AMOUR

8/23/2013

 
Michael Haneke's (Caché) highly acclaimed bleak portrait of an aging couple; it's French, and the performances are good, but is it a pleasure to watch? No. 
 

RUST & BONE

3/25/2013

 
Positives; the actors, it's French/Belgian, working/lower class, mixed martial arts. Negatives, the narrative shifts from character, to character, the story relies too heavily on the "how messed up do I have to be before you'll love me" device, the script is mediocre, and unforgivably, it's too long. A tepid: yes.
 

THE INTOUCHABLES

3/10/2013

 
Huge hit in France, (probably soon to be remade by Hollywood) starring the incredibly charismatic Omar Sy. Awkward social situation, but funny, and touching: yes.
http://weinsteinco.com/sites/the-intouchables/#
 
 
Jérémie Renier and Déborah François are two young messed-up parents in this gritty Dardenne Bros. Palm d'Or film: when's the last time you watched a movie without music? Yes, yes, yes.
http://www.sonyclassics.com/thechild/
 

LA PROMESSE (1996)

1/17/2013

 
What a way to debut! The Dardenne brothers direct and Jérémie Renier stars. Violent family tale of petty criminals and illegal immigrants in Antwerp; gritty, awesome.
 

MONSIEUR LAZHAR

10/25/2012

 
Quiet, elegant, French Canadian adaptation of a one-character play about an Algerian refugee / schoolteacher leading a class of middle-schoolers through grief and loss while managing his own. Yes.
http://www.musicboxfilms.com/monsieur-lazhar-movies-2.php
 
 
Tahar Rahim portrays a fictitious Algerian black marketeer turned resistance fighter in Nazi occupied Paris. Loosely based on the life of Paris Mosque rector Si Kaddour Benghabrit (Michael Lonas,) and Algerian/Moroccan/Jewish singer Salim Halali. Yes.

 

JANE EYRE

10/17/2012

 
Charlotte Brontë's classic novel is given the gothic horror treatment: beautifully! Starring three of my fav's; Fassbender, Dench, and Wasikowska. Costumes & cinematography are outstanding. Loved it.
http://focusfeatures.com/jane_eyre
 
 
Next destination on our time warp European Vacation are the gorgeous locations of this taut police procedural assassination thriller. Director Fred Zinnenmann adapts Frederick Forsyth's novel. It's so cool: loved it. 
 
 
French spy thriller dramatizing the events that lead up to the fall of the Soviet Union. HIstorically accurate? Perhaps not. Entertaining? absolutely.