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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

5 items from 2017


Berlin Review: Agnieszka Holland’s ‘Spoor’ is Well-Meaning, Bland Eco-Infotainment

13 February 2017 2:13 PM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

The worst choices for festival competition aren’t necessarily the worst films. Those which aim too high, go too far, try too hard often end up making a complete fool of themselves. But even spectacular failures could make for challenging, rewarding experiences, and more readily justify their presence at a platform meant to celebrate groundbreakers than movies that are just, thoroughly if inoffensively, unremarkable. Spoor, which marks Polish wrier-director Agnieszka Holland’s return to feature filmmaking after her Oscar-nominated Holocaust drama In Darkness, is sadly such an uninspired dud. Nothing about it screams gross ineptitude, but the universal below-averageness proves grating.

Set in a remote village surrounded by flora and fauna where at any minute wild hogs can stroll into your garden unannounced, the film stars Agnieszka Mandat-Grabka as retired part-time English teacher Janina. Although she obviously stays in a lot, Janina seems quite beloved by her young students, fellow townsmen, »

- Zhuo-Ning Su

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‘Spoor’ Review: A Genre-Bending Revenge Thriller From Agnieszka Holland — Berlinale 2017

12 February 2017 2:39 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Eagle-eyed viewers better versed in the Polish language will have to scour the end credits of Agnieszka Holland’s “Spoor” to find out if any animals were actually harmed in the making of this feisty, genre-bending film. Though far from perfect, this one part revenge thriller, one part eco-reverie, tied together with sumptuous visual brio, is the “John Wick”/ “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” mash-up you never knew you always wanted.

See MoreThe 2017 IndieWire Berlinale Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

A note about the filmmaker first: Holland has one of the more interesting careers in international cinema, directing period dramas in French, Czech and Polish for the Euro-art-house circuit, while at the same time working steadily as a hired gun on prestige American series. Having spent the past several years working with NBC, HBO and Netflix, Holland clearly relishes her return to the feature filmmaking, »

- Ben Croll

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Agnieszka Holland’s Stalin-Era Film ‘Gareth Jones’ Boarded by WestEnd (Exclusive)

10 February 2017 11:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

WestEnd Films has acquired worldwide sales rights to politically charged project “Gareth Jones,” the next film from twice-Oscar-nominated Polish director Agnieszka Holland, whose latest movie “Spoor” is in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.

Gareth Jones” tells the real-life story of the eponymous Welsh journalist who exposed the Holodomor, Stalin’s 1933 genocide-famine in Ukraine. Research suggests that the reporter was murdered with the help of Soviet agents the day before he turned 30. His reporting of the famine was said to have inspired George Orwell to write “Animal Farm.”

Scriptwriter Andrea Serdaru-Barbul first approached Holland, who is the daughter of journalists, with her script two years ago. “Since then the story has become even more relevant,” Holland told Variety. “The situation around us has change, and you can find some similarities with the 1930s.”

Holland says she receives many scripts with political themes, but this one stood out. “I am always interested in politically charged subjects, »

- Leo Barraclough

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Does the Academy Have a Bias Toward Foreign-Language Films Based on World War II?

13 January 2017 6:00 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

‘Land of Mine’ (Courtesy: Toronto International Film Festival)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

If there’s one thing for certain about the foreign-language film category at the Oscars it’s that the Academy sure has a soft spot for films about World War II. Just this year alone there are three movies on the Academy’s shortlist that are set during that very tumultuous time — Denmark’s Land of Mine, Norway’s The King’s Choice, and Russia’s Paradise. How often has the Academy nominated or given the win to films based specifically during the World War II era?

According to Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter, the best foreign-language film Oscar race is shaping up to potentially only feature one of these World War II-set movies in the official nominations. So far Land of Mine is listed as a frontrunner along with Germany’s Toni Erdmann, Iran’s The Salesman, »

- Carson Blackwelder

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Europe Is King in Best Foreign-Language Film Category — How Does the Rest of the World Stack Up?

5 January 2017 6:00 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

The greatest thing about the best foreign-language film category is the recognition of works from all around the world. Throughout the years, movies made outside the United States of America have gotten the recognition they deserve thanks to the implementation of this specific award. With the 2017 Oscars right around the corner, let’s take a look back at the distribution of nominations and wins across the seven continents that make up this big world we inhabit.

This year’s best foreign-language film contenders are: Toni Erdmann (Germany), The Salesman (Iran), Land of Mine (Denmark), A Man Called Ove (Sweden), Paradise (Russia), The King’s Choice (Norway), My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland), It’s Only the End of the World (Canada), and Tanna (Australia). This site’s namesake, The Hollywood’s Scott Feinberg, lists the first five of those as frontrunners and the other four as major threats. »

- Carson Blackwelder

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

5 items from 2017


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