10 items from 2015
Written for the screen by Christopher Kyle
Directed by Susanne Bier
USA/France/Czech Republic, 2014
Based on a bestselling novel by Ron Rash, Serena, as brought to the screen by director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Christopher Kyle, feels like a husk of an adaptation even to one completely unfamiliar with the source material. It’s the sort of film that, at least in the form prepped for theatrical release, makes one inclined to believe its makers have completely lost the ability to tell a story. And it’s not like that ever seems like a deliberate stylistic choice, with Bier actually focusing on some thematic flourish off on the sidelines. Serena is always focused on its plot. Its perpetually rushed, choppily told, borderline confusing plot.
Part of the trouble in the telling is that the film’s a tonal mess. In her native Denmark, and with American cinema forays »
- Josh Slater-Williams
Director: Susanne Bier.
Running Time: 101 minutes
Synopsis: After the death of his baby, conflicted cop Andreas (Coster-Waldau), decides to swap the body with that of the neglected and mistreated baby of a perp he has previously arrested.
There are few duos in cinema as powerful and consistent as director Susanne Bier and writer Anders Thomas Jensen. Their films reak of shocking and socially important issues, while giving us strong stories that seem unrivalled by others in the medium. Brothers, After The Wedding, and In A Better World are just some of the classics that make the world a better place to live in. There’s no doubt that Susanne Bier is quite possibly the greatest female director to have ever lived, but such a title should come second to the fact she is actually »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
The kitchen sink bubbles over with a soapy lather in this Danish yarn which benefits greatly from the shadowy lure of Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. He lends no small amount of dignity to a cop who makes some very questionable decisions that threaten his career and his family life while director Susanne Bier, who has carved a niche in melodrama with films like Open Hearts, Brothers and In a Better World, makes up for some of her sins, here, with a typically cool aesthetic.
Interesting sociological questions aren't so much raised as rooted out from a massively contrived opening act when police detective Andreas (Coster-Waldau) responds to a domestic disturbance at the flat of a known drug addict and ex-con Tristan (Nikolaj Lie Kaas). This bona fide »
If you produced a movie featuring the two hottest movie stars in the world, with an Oscar-winning director and a script based on a beloved best-selling novel, you might assume you’d end up with a massive hit, right? Or at least a movie that everyone was scrambling to get a piece of? But what if that didn’t happen — and you ended up with pretty much the opposite of that? What if you ended up with Serena?Serena stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, whom you may remember from such little-seen collaborations as Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, films for which he earned a total of two Oscar nominations and she earned an Oscar nomination and an Oscar win. Serena is directed by Susanne Bier, whose previous film, In a Better World, won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar in 2011, both for Best Foreign Language Film. Serena »
- Adam Sternbergh
I'm not particularly familiar with Danish director Susanne Bier's filmography. Scratch that, I'm actually not at all familiar with Bier's work. Her Oscar-winning film In a Better World is a movie I have heard plenty about but never seen, and the only other film of hers I've even heard of is Serena, Bier's Depression-era drama starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, which will finally be released on demand tomorrow and in U.S. theaters on March 27 after spending eighteen long months in post-production. But never mind that, for Bier it's on to the next one, as the second trailer for her latest film A Second Chance has recently debuted online. The project, which stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ("Game of Thrones"), Ulrich Thomsen (The Thing), and Maria Bonnevie(I Am David), debuted at last year's Toronto International Film Festival to mixed reviews, with The Playlist concluding the film contains more than »
- Jordan Benesh
Even though it took Susanne Bier's drama Serena starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence a long time to get to theaters, it looks like his Tiff-selected thriller A Second Chance will have a much more satisfying fate. "Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stars in the film about Andreas, a Danish cop living a happy life with his wife and their newborn baby, who tries to save another infant from a neglectful home by kidnapping the child from its troubled parents. Soon Andreas' happy life begins to crumble, leaving him with some tough decisions. This looks like a pretty powerful dramatic thriller. Watch! Here's the UK trailer for Susanne Bier's A Second Chance from YouTube: And also, here's a trailer for the film from when it premiered at Tiff last year: A Second Chance is directed by Susanne Bier (Serena) and written by Anders Thomas Jensen (In a Better World »
- Ethan Anderton
The Kingslayer turns babystealer in the new trailer for Susanne Bier's A Second Chance. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is front and centre in this new Danish melodrama as a policeman who finds himself slipping into an increasingly bleak predicament. There's something about this man and hand injuries that makes you think someone should confiscate his kitchen knives. Click below to take a closer look. brightcove.createExperiences();Coster-Waldau plays clean-cut cop Andreas who has a baby with his wife Anne (Maria Bonnevie) and lives a seemingly enviable existence. Then, on a routine call with his more ragged partner Simon (Ulrich Thomsen), he stumbles upon a heroin addict, his girlfriend and their neglected baby. Unable to call upon social services and on an impulse that will have huge repercussions, he takes the baby home.For Bier, the hope is a return to form after the long-delayed and lukewarmly-received Serena. She's already an Oscar winner, »
Goteborg, Sweden– While the Nordics may not boast Europe’s biggest film industries, its five countries – Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway – have experienced no shortage of critically-aclaimed filmmakers, from Lars Von Trier to Roy Anderson, Aki Kaurismäki and Susanne Bier. And in recent years, the Nordic film scene has become even more vibrant with the rise of Baltasar Kormakur (“Everest”), Thomas Vinterberg (“The Commune”), Tobias Lindholm (“A War”), Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) and and Ruben Ostlund whose “Force Majeure” has become a flagship for contempo Swedish cinema.
Norway is considered the fastest rising Nordic movie market but the film scene has blossomed across all five markets thanks to helmers like Mikkel Nørgaard (“The Absent One”), Michael Noer (“Key House Mirror”) and Mikael Marcimain (“Gentlemen”) and a flurry of female directors, including Anne Sewitsky (“Homesick”), Lisa Aschan (“Voltiges”) and Lisa Langseth (“Hotell”).
And since “Force Majeure” (pictured above) premiered at Cannes, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Andrey Zvyagintsev and Alexander Rodnyansky, the director and producer of Leviathan, accepted the Golden Globe tonight for Best Foreign Language film, another in a long list of prizes the movie has amassed since debuting in Cannes and scooping Best Screenplay honors there. A treatise on corruption at the State level which includes elements of the biblical story of Job, Leviathan is also Russia’s Foreign Language Oscar entry. It made the December shortlist, now has a BAFTA nomination and this weekend took the top Fipresci prize in Palm Springs. In the past four years, Golden Globe winners In A Better World, A Separation, Amour and The Great Beauty have gone on to scoop the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Prior to 2010, however, there were often mismatches between the eventual victors. Oscar nominations are this Thursday. Sony Pictures Classics released Leviathan on December 25.
Given the film’s subject matter »
- Nancy Tartaglione
By Anjelica Oswald
The nine foreign-language films shortlisted by the Academy hail from three continents: South America, Europe and Africa. From South America, Argentina’s Wild Tales and Venezuela’s The Liberator made the list. From Africa, Mauritania’s Timbuktu did as well. From Europe, Estonia’s Tangerines, Georgia’s Corn Island, the Netherlands’ Accused, Poland’s Ida, Russia’s Leviathan and Sweden’s Force Majeure all made the top nine.
This year could mark the first Oscar nomination for Estonia, Georgia, Mauritania (whose film was the country’s first Oscar-submitted film) and Venezuela. Argentina, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden have each received two Oscar nominations in the past 14 years. Of those four countries, Argentina is the only one to win an Oscar, which it did in 2010 for The Secret in Their Eyes. If Russia lands a nomination, it will be the country’s second in the 21st century. »
- Anjelica Oswald
10 items from 2015
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