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Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)
Viewing the world through a whole different perspective
Kumiko, a Japanese employee, has only one hobby : treasures. She doesn't have any friends, and is really bored by her job. After seeing a VHS of "Fargo", she decides to travel to North Dakota to find the money hidden by Carl Showalter in the movie.
This movie is an excellent piece of work. Rinko Kikuchi appears under a new face with this introvert and amazing character, inspired by a true story.
David Zellner really did a good job of balancing comedy and drama : never exaggeratively funny, nor never desperately sad, the directing is very subtle and finds its own way to create an atmosphere around the point of view of an unusual character that sees the work differently than most of people do.
Which is, sometimes, really refreshing.
Le vendeur (2011)
A movie about a small town in a rigorous weather : sensitive and beautiful
Sébastien Pilote is a very promising and talented filmmaker : the way he painted this region (North Canada) with such a sensitivity is very moving. The photography is so good that we can feel the snow and this very particular light of winter. Gilbert Sicotte plays an excellent role in the character of a car dealer who has dedicated his life to something he's not really aware of (to globalization ? to the consumer world ?), and Pilote is very subtle about that, as there is no judgment in his movie.
Definitely a filmmaker to follow, I'd love to see this movie again - but for that it need a distributor in France ! And then I'd love to see his next movie as well.
Le confort et l'indifférence (1982)
How to learn about politics in Quebec: charisma and humanity of René Levesque
Really well done documentary about the Quebec politic in the '70s, and the failure of the referendum when they tried to be independent. In this movie, you realize how it was back then, and the utopia spirit they lived. The portrait of the great René Levesque, at the head of the Parti Québecois, is moving, and his speeches sound just right. He is those kind of rare politics who we can trust, because he is loyal, sincere, honest. It's nevertheless how the movie depicted him, and I really believe he was like that though I don't know much about Quebec politic past. I had a really nice overview of this important period for the Province with this excellent documentary.
How to believe in political men? See this movie.
Ars Longa (2004)
Art... is it alive?
Simple story of a women visiting a museum. It shows us the relations between the paintings and the visitor.
At the beginning, you don't know this movie will give you high emotion at the end. I was really moved by the playing of this "woman of a certain age", the dealing with art the director proposes here.
I saw it one year ago at the "Off Courts" festival, Trouville (France), happening during the American festival in Deauville, so I do not have it fresh in my memory and can't, unfortunately, describe as well as I want the emotion I went through seeing it.
It's why I'd really like to see it again. This movie deals with the importance of art, the way it can change you forever, makes you realize important things, existential elements, about life.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Back to the Sources of The American Dream
This movie is the kind of movie you get out of the cinema with a feeling of simple living, of simple happiness. The characters of "Litlle Miss Sunshine" are not superheroes, they are "ordinary" persons in conflict with several problems, several difficulties of life we all have to deal with - sure, not in the same circumstances. Seeing them going through this steps, not in the classic way of "success" (caricatured with the Richard's "9 rules"), but in the old fashion way of freedom, of doing what you really love, not listening about the codes and the what-it-is-good-to-do.
The American Dream was, originally, all about that: individual freedom and undertake freedom. Let's get back to it, let's get away of our daily life, let's take a tour in an old van with what we would could "crazy" people. They're just people trying to live.
It shows us how life is creepy, only because we see that we can get out of that crap. This movie helps us out in that direction.
This movie lets us hope. This movie gives happiness. This movie is a contained" reason to live.
So let's hear it: live!
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Supremacy... on identity
Incredible how this second opus of the Borne trilogy is superior to the first one. Changing the director was the right choice. Paul Greengrass has done a very efficient movie, and his directing is sharped and well done.
No more bad acceleration effect like in "The Bourne Identity"; instead a nervous camera, an amazing editing with a lot of "jump cuts" and ellipses, a beautiful work on sound. Matt Damon seems much more in his character, and the character of Pamela Landy is very convincingly played by Joan Allen.
The car scene, at the end, is one of the most impressive car chase I ever saw. Perfect car movements, perfect cut between shots, the scene in the tunnel... Woh, it's really impressive.
If the "Bourne Ultimatum" has the quality of "The Bourne Supremacy" regarding "The Bourne Identity"... I cannot imagine how great it will be.
Selon Charlie (2006)
A flat movie, like a flat tire
The choral film genre is pretty difficult to make. The script needs to be very sharp to justify such a choice. Here, it only is an excuse to see different actors playing different characters, with one main theme in common: loneliness.
First problem: all the actor are not so good: Vincent Lindon is, in my opinion, really bad like usual; Bacri is, as usual, really great; Pooelveorde is funny, but that's all, and the other's are OK.
Second problem: the systematization of the film making. Garcia shoot in 2.35, a choice I cannot understand for that kind of movie. She alternates "low-fi" movement and stabilized, clean pan, but empty.
Third problem: a terrible use of the music. They are totally inappropriate, and their use are useless.
Dubitative about this movie. Some great ideas but...
One of the most terrible thing in the movie is, in my opinion, the bad acting of Charles Berling, and the very bad acting of Judith Godrèche. They're romance is not very well exposed, except maybe the scene of the knee underlined by Steve Rhodes in his review.
The rituals in the french court, the manners, the languages' game are interesting. The dialogs are pretty well written. There are some great scenes, like the one of the duel. Some characters are well played, first of all the Jean Rochefort character, very moving. Bernard Giraudeau is also great, and Fanny Ardant as well (but I have a personnel problem with her acting in general).
The systematic construction between the scenes is a bit annoying, as well as the "false" return of Grégoire in the middle, before his "too-much predictable" come-back.
The movie is alright, the directing correct (sometimes great), but it misses something to make it a film I'd like to see again.
The Weather Man (2005)
Life: what else could it be?
Nicolas Cage offers us a brilliant acting about daily difficulties of life. He's known as the weather man, a looser who does not succeed with his family, but does on TV. He tries hard to make things better, but could not help his kids nor the situation with his ancient wife.
Actually, the weather man is the ordinary man. I bet there are a lot of guys like him around the globe. It is not a beautiful vision of life, but it is realistic, a bit sarcastic, and sometimes fun. Because Gore Verbinski gives a cynical point of view of life, not so desperate, just explicating the rudeness that goes through our lives, even if it is sometimes great (being in front of Spong Bob?), it is most of the time, tough.
Michael Caine as the idealistic father, the one who succeed, is remarkable. Just the right tone.
This film is really moving, and I like the fact the director of such a different project like "Pirates of the Caribbean" could make such a project.
Gore, make another in this way after the last "Pirates", we'll be glad.
Au hasard Balthazar (1966)
Bresson - a movie makers apart movie industry
In this movie, which has for an original subject a donkey, we see the chance of characters that the donkey encounters, their destiny and lives. It is not a bright vision of life, though it is realistic and sincere. Life is made of few things, and this donkey, named Balthazar like one of the Magus King, is the line between all those different lives. He suffers the cupidity, the stupidity or even the simple evilness of humans.
The non-professional actors, as surprising they may be for the non-initiated public, really add to the fascination that comes out this movie.
Bresson is a real master in cinema art, and as we follow this poor Balthazar, we understand great things about life.