Jackman was a bruising crime procedural. Since then, everyone wants to work with Villeneuve cause they’ve also seen the work and noticed he’s the real deal. Read More: Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel. He’s already bagged the coveted director’s chair for the “Blade Runner” sequel, »
- Edward Davis
Sicario: Bring Out the Popcorn
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Taylor Sheridan
Denis Villeneuve’s narco-thriller Sicario is likely the most broadly accessible film in this year’s competition, a very watchable, schematically Hollywoodian production more at home at the Oscars than at Cannes. It stars, tragically, Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer and, unsurprisingly, Benicio Del Toro as special drugs advisor Alejandro. Kate is recruited from her hostage crisis unit to a secretive anti-drugs mission at the margins of legality following a gruesome, finely crafted opening sequence in which she leads the bust of a safe house full of rows of executed hostages concealed into the walls. Gradually she clues in as to the nature of the mission – her role is merely procedural, as the presence of an FBI agent is apparently obligatory as a front for Alejandro and rogue operation head Matt (Josh Brolin »
While we know next to nothing about the plot for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, we do know that at the very least, it's going to look gorgeous, as renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins has joined the team. Come inside to learn more.
Blade Runner 2 is moving full steam ahead. Just a couple months ago it was announced Denis Villenueve had been hired on to direct the sequel, with Harrison Ford set to return, and it looks like they're starting to build up the rest of the necessary behind the scenes crew to get production moving. Announced at Cannes, Roger Deakins, the cinematographer behind Prisoners, Skyfall, Fargo, and Many others has been hired on as the Dop for the new movie. Deakins has worked with Villenueve on his last two movies, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
The original Blade Runner is still a visually striking movie, and »
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
Oh wow. So cinematographer Roger Deakins has signed on to shoot Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner" sequel. I'm paying attention now, folks. Seriously, this whole project has been filed under "whatever" for me for the longest time. But then I have a dirty little secret that I suspect is shared by more than a few who just don't want to get into it: I've never agreed with the legions who think Ridley Scott's original film is an indispensable work of modern art. But…not going to get into it. I've mainly just been snoozing at the prospect of revisiting the material because of your standard grade reboot/sequel-itis. However, when Denis Villeneuve joined up, I got a little excited. This isn't some run-of-the-mill action director sure to lumber his way through the thing. Villeneuve is a pretty intriguing new voice. I didn't love the scripts for "Incendies" or "Prisoners, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Roger Deakins' work on Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" was so good that we dedicated an entire piece to what turned out to be our favorite single shot in 2013. The duo have reteamed on the director's latest procedural "Sicario" (review here), but we've had our fingers crossed they would jump into sci-fi together. And hell yes, it's happening. Deakins has been hired to shoot the untitled "Blade Runner" sequel to be helmed by Villeneuve and to star Harrison Ford and reportedly Ryan Gosling. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have penned the story that takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Shooting kicks off in summer 2016 and now I'm getting pretty excited. Full press release below. ---------- Los Angeles, CA, May, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon »
- Kevin Jagernauth
After the Oscar-nominated Incendies and his habitual auteur films (Enemy, Prisoners), Denis Villeneuve forays into more mainstream cinema with the Michael Mann-esque Sicario, a thriller exploring the escalating war on drugs whose battleground is often the Tex-Mex border. Villeneuve seems relieved that the notorious Cannes critics liked the movie. “Cannes has the reputation of being difficult. We heard 15 minutes after the screening ended that the reactions were very positive.” Benicio Del Toro, winner of the best actor Palme in 2008 for Che, garnered the most applause as his name flashed in the closing credits. It is indeed he and Josh Brolin who carry the film. (One journalist at the press conference following the screening even mistook him for Brolin’s co-star in No Country For Old Men. “I wasn’t in that movie, but thank you, that’s a compliment,” was Del Toro’s response.) Sicario appears to be new territory for Villeneuve. »
- Talia Soghomonian
In the beginning stages of his career (with the exception of Maelstrom showing in Berlin), Denis Villeneuve was an habitual of the Cannes Film Festival. His filmography has been embraced up and down the Croisette with short Cosmos (1996) and Polytechnique (2009) showing in the Directors’ Fortnight section, Un 32 août sur terre (1998) showing in the Un Certain Regard and his savoury short Next Floor (2008) landing at the Critics’ Week, but the Quebecois helmer was left scratching his head when Incendies (2010), Enemy (2013) and possibly Prisoners (2013) failed to receive the same approbation. Going in with zero expectations, especially with a cross-border thriller, his seventh film finally won him an In Comp berth. Considering the amount of Palme d’Or contenders receiving pans from the critic community, Sicario might actually not be so out of place as first conceived.
- Eric Lavallee
"The violence of the inter-American drug trade has served as the backdrop for any number of films for more than three decades, but few have been as powerful and superbly made as Sicario," declares the Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy. Starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal and Victor Garber, the latest from Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique, Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy) is premiering in Competition in Cannes—and we're gathering reviews. "The craft is impeccable," grants Jessica Kiang at the Playlist, "with Roger Deakins's cinematography and the spectacular Jóhann Jóhannsson score." » - David Hudson »
Two years after making his U.S. debut with the crackerjack kidnapping drama “Prisoners,” French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve ups his own ante with “Sicario,” a blisteringly intense drug-trade thriller that combines expert action and suspense with another uneasy inquiry into the emotional consequences of violence. A densely woven web of compelling character studies and larger systemic concerns, Villeneuve and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan’s bleaker, more jaundiced riposte to Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 “Traffic” may prove too grim and grisly for some audiences and too morally ambiguous for others. But with its muscular style and top-flight cast, this fall Lionsgate release should score solid (if less than “Prisoners”-sized) business from discerning adult moviegoers, along with dark-horse awards-season buzz.
- Scott Foundas
The violence of the inter-American drug trade has served as the backdrop for any number of films for more than three decades, but few have been as powerful and superbly made as Sicario. Drenched in many shades of ambiguity as it dramatizes a complex U.S.-led effort to take out a major Mexican drug lord south of the border, Denis Villeneuve’s intensely physical new work is no less disturbing than his previous features Prisoners and Incendies and should be able to generate similar mid-level business as the former due to its relatable lawman (and law woman) elements.
- Todd McCarthy
Susanne Bier Oscar winner 'In a Better World' director Susanne Bier Susanne Bier, whose In a Better World won the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, is seen above on the 83rd Academy Awards' Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre. The other 2011 Oscar nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category were: Rachid Bouchareb's Outside the Law / Hors-la-loi (Algeria). Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (Mexico). Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth (Greece). Denis Villeneuve's Incendies (Canada). As in previous years, several international favorites were left out of the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar competition. Among these were the following: Xavier Beauvois' French Academy César winner Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux (France). Semih Kaplanoglu's 2010 Berlin Film Festival winner Bal / Honey (Turkey). Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 2010 Cannes Film Festival winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives / Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Thailand). Prior to In a Better World, »
- D. Zhea
Last year's edition of the Cannes International Film Festival brought with it the usual early awards possibilities. Some went the distance (Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" in a number of categories). Others fell short (Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner"). But while Sundance is certainly stepping up its awards-relevance game, the Croisette is where people really start pondering how the film year will shake out once the Oscar drums start banging late in the fall. One person who has leaned into the fest heavily the last couple of years is Harvey Weinstein. He has consistently held an event showcasing materials for The Weinstein Company's upcoming releases there, but this year he has a pair of films actually in competition that could make waves on the circuit. And it all starts with one of the most long-awaited films of the bunch. Todd Haynes' adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's "Carol" is, along with »
- Kristopher Tapley
Hilary Swank Oscar dress Hilary Swank on Oscars' Red Carpet Pictured above is Hilary Swank, wearing an Oscar dress consisting of (what looks like) tons of frills and feathers, on the 2011 Academy Awards Red Carpet this past Sunday, Feb. 27. Swank wasn't nominated for anything, but she acted as a presenter of sorts at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. How so? Well, she introduced last year's Best Director winner, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), who then presented this year's Best Director Oscar to Tom Hooper for The King's Speech. Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank has taken home two Best Actress Oscar statuettes. Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999). Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004). These were her only two nominations as well. Both times she beat Annette Bening, who was in the running this year once again for her role as a lesbian wife and mother in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, »
- D. Zhea
Despite being an acclaimed filmmaker thanks to the likes of "Incendies" and "Prisoners," it's still must be a tough gig for Denis Villeneuve to take the helm of a sequel to one of the most famous sci-fi films ever made - Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner".
Scott is only producing the follow-up, allowing Villeneuve to direct the movie which will star Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. A full year out from production getting underway, the director has spoken with The National Post about the gig and says he's been keen to tackle the sci-fi genre for a long time:
"People were asking me, what do you want to do? I said science fiction, always science fiction. I'm dreaming to do science fiction since a very long time. So now that the door is open, I'm just jumping into it. My soul will be filled if I do that... I'm ready »
- Garth Franklin
1-20 of 45 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
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