9 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Hope Springs (2012)
26 August 2012
What a waste of talent! Such good actors and a script that lacks humor, wit, affection, emotional intelligence. There is no story! Boring, to be honest. Streep and Lee-Jones do not seem to believe in what they are doing either. Carell is static and does not bring any emotion, fun or wisdom. They all look like is if they were waiting for the film to finish, as the spectators for that matter.The subject could have been interesting, had it been dealt with more ideas and preparation. The "huis clos" between the 3 main characters is pretty flat and the other parts do not get any chance to have a role there. It is one of the most disappointing films I have ever seen.
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Avant l'aube (2011)
Interesting psychological drama
6 March 2011
Gloom atmosphere of the October - period in a holiday resort in the Pyrenees. The setting reminds of an Hitchcock film, the tension, the characters, the closed environment, alas not the film direction. The objects and evidences of the culprit do not play the role they could in building up the suspense, there is no follow up. I found that the whole story and suspense lands flat on its nose. Good acting from most of the cast, and especially from the second roles. The hotel does not look real for one moment, with real customers, that is a pity.

Good scenario and story, lacking somehow inspiration. Worth seeing in spite of its dull moments.
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Poupoupidou (2011)
PLeasant and unexpected film
16 January 2011
A writer visits his home town in the French Jura, the coldest part of the country, and finds inspiration for his new book.

He comes across a sad event in the town: the young beauty of the county has been found dead. She was keeping a diary and he finds it. Model and actress, very attractive, she has found regional fame. Happiness is hard to pursue however, as she has a very low self esteem of herself as Marilyn may have had of Norma Jean Baker. The story unrolls among parallel fates and surprises, and offers a key to the death of Marilyn.

Among frozen sceneries, amazing things happen in this small town. You do not need to live in Los Angeles or Paris for meeting excitement, hope and disillusion.

Well acted, worth seeing, small unpretentious film with high interest.
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Womanlight (1979)
Crushing nostalgia from people trying to keep afloat
8 May 2010
These people are drowning in their own distress and try to hold on to something; there are many scenes in which you see the external world still rotating, and they try to keep swimming by pretending. The absurdity is the striking part, as if there were two communications going on. Excellent dialogs "Irreverence is one way to keep misfortune away". Good acting, Montand/Schneider are credible, Valli grandiose.

Great moment of cinema: the dancing monkey and pink dogs are my favourites, and one good scene to remind give stimulus to get out and have a great breath of fresh air.

As soon as one realizes that Romain Gary wrote the original book (Frank did only the adapted scenario) , it all pieces together. Gary was Russian/Latvian migrant, and transcribes here the crushing nostalgia typical of the Slaves who have lost their country and feel eternal sorrow for this loss; they however keep going, because this is what life is about; most of the times pretending things are OK but choosing a few occasions to show up their deep feelings.
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Mary Reilly (1996)
Esthetic and poetic
7 May 2010
Sure the film is slow and it does not bear the usual features of a horror movie: no drumming music, no obvious blood spillage. This is what is so good about it! This is a fantasy about life, fear, social class, fascination about progress in medicine, and repressed sexuality in nineteenth century London. Therefore it is much more powerful and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Acting by John Malkovich was great, as usual, and Julia Roberts delivers here a good performance playing a character quite remote from her usual roles. Excellent choice of secondary characters, all well cast in the archetypal roles society was giving at the time: there was little escape from your destiny to remain in the social classes you were born. Imagination is a good escape to frustration.

One of the best versions of Jekyll and Hyde.
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2+1 makes a good combination, not the one you would expect
5 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Fine piece of acting. Rosalie character is not very extraverted, but Romy Schneider delivers a good performance, subtle and convincing as a woman hesitating all the time. Montand is awesome, probably because Cesar may be very much like him in real life. Maybe Frey's character is the less convincing: not clear why he hesitates all the time to win her. OK, this is where the cinema and real life part. One reality: has anyone noticed how quickly women were sent in 1972 to serve ice, prepare coffee or cook?

The ending is predictable, somehow. However, did she know the two were living together? If she did, then she will hesitate forever between the two. If she did not, she chose one, and one only.
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Deep down in one's soul
2 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There is much more to this film than a simple story of selfish or disillusioned people. This is about two persons who cannot make up their minds about where should their life path take them and who are totally mesmerized by the "hopeless emptiness" of living. An stunning performance of actors, playing characters devoured by strong feelings, inflamed hope, resentments and frustrations. The idea of having their hidden, deep thoughts deciphered by the lunatic neighbour, is a very strong point for the film.

Not often have I seen a film in which the innate difficulty at communicating between man and wife - the way we look at common projects, failures and achievements- have been so crudely carved and depicted. Yet, for most of us, fortunately, affection, luck or giving up, maybe even sometimes common sense allows to heal the wounds. The final scene illustrates on a light tone the difficulty of communicating between spouses, the man choosing his own way to not have to continue the dialog with his life partner.

Franck and April are passionate people, and common sense is not something you want to hear about when you have a passion. Their drama is that they do not know what they are passionate about, they cannot find what makes them "special".

The same director as "American Beauty". In a sense, the characters in that film were totally unconscious, even if behaving in an irresponsible way, of what was going to happen; they could not think about the unthinkable ending. In this story, you can perceive a good deal of willingness to hurt and to be hurt; just to feel something, finally.
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Not a masterpiece but refreshing
21 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This film has to be made by somebody who knows and loves the "Nord Pas de Calais". Good acting, simple plot, down to earth people, hearty feeling. The success may come from the fact the film avoids totally the Paris region and should I say, its style. More than 3/4 of France is made by people who are not Parisians, and here they feel they can do very well without the patronizing and usual lecturing made the people from the capital, which captures all the media attention. The tone is quite different than the "Diner de cons" for example: nobody laughs by making dirty tricks, only for fun and if the other is not offended or chaperoned. Of course it is simplistic, but this maybe is what most spectators in France want to hear and see at the moment.
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Match Point (2005)
Misdeamanor, surely
1 November 2005
The casting is excellent both for the main actors and for the supporting role. Chris Wilton almost never smiles, thorn and dramatic figure. He discovers that he has a dark side of this personality which ruins the unbelievable luck that his other personality attracts. Nola Rice puts a brave face on the fact that she inspires only lust and not love, until she cannot take it any longer. This a film about discovering who you really are. As in Dostoievsky's story, and because he escapes justice from the humans, whatever he does, Wilton knows he never find any peace: this is the worst of the punishment because he understands he will be confronted with what he did every day of his life on earth, and beyond.
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