A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD NEW website review by Hakam Soufan / Natasha Marchev
It is a rather "secretively emotional" and "tempting with manipulation" picture depending who watches it. The film starring Tom Hanks premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
If you did not grow up in the States with his soft, soft advice, Mr. Rogers may be a mystery at best, and inappropriate at worst. But can you ever forgive me? Director Marielle Heller skillfully satisfies both fans and the "uninitiated" film watchers, with the help of this warm, cozy embrace of the film, which prefers to glorify the universal compassion promoted by the children's TV presenter, rather than delving too deeply into.
Creating a distinctive, Rogers brand right out of the gate with an extended reconstruction of his folk show, Heller provides an accessible tutorial from which one can observe one person’s personal interaction with a small screen saint. Based on the 2017 Esquire cover material of Tom Junode (“Can You Say ... a Hero?” Worth Reading), “A Beautiful Day...” introduces us (with the help of fancy miniature sets) from the worn-out journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) who is estranged from his boorish father (Chris Cooper) affects his ability to handle childhood trauma and be fully present for his own little son. A born cynic who prefers to write a military report rather than profiles, he hardly seems to be the best hack to send interviews to the famous joyful and brilliant Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks, wonderful) for the Esquire’s Heroes problem. But, like Lloyd, when we meet the human definition of “good” Hank - all the soft cadences, sparkling eyes and knitted sweaters - a kind of charm begins. How, Lloyd and we are wondering, can a person be so admired in the world? So patient? So kind? And, asking why there is such a suspicion of sincerity, we are forced to wonder why, as a society, we are prone to skepticism by default. As Mr. Rogers becomes a catalyst for self-therapy and emotional healing for Lloyd, Zen Hank's performance generates a shared meditative experience. This is especially true of the powerful scene in a busy diner where Mr. Rogers begs Lloyd to complete his self-education by closing his eyes for a moment and thinking about "all the people who loved you in existence." When Lloyd agrees, the diner falls silent, and Hanks turns to gently look at the lens, inviting viewers to step inside the screen to do the same.
If such unpleasant things make you feel uncomfortable, most of the film may seem down-to-earth and deceiving - just a series of platitudes with bumper stickers strung on a narrative about daddy's problems. Little can be learned about what drives Mr. R., except to let him in, sometimes to knock the piano keys in desperation. So, if your goal is to explain the riddle, then the document speaks more about facts than feelings.
But for those who seek solace, kindness, and a sense of caring in a turbulent world that seems to reward cruelty for caring, A Beautiful Day will become a cinematic balm. Surrender and bring the piece of fabric to the screening.
Written and directed by Peter Strickland Produced by Andrew Starke
Cast Marianna Jean-Baptiste – Sheila Woodchapel Hayley Squires - Babs Leo Bill – Reg Speaks Gwendoline Christie – Gwen Fatma Mohamed – Miss Luckmoore Julian Barratt – Stash Steve Oram – Clive Barry Adamson – Zach Jaygann Ayeh - Vince
In Fabric is a horror/dark comedy film from Writer/Director Peter Strickland. About a red dress with special and ultimately lethal powers, it falls into the hands of recently separated Sheila Woodchapel who purchases the dress for a date from Dentley and Soper - a unique store with outdated mechanical cash carriers and creepy assistants wearing knee length black Victorian style crinoline dresses and elaborate bouffant hairstyles. Even the dress mannequins appeared to be living!
The dress creates a havoc of destruction in its wake causing skin lesions, a dog attack, washing machine breakdowns, the deaths of all those who wore it, and the ultimate destruction of Dentley and Soper
Domestic settings were dark with velvet furnishings and dimly lit rooms with mirrors being very effective in enhancing these foreboding scenes. Of note telephones from 20-30 years ago were in use, eschewing current technology.
Music was minimal but what was used fitted in with the mood of the movie.
Strickland drew from many aspects of life which he modified to suit the work. An example is the employers’ conversations with Sheila (the first dress owner): “Why did you have mysterious toilet breaks before feeding time”. I felt it was a take on today’s employee conditions where managers can tend to be petty and uber vigilant.
The film’s effects were definitely scary and horrifying, but I could also detect the inherent comedy of the work.
In Fabric left a lasting effect on me yesterday when I passed clothing stores and spotted several mannequins staring out from front windows.
This film possesses none of the typical Hollywood happy endings and definitely is not for the faint hearted. Strickland’s followers will not be disappointed when it opens on 12 March.
A documentary of the revolution amidst the bombing of Aleppo (Syria) for the years spanning the Battle of Aleppo, and it is one packed with the intense scenes and the offshoots of everyday life in that part and period of the world.
ForSama takes on a first-person depiction of the regime of Bashar al Assad, through the eyes of a young mother called Waad, her newfound love interest, Dr Hamza, and her newborn daughter and the namesake of the movie - Sama (which means 'The Sky' in Arabic). The raw view of the bombings and the massacres are riddled with the authenticity of it having actually taking place in front of Waad, who goes on documenting them with her video recorder, and it is definitely a rollercoaster of a ride - tangentially igniting your adrenaline and empathy all the while.
Though the movie stands firm in its message of peace and the adherence to a life of normalcy that everyone seek, this is not for the faint of heart. However, reality could sometimes be as harsh as the loss of loved ones and the cries of despair that the movie features.
ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 202) NEW LA BELLE EPOQUE website review and photos: Elice Thomas
FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL AND “LA BELLE ÉPOQUE”
I’ve been wanting to experience the French Film Festival for many years now, ever since I began learning French in high school. I’ve always missed out for one reason or another, but after last night, I’m glad I had to wait. This experience was so memorable. Alliance Française put on a delightful media screening, as a preview to this year’s 31st French Film Festival. We had a wonderful time, also thanks to the generous hosting of Palace Cinemas. Rosé cider and champagne, bread and blue cheese, not to mention some delicious canapés such as tomato macaroons and salmon cones, were some of the suitably French cuisine we were offered. It was all delicious. We were shown the wonderfully-made film “La Belle Époque”. I can see why they chose it to usher in the film festival. It was a wonderful mix of charm, wit, sincerity when called for, and hopeless romance. I loved the unique perspective the movie took on relationships, particularly a relationship that has already weathered many decades and suffered for it. Without spoiling too much, the 70-something year old main character, Victor, rediscovers why he fell in love with his wife through a meticulous recreation of the 1974 café where they first met. This is possible through his son, whose business gives clients the opportunity to experience different periods in history through careful set design and skilled actors. It puts a unique spin on Victor’s relationship with his wife, who we see as her original, older self, and through the interpretation of an actress playing her younger self for Victor. At its heart, this film is fantastically optimistic, but never misleading – this is love at its most complicated and stupid and wonderfully painful. The relationship between two of the supporting characters, Margot and Antoine, underline this message. While theirs is a young and passionate relationship, in stark contrast to Victor and Marianne, it is no less painful or complex.
In the starring role, Daniel Auteuil plays Victor with grace, veracity and a satisfying side of sarcasm. Even though his character seems rough around the edges – unwilling and unable to embrace change – from the beginning Auteuil has us empathising with the plight of this man stuck in the past. His co-star, Guillaume Canet, also shines as the volatile Antoine, who will cross any line to help Victor, his role model and idol. Most of all, however, I adored the performance of Doria Tillier as Margot. Her vivacity in playing an actress who is deeply in love with Antoine, but also wants to stay true to herself, struck a chord with me.
I was impressed with every scene in this film. Each one deserved its place in the story, laden as they were with wit, cynicism and emotion. A passionate glimpse into love both young and old, to be sure, and the connections we make as humans that we can’t help but revisit, over and over.
Want to take a trip to the 1800s? This film is what you are looking for. Step into a time of wealth, elegance, grandeur, excesses, banquets, pageantry, gallantry, the precise English language, and of course, impeccable manners.
“Emma” is the latest film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel published in 1815. A comedy-drama directed by Autumn de Wilde, also known for her films The Postman Dreams (2016) and Rilo Kiley: The Moneymaker (2007). A previous film version starring Gwyneth Paltrow was released in 1996.
Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch and Split) at age 21 is a young woman living in the fictional village of Highbury in the Georgian-Regency era (1800s) in England. The real life Firle Place manor house near Surrey, a country estate in West Sussex is the location for this period movie. This exquisite house where Emma and her father (Bill Nighy) live is jaw dropping, showcasing the many magnificently painted and sumptuously decorated rooms, the notable paintings, superb porcelain and grand antique furniture.
Firle Place manor house is complemented by the surrounding private gardens and the lush, green fields that cover nearly 300 acres which form a stunning background.
As a genteel woman of her time, with nothing better to do, Emma occupies herself with matchmaking. A well meaning and yet sometimes a selfish young woman, she is occasionally misguided, and often meddles in the lives of her friends and family.
Attending the marriage of Miss Anne Taylor (Gemma Whelan) her beloved governess and companion of sixteen years, to Mr Weston (Rupert Graves), Emma is proud and elated with her achievement. Having introduced the couple to each other and observed the blossoming relationship which successfully led to this wedding, Emma concludes she must be a master matchmaker.
Harriet Smith (Mia Goth) is a young unsophisticated girl living in a nearby boarding house whom Emma takes under her wing and then becomes the subject of Emma's next matchmaking project.
While Emma is busy matchmaking, she fails to see that George Knightley (Johnny Flynn - lead singer and songwriter of the Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit band) is in love with her and has been for some time. George is the very handsome and wealthy (of course!) neighbour and close friend of Emma and her father. He is the owner of the estate of Donwell Abbey, across the field from Emma’s house. He is often shown walking to Emma’s house spending time there in conversation with both Emma and her father and dining with them often. While this movie is classified comedy/drama, I feel the only character that brings any sense of comedy and lightheartedness is that of Miss Bates (Miranda Hart). A spinster of Highbury’s lower class, she is the town’s gossip and a compulsive talker. Although a minor role, Miranda Hart convincingly portrays this not well liked character.
The movie spans a year, showing the different seasons and with that the corresponding costumes and fashion designs of that period. Costume designer, Alexandra M. E. Byrne should be ecstatic with her results and skills.
It’s an enjoyable movie if you are an “Austen” fan, watching the characters come to life. I especially enjoyed the cinematography and the fashions. However, I think it’s more suited to TV than on the big screen as it lacks power and the ability to keep audiences interested.
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN NEW website review by Vellu Khanna
The Professor And The Madman
A masterful biographical film of an academic and an army surgeon who suffers from mania, set in the post-Victorian era. And they collaborate on the task of amalgamating the most comprehensive version of the Oxford English Dictionary, it clearly being a behemoth of a task.
These characters are, in turn, played by two behemoths of the industry - Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, both of whom have won Academy Awards. Needless to say, they have enhanced the complexity and repertoire of the characters they portray a thousand-fold, and we see their deepening friendship and the aspects of life taking a hold of them over the course of the film.
The cinematography is also worth noting, for they continually inspire the mannerisms and lifestyle of contemporary England. One might be left with an allegorical-styled notion that there is a hidden meaning behind the many scenes of the movie - and they may be right. For the emotions that are awakened are myriad and wonderful all the same.
Alex Gibney presents the film "Citizen K", a documentary about Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Alex Gibney paints a realistic portrait of the once richest man in the country, and now the exiled oligarch who lives in London and is engaged in human rights activities abroad.
Alex Gibney, Director speaks:
"At the first meeting, he keeps people at a distance. I think he is a little shy, puts up a wall through which it is difficult to break through. Therefore, I did not know what to think about him. I knew that he was a tough guy, it can be seen right away, he’s like tank. Even when he smiles, there is hardness in his eyes. But with time, when you recognize him, you see some kind of soft side. This contradiction is interesting. "
According to the director he pains the history of the modern Russia to the viewer in parallel with the history of Khodorkovsky as you can not separate this man and the history of his country.
The head of "Yukos" was arrested in 2003 on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion. Khodorkovsky himself considered the matter political. In his own words, having $15 billion, he could leave the country, but decided to stay in order "not to lose respect for himself."
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, businessman speaks:
"The prison has completely cured me of business ambitions. I’m just bored of doing business. I sometimes have to do this in order to have the funds for the work that I’m doing, but for me it’s now a boring technical obligation."
After serving almost 10 years, Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Vladimir Putin in 2013, and in 2016 the businessman was again put on the wanted list in the murder case. Now Mikhail Khodorkovsky lives in London and is engaged in the development of the "Open Russia" public organization. For those friends of mine Russian speaking I recommend to read this website before attending to see the film.
One anciaent philosopher said: " When two tigers fight, the rest of the forest creatures remain silent" so I will not comment, I wil remain silent. Just one thing to mention: my political views are different. I do not see coutries, I see people. I do not see politics , I see Earth. I do not take sides. I thin kth efilm is good but I was upset and digusted to watch it for many reason. My other point is: Power can not be not corrupted as it becomes Power only Through corruption. I can see the points of both sides. I can see the truths of both sides. There is no right and no wrong. We will never know the truth and we will never know the history as it really was.
The name of Michael Leunig for Australia is iconic, unique and associated with talent and laughter with the intelligent message behind it. Michael is Australian famous cartoonist. He is regarded as the most original artist, whose art works art full of heart and soul soul as well as deep a philosophical message attached to each message. Michael is the face of our nation. Ask every Australian - they all know and can recognise his images line-likee drawings of fun and whimsical little characters who own big noses and always appear naked. They are so pure in their appearance that it is almost effortless for us to read the message they bring. The messages are strong but full of lightness. Michael's artistic journey started 50 years ago. His images grew from the ordinary newspapers to the posters and then to the art exhibitions of the true master. His images show humble humans who live their ordinary lives, walking pups to walks, growing flowers, finding ducks in the ponds and brewing lovely tea in the teapots.
Michael is our nation's hero who suddenly grew from a fragile little kid to an old man who appears in front of our eyes in this documentary.
His style is seemingly naive, but inspiring bringing and showing us the more beautiful world around us through the artist's imagination. His images though created many angry waves around him.
This film focuses on many personal and intimate moments of Leunig's life. It bring us to his studio full of artist's tools. It also takes us back in time and tells us about Michael's family.
The documentary is gorgeous 2 hour film to say the least to praise it. The film brings to surface the true character of Michael without any "color-brushes" to paint him better or more sophisticated. Michael as a solitary character, he is not accepted by his famiiy which sounds very sad but it also looks like hie likes such lonely life. He has his narrow but warm circle of friends nevertheless.
The more we found out about Leunig 's character the more questions than answers we got. You will love the film as I do not know anyone in this country who would not like this extra ordinary painter.
There is pretty much what I expected. Some years back I did my own investigation about mushrooms as I was fascinated by their intelligence. The film pretty much covered all that I already knew. There was may be 20% of the information that was new for me in this film. Also they did not mention many things that I research, so I have more on the subject. Perhaps 20% more from what was delivered. Something that the film said: "Mushrooms brought life into this world" is so true but I would add more: Mushrooms were probably those who literally brought the human with his mind to this world: it is believed that the first initiation when the man first appeared in 3D word was him drinking the substance made out of mushrooms and "seeing" this world of duality.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend”says Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception. Your life will never be the same.
Do you remember now Alice? Alice in Wonderland goes down the rabbit hole and meets this bloke (below) who happens to be sitting on a magic mushroom smoking dope
"I thought I'd share what got me interested, and hope to hear other stories from members to see what got you interested in mushrooms.
I've read several books by a guy named Stuart Wilde. One day on his website I read this.
Mushrooms Mushrooms are one of the most interesting things on the planet. They come up overnight, which tells you something. They are good to eat and some of them are very pretty colors.
Magic mushrooms are very strange. And I’ve stood in a field of a thousand magic mushrooms, and not been able to see a single one. Then, some children came along and they saw them all, and they picked them. So I followed the children, because children are not stupid, and they gave me the mushrooms. Well, some of them.
I have read over 10,000 books. The greatest literature, the sacred texts, all the modern teachers, some of the ancient ones, the Greeks and so forth, mathematics, cosmology, physics, self-help, gestalt therapy, all of the above. And I learned more in one day on mushrooms than I ever read in a book.
Mushrooms are illegal in most places, because the authorities sure as hell do not want you to figure out what is real and what is not. If you eat mushrooms you better be brave. Because they will show you something that is very spooky which is also very beautiful. Magic mushrooms are God’s gift to us lowly humans.
However, I would suggest that you stay away from peyote, because it’s a cactus and makes you throw up, and it always comes with a rather dubious Indian gentleman who is rather pompous, and arrogant, and he usually wants something from you.
Last year I went out to Las Vegas to a weekend program by Stu, and he described his first mushroom experience. He was in a sacred forest with the Druids in Ireland for their mushroom ceremony. What he experienced was that he left his body, but his body was still interacting with others, so he was perceiving both experiences simultaneously. What he could see in his out of body self, was the energetic signatature of everyone, which showed their true self, or as he says their shadow self. He also was able to see all the nature spirits in the forest and what they were doing, along with this, it opened him to the world beyond our sight, and how it all exisits with ours.
He then told us that if Mushrooms were like moving from High School to your first year in College, Ayahuasca would be like getting your Doctorate.
I had no interest in mushrooms prior to this, but that was the spark that got me going, and growing."
My recommendation: if you know nothing about fungi go and see the film and if you know a lot about mushrooms still see it just to remind you how magical this world is
Ryan is having a hard time breaking up with his girlfriend. Despite the pain caused by the betrayal, he still does not manage to leave their long and wrong relationship and looks with lots of sadness in the past. He continues to send SMS to his ex, just losing hoping that the happiness passed will come back again. One of Ryan's friend forces him to go to the club and to get out of this mind state. The evening does not pass without a trace, and Ryan meets Laura. She is equally unsuccessful in love and tries to avoid being alone, clinging to any, even the craziest chance. A few cocktails at the bar turn into an excellent evening, preserved only in fragments as they both hardly remember what happened. Now Laura and Ryan are waiting for the next test - a second date and a huge number of advisers tell how to conduct this new, second meeting.
Pretty quickly the second date gets out of control and turns into a chamber of "American Pie" with a British darling. The heroes are taken directly from teen comedy, without undergoing any special changes. It is simply NOT FUNNY AT ALL! Some habitually amaze with their awkwardness, others bend with confidence, but most importantly - they constantly talk and think exclusively about sex. Everything is closed on it: the plot, the simple and sometimes even lame jokes and the characters themselves. Even locations follow this principle. As expected, the bedroom becomes the magnet of thoughts and actions, in which most of the communication of the "uncertain" couple takes place. There is the main problems that is born in the bedroom too: “where to put your hand”, “how to lie on the bed and keep it in the proverbial room”, “in which cup to pour alcohol”, “which film is better to include”, “why he hasn’t jumped on me yet” . The world around him does not seem to suggest other thoughts in the minds of 25-year-olds. None of the characters are trying to find real problems, giving priority only to sex, as the only panacea. At the end everything, of course, will be turned upside down, helping Ryan and Laura to know the true feelings, but they will also have to be fixed in bed without fail.
Was it boring to watch? To all your satisfaction: EXTREMELY BORING!
COLOUR OUT OF THE SPACE NEW website review by Max Lyons
Meet Taylor Cougle, current living in Melbourne Victoria. Taylor competed in her first pageant alongside 10 other finalists at the Miss Gay and Miss Trans Australia International, held last Saturday 1st February at the Williamstown Town Hall as part of the Midsumma Festival.
The Miss Gay and Miss Trans Australia International is made up of 5 categories and each category has points awarded for Relevance, Deportment, Personality, Impact, Catwalk and Confidence. The Categories are Pre-Pageant Interview, Themed Costume, Swimwear (Miss Trans), Talent (Miss Gay), Evening Gown and Question/Answer.
Taylor said “I entered the pageant primarily for personal self growth and discovery. The principles of the pageant to promote diversity and inclusion are very close to my heart and align very closely to my own personal principles and goals.”
Taylor took out three awards - Miss Congeniality, Miss Charity and Best in Interview, “I did not expect to win anything but was extremely pleased by the outcome as it showcased my strengths within the LGBTIQ community.”
“There were many aspects of the pageant experience which were fun such as the costume and evening gown categories but what was most fun was gaining new friends and now I have a new family of Trans sisters.”
“The swimwear category was the most challenging because I am still trying to overcome body dysphoria issues and I have never really been comfortable in showing my body. When I did have a challenging moment the other girls rallied around and supported me. This is the true meaning of the pageant.”
We spoke to Taylor about her outfits created for the pageant, “the theme this year was saving planet earth and my costume was made out of recycled and upcycled material and adornments found in Op-Shops, Fabric Recyclers and hard rubbish collections. The colour represented the plants of this earth and its shape was based upon the gumnut. Butterflies made out of feathers represent the insect worlds and pollination of the plants.”
Her evening gown was titled “Waters of life” and the colour represented the water of the oceans with patterns on it that resembles waves and plants. It was designed and made by a Melbourne couture dressmaker to the Drag queens.
Taylor supports many charities both locally and globally such as Cancer is a Drag, Switchboard Victoria, The Orangutan Project, One Tree Planted and Minus 18. This year Taylor will be joining the Out and About programme with Switchboard and continuing to support other charities.
Taylor has had many achievements throughout her life including the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Ventia Award for driving Gender Diversity, spent time as a CFA volunteer and has created and run many businesses.
Prior to the pageant, Taylor did not have any prior modelling experience but is looking forward to her first modelling runway event at the upcoming This is Me event. Taylor said “the event gives woman of all types to show and celebrate womanhood in all its forms.”
Taylor said “many of the other candidates and organisers commented that I brought a genuineness and wealth of experience. They were impressed with all the things that I have achieved especially around conservation and education that related to this year’s pageant theme.”
Taylor left a final message to those considering to join the pageant. “It is never to too late to follow your dreams. This pageant really does feel like family and has a sense of comradery unlike any other pageant. It is less of a competition and more of a celebration and showcasing who you are no matter where you are in your transition as a Transgender person or experience as a Miss Gay.”
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton this film follows the career of Bryan Stevenson as he attempts to help men on death row, obtain justice. Based on a true story he is a defence attorney who dedicates himself to finding out if he can save these inmates from their certain fates.
Stevenson is played by Michael B Jordan. Jamie Foxx portrays Johnny D, who Bryan has taken a special interest in. Eva Ansley is Stevenson's willing college and assistant. Her character is played by Brie Larson. Johnny D in the 80s was facing the electric chair, accused of murdering, an 18 year old white girl. The case is very thin at best, and as the story unfolds it seems Johnny has been wrongly accused of the murder. Bryan pulls out all the stops to find out the truth, in the hopes that Johnny can finally be freed.
It's a moving and powerful movie. The actors., I feel do an amazing job of portraying their characters with depth and feeling. An interesting, entertaining and gripping tale, that I believe is really worth seeing.
METING GORBACHEV NEW website review by Vellu Khanna
MEETING GORBACHEV A documentary of one of the most astonishing political figures of the 20th century, where we see the rise of a young Mikhail Gorbachev, from his early days as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Soviet Russia to being the last President of the union that he besought to dismantle for better economic efficiency. The movie strikes a point-blank analysis of the true testaments of a leader who thought only of the welfare of Russia, outlining the events that would shape the ideas and ideals of a post-communist nation - including the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.
The alliances he had built with contemporary world leaders - George Bush Sr, Margaret Tatcher and many others; aligned a framework that will forever change the path of Russia’s history. This movie is a fine tribute to a leader who was never fearful of getting onto the ground as part of his ‘Perestroika’ and ‘Glasnost’ models of complete national restructuring and openness.
Regards / Vellu
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON NEW website review : Jeanette Russell
Thank you for the opportunity to review this screen er called the Peanut Butter Falcon. A touching story of an adventurous and thrilling journey for the two main characters who have cause to run away from their lives. A trip of a lifetime for these men who not only become great companions but very special, to one another.
The movie stars a young man who has down syndrome Zac, and is played by Zac Gottsagen who makes his debut. At the same time, Zac, fulfils his own dream of becoming an actor. The story is written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. Zac in the script portrays a man with Down Syndrome, in a facility mainly for the elderly, and as he has no family, he is forced to stay there. His yearning desire is to escape to meet, and train with, his hero Salt Water Redneck who is a wrestler running a wrestling school. Eleanor ( Dakota Johnson ) who has cared for Zac in the home, searches for him. Quite the expedition, Zac and his new comrade Tyler (Shia LaBeouf ),who is in deep trouble with other fisherman chasing him, go on a real quest together. On their trek they encounter obstacles, joy and harrowing times. They are later joined by Eleanor on their mission, after she finds them. Worth a look a feel ,I found the film to be engaging, moving and entertaining.
NTL: PRESENT LAUGHTER NEW website review by Elice Thomas
When I first walked out of the cinema after experiencing Noél Coward’s PRESENT LAUGHTER, the first thing I thought was, “Wow. What a ride!” There’s barely time to draw breath as the dialogue whips between each of the main characters with the speed and adrenaline of a finals tennis match. From the very first line the audience knows what it’s in for: a play with the energy of a musical, contained within one intimate set and only ten characters. Each actor pours their heart and soul into their character, delivering delectable wit and sarcasm with obvious enjoyment. Shining most brightly is Andrew Scott’s performance as the tortured, theatrical matinee idol Garry Essendine. His unforgettable entrance sets the tone for the entire play; he is clearly loving this role as he prances and grovels and leaps around the stage. Scott delivers his performance with all the fervour in the world, with each little mannerism – clasping his hands, rubbing his elbows, casting his eyes dramatically around the set – acting as icing on one very melodramatic cake. His wit is delightful. The tongue-in-cheek flourishes serve Garry well, enhancing the undercurrents of his personality rather than detracting from them.
While both halves of the play deliver the same breathless energy and volume, they set very different tones. During Act One I enjoyed watching these close friends yell at each other, especially when one friend would try to guide another onto a better path. Ultimately, they would feel exasperated and unheard. It reminded me very much of my loving arguments with those I care most about, when the thought “Why won’t you just listen?!” will cross my mind at least half a dozen times. It convinced me, as I watched, that these friends must care deeply for each other. However, Act Two, while beginning in an entertaining parallel to Act One, quickly reveals the true hearts of these friends. What began in the first act as entertaining repartee between an intimate clique, soon transforms into a revelation of obsession. Garry is, of course, at the centre of everything as each character around him pleads their infatuation with him. Each takes the spotlight in their big, show-stopping speech, before being overtaken by someone else, as the play rockets toward a climax that I, for one, did not see coming. At the centre of it all, Scott is breath-taking, as one can’t help but hold their breath as he delivers monologue after monologue with all the heart he has. The last moments of the play impressed me with the revelation that these characters, although friends for a long time, lack any sort of empathy for each other. Garry is spread dangerously thin as those around him demand that he become someone different for each one of them. I highly recommend this play. As soon as I the curtain fell, I wanted to experience it all over again; to pick up on lines lost on me the first time around, or subtext that I’d missed. This tells me that this play is something special, and won’t disappoint.
JOJO RABBIT BEST MOVIE OF THE MONTH website RATE: 10/10
Taika Vaitichi is a truly unique director, he started with low-budget comedies (“Hunt for Savages”, “Real Ghouls”) and continued with the film for the cinematic universe “Marvel” (Tor: Ragnarok). But his best work today is Jojo Rabbit. The film was not screened in Russia, the studio did not name the reasons. After reading the plot you can guess what kind of detail scared away the Russian distributors. The film has already received a mountain of nominations and awards, it has six Oscar nominations, 3 technical (best work of the production designer; best costumes; best editing) and the other 3 more significant (Best film; Best supporting actress (Scarlett Johansson); Best adapted script), and at the last Golden Globe the film had 2 nominations (Best film (comedy or musical); Best Actor (comedy or musical) (Roman Griffin Davis)). The film also took the main prize at the Toronto Film Festival. Taika Waititi himself also acted as an actor in this film, playing an imaginary Hitler, and the aforementioned Scarlett Johansson and the scorching Sam Rockwell starred in the film.
The picture takes the viewer to Nazi Germany at the final stage of the Second World War. A 10-year-old boy Johannes Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) lives in this setting. Jojo is a convinced Nazi, he believes in the Reich’s covenants and even has his own Hitler (Taika Waititi ) but only in the form of an imaginary friend. But the life of a young Nazi turns upside down when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl. Jojo believes that Jews are evil, and is trying hard to solve this "problem", but gradually communicating with a Jewish girl, he changes his views.
The film is a tough anti-war satire, for moments you can laugh to tears, this is mainly the first hour of the film, but the second is sometimes so heartbreaking that it comes up to your throat, the horrors of war through the eyes of a naive child who has undergone total propaganda sometimes put a lot of pressure on emotions.
The spectator, as if on some kind of a roller coaster, is subjected to completely different emotions: laughter, fear, tension and sadness. All the characters are spelled out vividly and they are all remembered, well shaped, greatly presented. The character of Sam Rockwell is especially well spelled out: you feel not connected with him at first in no way but in the end you almost cry over him. The main feature of this film is the imaginary Adolf Hitler of course. The local Hitler is comical and does not try to resemble the well-known dictator, probably 90% of the humor in the film comes from him. Jojo, the main character: you believe him, you sympathize him, you like his mother and his Jewish girl. There is a great phrase said in the film by Jojo: “Fuck off, Hitler!” - it sounded like the anthem of this picture indeed.
The nomination for an Oscar for installation is absolutely deserved: it is harmonious here, no questions - everything is done at the highest level.
The actors did a great job: the main discovery was the young actor Roman Griffin Davi, who played the main role of Jojo. This was his debut role and I'm not sure that he will even surpass it once, I don’t remember when such a young actor SO plausibly and perfectly performed his job, it is very pleasant that they paid attention to him and even nominated him for the Golden Globe. All the other actors are also in their places including Sam Rockwell who in recent years has become a sought-after actor. Plus do not forget Scarlett Johansson who has already been nominated for an Oscar for this role.
The camera man also tried his best: the film was shot very nicely.
Germany of the times passed is shown very clearly and without any falsehood: costumes, apartments-hung with propaganda posters and the same posters throughout the city - all this accurately conveys that moment of history.
The soundtrack only boasts David Bowie's song “Heroes”.
Jojo's Rabbit is one of the best films O saw in 2020 so far.
It is a rather ungrateful job to defend Seberg film which is completely unimaginable for the cinematography. Of course, such "a movie on the go", or even without looking, one could easily call "a Wikipedia film adaptation" as it was done in the first place with "Bohemian Rhapsody" or “Willpower”, or in general, with those films where the directing is not visible and the idea is sort of "understandable" at first glance. And yet, in this neat, so-called "costume film-biography", there is the eternally relevant truth, albeit in the form of a rally chant, for which it was necessary to recall this tragic fate of an actress.
Actress Gene Seberg whose role was very symbolically taken by Stuart is a symbolic face for the whole new French wave, that same famous Belmondo girl from Godard's “In The Last Breath”. She starred in other great pictures: Otto Preminger (“St. John” about Joan of Arc, this is her debut film, and “Hello, sadness!”), Claude Chabrol (“Demarcation Line” and “The Road to Corinth”). Even Romain Gary, who is better known as a writer (he had a very unbridled film “Birds Fly to Die in Peru”). Today SEberg would have starred with Catherine Deneuve as an Honored Artist of the Fifth Republic in acting skits like "The Truth" by Hirokazu Koreeda. If only she still was alive.
This story began for Seberg in America, where she went on to star in the wake of popularity after “In The Breath” in late 60s. Having met by chance Hakim Jamal (Anthony Maki), the head of the radical left "Black Panther", the activists who was fighting for the rights of African Americans, she falls in love with his burning eyes. One should have a lot of directorial courage in order for Kristen Stewart to put a rather frank (for the mainstream) scene of passionate interracial sex as the first plot point in the film with the new fem-icon. Having flown away from the French husband, in fact Romain Gary, she finds something that the bohemian spouse did not have in a fierce black activist. And this is all despite the fact that Hakim was married to Dorothy Jamal (Zazi Bitts).
It would seem that this whole situation should have remained a personal affair of each of the participants in a love conflict. But the (KG)gebist doesn’t doze off: the FBI conducted illegal, in fact unconstitutional surveillance of African-American movements, heating up the already controversial situation in the US society, which was very conservative at that time (the fact that Jamal was shot dead in 1973 already says a lot). Allegedly, among the ugly racist sexist abusers in suits (one of them is played by Vince Vaughn) who worked on listening to Seberg with Jamal, there was one conscious, conscientious hero: his role went to Jack O’Connell.
However the most important figure in this plot which is not so well-known to the wide audience is, of course, not the special services but Seberg herself with whom Kristen Stewart is amazingly correlated. The actress became famous thanks to the very sexist Twilight; then she moved to the league of "large festival artists" (Sils-Maria), but she was not afraid unlike many highly paid American artists (yes, people are still afraid of this), to come out as a bisexual. It is a bit similar to the Frenchwoman in appearance (and even with a short haircut - even more so French) but not pedaling this similarity but on the contrary: playing it traditionally restrained and in the most modest way, Stuart in the image of Seberg is the main of the few finds of the picture. She is simply superb in this role!
The Seberg film follows its heroine who was trying to be honest with herself. She does not betray any radicalism in herself, she does not refer to the classic films of those years, on the contrary, she leads to obvious thoughts about the toxicity of the celebrity institute, about the inadmissibility of interference in the lives of strangers. At the end political activism is not there to explain to humanity complex theories about the structure of the universe. People do not spare themselves, they do not rush to the embrasures, they do not go to rallies, endure police arbitrariness in order to remind society of seemingly commonplace truths: elections should be free; private life is a private matter of everyone. The desire of the state and special services to ensure the safety of the population in fact often implies paranoid surveillance which, again, violates the inviolable right to privacy. And Seberg’s biography in the neat (maybe even too much) interpretation of the director, Benedict Andrews (this is his only second film after "Una") seems to be just such a seemingly straightforward but symbolic for our time, for an era that actually has not changed at all.
Cast Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John Dolittle Antonio Banderas as King Rassouli Jessie Buckley as Queen Victoria Michael Sheen as Dr. Blair Müdfly Jim Broadbent as Lord Thomas Badgley Harry Collett as Tommy Stubbins Emma Thompson as Polynesia (voice) Rami Malek as Chee-Chee (voice) John Cena as Yoshi (voice) Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton (voice) Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab (voice) Tom Holland as Jip (voice) Craig Robinson as Fleming (voice) Ralph Fiennes as Barry (voice) Selena Gomez as Betsy (voice) Marion Cotillard as Tutu (voice) Carmen Ejogo as Regine (voice) Director Stephen Gaghan
The new film cunningly runs through previous years from Dolittle's life - a brief history of his relationship with his wife is shown in the form of illustrations. When the drawings disappear from the screen, a reclusive doctor appears who could not cope with the death of a loved one. Dolittle lives in a closed estate, where only animals make up his company. He has a great time playing chess with mice, until two uninvited guests come to his house. This is a girl who asks the doctor to save the Queen of England from death, and a boy who suddenly expressed a desire to become a student of Dolittle.
When an unknown disease becomes a threat to the life of the young queen, Dr. Doolittle has to leave his shelter and embark on an incredible journey to the mythical island. In search of medicine for the queen, he fights with merciless enemies, meets outlandish creatures and will is forced to show remarkable courage and ingenuity.
Here, children's characters are smiling, looking almost directly at the camera, the danger does not seem mortal, and all kinds of obstacles are transformed into fun. As expected, every animal Dolittle communicates with has its own character, which causes jokes and laughter.
Dolittle performed by Robert Downey Jr. in his manner of behavior sometimes resembles Jack Sparrow. Surrounded by animals, the actor acquires somewhat comical habits, probably trying to convey Dolittle's eccentric character. On the screen, Michael Sheen becomes his caricatured opponent, playing the role of an ardent hater and a royal dirty trick. Another negative character appearing for a short time in the film is played by Antonio Banderas. Almost all of them are malicious and understandable to small viewers.
The film, though naive, is good for watching with children.
If you are wondering whether to check out new film Bombshell – it will only take a quick glimpse of the poster for you to find 3 BIG reasons. CHARLIZE THERON, NICOLE KIDMAN, MARGOT ROBBIE. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to stop reading now and go book your tickets, as the cast alone was certainly enough to get me excited to see this film. And let me tell you, these three do not disappoint. Three outstanding lead performances, all delivered with such depth and realism. I am not surprised both Theron and Robbie have earned Oscar nominations.
The film is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire, and the story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it. The story is based upon the true accounts of the female Fox News executives who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) for sexual harassment. Commencing with Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) who initially opens the lawsuit against Ailes after being sacked from the network, we then follow the conflicted Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) as she weighs in on whether to come forward with her own experiences.
It is fictional character Kayla (Margot Robbie) a young and ambitious producer at the network who steals the show in the most powerful scene. In it, Kayla gets an opportunity to audition for Ailes in a private meeting. Kayla is thrilled at the meeting, knowing that Ailes has the power to make her career. The scene takes a turn and your heart breaks as Kayla is subjected by Ailes and made to twirl under his justification that ‘it’s a visual medium’. Ailes breathes heavily as he looks on as Kayla finally complies with his commands to hike up the hem of her dress. I felt my stomach knot up, and I watched in disbelief. What struck me was the discomfort I felt from seeing the women facing these situations. You really sympathise for these women, all of them.
Just as the clever title alludes to, Bombshell is explosive, an eye-opening account of how these women are harassed in the workplace, and their bravery for standing up against it. A raw and sophisticated film on an important issue.
I was expecting to see something amazing concidering the strong cast but what a miserable realization of the great potential of the cast and the story itself!
How was that possible? Very predictable thought it started very well and the present was shown very well although the past travelling was a bit clumsy to say the least...
... and more: how did quite a good director Bill Condon having such actors in the crew in this "criminal drama/ thriller" called Good Liar with such “heavyweights” as Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen - how could he make such a gray and inexpressive movie?.. No idea! But... they did not shine!
Maybe it’s in the script, I have no idea what did not work to be honest. I don’t know. The acting was expectedly magnificent but even this was not enough to save the film. It was overall very, very sad.
The film simply had to become a masterpiece IMHO. Who is the liar here now? A mactor , an actress or a director who tricked us all with th egreat trailer and lire us to the cinemas and see the movie. Disappointment 100%.
I can recommend A Good Liar only for those of you who love and fan Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. I do so I enjoyed the acting not the interpretation of the story.
7/10 for me for the masters.
A BOY CALLED SAILBOAT DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION website RATE: 9/10
While I watched the film and caught myself talking to myself: "hm..." ... "hm".... "HM!!!..." not in surprise as I could not decide if the film was excellent or it had some "gaps". I smirked and I smirked again. What a naive movie I thought... but at the same time it worked. The plot is simple but I can not retell it even if I could. Just think this: a little boy named Sailboat found a guitar or rather not even a guitar but most likely a modern-day instrument looking like ukulele, which is smaller than a guitar. So, he found a guitar and composed at the request of his dying grandmother a song that everyone loved so much they had tears in their eyes!
The trick basically is ... hm... there are various little things that you will like: the characters, the surroundings, the actions and the deeds... but you will never hear the song. Not even once!
The house in which the protagonists live: the kid, Sailboat himself and his parents is worth a lot for you to see. It is a house that is supported by a stick and it is cracking from each breeze passing by... It is simply falling apart but it stands like the life of the people living in it... Happily I would say as they love each other. “Sailboat, have you checked the stick yet?” - we here often in the movie.
Why the kid is called Sailboat - this is not the right question to ask. There are way too many questions and answers are not coming as that SONG!!! I will not talk, no speech from me! This is a separate mini-story that fits into the big picture. The boy’s parents are also very charismatic characters: his dad looks like a body builder and hm... of a very formidable kind but he is so very kind . You expect him o hit people but on the contrary - he portrays lots of love. So looks are not important. Sailboat's mom is nice, plump, kind and rounded and she probably smells on meatballs as this is all she cooks for the family and their guests. It is not clear who works and where. They are simple people and really love their Sailboat. Dad picks him up from school and mum cooks meatballs endlessly. Just one mad house that stands on the support of one lousy and almost eaten by termites stick.
Well, as I mentioned or not mentioned before, the most important thing in this story is the song that the boy has written. A wonderful song composed by a boy! A wonderful song! The filmmakers intrigued us all with this song. The fact is that when the Sailboat performs it for the first time or rehearses for village and later to his grandma we still do not hear it! Instead of a song we hear a sound reminiscent of the one we hear live when we muffle the swearing words on TV. Do you know I mean?
What for god sake can a little boy can compose and sing that make people cry and change their lives? Of course the guitar is a very romantic instrument and there are very good, excellent songs written that are taken by the soul... hm... but... they are not performed by children!
At the very end I suddenly realized that the meaning is not in the song itself or rather not in the song's lyrics or music but in the boy's performance. The meaning of the film is much simpler. I will express it this way: believe in yourself, in your dream, be who you are and then you do not need to invent anything, everything in your life will be fine and will fall in the right way - just be honest with what you are after in life, truly after and your life will work.
It is such a simple movie and it carries a deep philosophical meaning and it fills you up. This is not a comedy although I was laughing out loud. There is a very good and solid humor but it is not for everybody to understand and like I believe. For me for example the situation with the stick taking place over and over again that supported was ridiculous but funny as life is in many cases. It is funny when it is repetitive. The stage here belongs to the boy who performs so organically! But this film is not created for children however I would show this film to my grandsons and granddaughters of 5 and up! You can say this film is a small parable about a boy with a guitar and you would be right. His guitar is the knowledge we have in our hands to operate with our lives and make the life work. He did with his brilliantly well so did the movie creators!
I recommend this film highly but immediately warn you that many will not appreciate it. It is not an art house movie nor it is your ordinary film . You need to appreciate life and its values in order to deeply understand what is hidden behind each episode and what messages you perceive on a higher level. I liked it although I would say may be it will not make it my favorite film of the month... or may be it would... hm... 9/10 from me!
THE TRUTH DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION website RATE: 8.10
One of the main stars of French cinema over the past half century, Catherine Deneuve, turned 76 years old. Film The Truth turns out to be the most unusual in the program of the Venetian Film Festival competition where it was screened first time. The combination of the film director, Hirokazu Koreeda and the French actress, Catherine Deneuve looks more than strange. For the time being Hirokazu was considered to be marginal but now he is world wide recognized Japanese talent, a master of elegant metaphysical constructions with a few sentimental family dramas in his amazing portfolio... well now it is our French grand lady who has been known from her youth to play provocative roles, to the extend of ruining her image, however, like all big stars, everyone is equally captured. We see now two figures in front of us, extremely authoritative in the world of cinematography, nevertheless they belong to completely different galaxies, so their alliance looks rather mysterious.
As for the director's victory at the festival, we have to admit that the victory would be impossible if he would never have had such a casting rank at his disposal: in addition to Deneuve there was Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke in the picture. Meanwhile, The Truth work started back in 2002 when Koreeda wrote the play underlying the script. In 2004 he discussed the idea of a joint film with Binoche and made a creative proposal to Deneuve three years after. Hawke appeared in this project after the Koreeda's Golden Palm.
The film was announced under the title "The Truth About Catherine" which sheds additional light on the situation. The heroine was eventually renamed from Faience but still, the personal character of the role is obvious: despite the fact that there is enough fiction around her name. Deneuve is considered to be one of the smartest actresses who can build her career from scratch. It is well know that once she sent a letter to Louis Bunuel and persuaded her to take her for Tristan. Years later, in the same way she got the role of Lars von Trier in Dancing in the Dark. We do not have evidence but it is reasonable to assume that in this case it was not without her initiative but the interests were still mutual. Later Koreeda has called his film "Love Letter to Catherine Deneuve". Precedents of this kind have already happened with Asian authors: Hon San Su and Briante Mendoza shot Isabelle Huppert, and Abbas Kiarostami has done Juliette Binoche... and yet this is a special case when it is almost impossible to separate the actress from the character and completely establish the authorship of certain decisions.
The plot of The Truth focuses on the relationship between the mother, a French movie superstar (Deneuve) and her not-so-successful screenwriting daughter (Binoche), who lives overseas with her American husband, a second-rate actor who is prone to alcohol abuse (Hawke). This is first foreign film of Koreeda that was entirely shot in Paris. It seems to be a mystery pattern of daughter-mother relationship not only for French but also Swedish, Spanish and American cinema. Inevitably there is Bergman with his "Autumn Sonata", "All About Eve", and "Sunset Boulevard" are classic films about actresses in crisis or at their career and personal sunset. It is a postmodern variation on the theme “everything about my mother” - and first of all "High Heels" by Almodovar.
But first of all the film splays around the artistic myth associated with the personality and biography of Deneuve herself. When she says on behalf of her heroine that Hitchcock was about to shoot her and they had a meeting on this topic, but the horror king soon died, this was true: Deneuve almost became one of the favorite Hitchcock blondes. In another episode Fabienne notes that many big stars like Michelle Morgan, Daniel Darje, Simone Signoret, Greta Garbo had the name and surname began with the same letter. As soon as the interlocutor tries to give an example to Brigitte Bardot, Fabienne makes a skeptical grimace. Everyone knows that Bardot and Deneuve competed both on the screen and in life, both being the "creatures" of the director Roger Vadim while Bardot played in the movie Clouseau, also called La Vérité translated in some languages as The Truth.
In his picture Koreeda touches another very delicate, even risky, topic. There is another rival actress in her life. Talented and vulnerable, she stepped out of the race and died because Fabienne was stronger. There is one much trickier: she slept with the director and he preferred her to Sarah, giving Fabienne the opportunity to play his crown role. This is an actual commentary on the topic that is being discussed today in connection with the demarches of Hollywood and European actresses who have become (or supposedly become) victims of producers or directors who have abused male and social power on them. As you know, Catherine Deneuve is restrained about the latest feminist initiatives and Koreeda's film comments on this topic with obvious irony.
The conflict is in the fact that this all involuntarily associates with the real rivals of Catherine Deneuve: Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider. The first one, like fictional Sarah in the film had a hoarse voice, the second tragically passed away. Add now more to this cocktail of rumors: Deneuve's sister (real name - Dorleac), Francoise died on the take-off at the age of 25. In fact, the relationship of the two sisters was not poisoned by a shadow of jealousy: they easily shared success and admired each other. Moreover, their films "Disgust" and "Dead End", "Cherbourg's Umbrellas" and "Tender Skin" competed at festivals and in the critics' assessments. In the "new wave" system of values Catherine Deneuve with her classic "monolithic" type was more relevant than Francoise Dorleac with her nervous variability and uncertainty.
Francois Truffaut who survived a brief romance with Francoise prophesied a great future for her and promised to shoot her every six years, jokingly appointing her dates in 1970, 1976 and 1982. Francoise will die in a car accident in 1967. Instead another Mademoiselle Dorleac, Catherine Deneuve will come to see Truffaut. She would arrive at almost appointed hours. She would play with Truffaut in the films "The Mississippi Siren" (1969) and "The Last Subway" (1980). Catherine inherited the roles and admirers of her deceased sister but the tragedy cast a shadow of bitterness on the joint films of Deneuve and Truffaut and even on their romance which began shortly after the death of Francoise and ended in a painful rupture.
It is not surprising that The Truth partially reproduces the real and the legendary situations. It is amazing how they are interpreted in the film. There is a "double lenses" effect: one comes from a purely French tradition the other from a transformed Japanese one.
If this "lenses vision" was only French at best there would have been a stinging comedy in the spirit of Francois Ozon who bravely beat the mythology of national actresses in “8 Women” or something like “Near Paradise” by Tony Marshall - some melodramas with a cinephilic bias or an essay on the image of Catherine Deneuve and her place in world cinema.
In the film Deneuve with an ostentatious sense of humor oversights the overturns of her own myths. Of course her heroine as befits a diva is selfish and a bit of a "bitch" (barely seeing her, the young granddaughter immediately begins to suspect that her grandmother is a witch). However nothing is infernal. In the film Koreeda does not confirm in any way his tendency to any light mysticism and Deneuve does everything to present his heroine as earthly as possible without any romantic flair and a halo of that cold mystery. She does not deny anything: she walks in a vulgar leopard print coats, does not hide any suspenders or defects of an overly overweight figure and she is ready to flirt with her son-in-law; she loves to sit alone in a nearby Chinese restaurant most of all. She can be funny but never miserable. The unquenchable brilliance of her beautiful and sometimes angry and mocking eyes puts any journalist, admirer or hangman in their place. Fabienne still reigns on the set of the next film. It is a dubious cosmic melodrama where mother and daughter also appear; the flight into space becomes a perfect recipe for old age and death (to never die).
Ethan Hawke introduces a jovial American note into the fresh world of a peri-French party. Juliette Binoche slightly stylized as Chiara Mastroianni (a real life daughter of Deneuve), tactfully keeps in the shadow of the Queen. Her heroine, Lumir lives with a feeling of dislike, jealousy and resentment for a selfish mother - an incorrigible lyceum who continues to play maliciously and recklessly in life as well as on the stage set. Emotions come to the surface when Fabienne’s memoir under the provocative title “The Truth” comes out of print. We will never know the truth, we will confine to live in half-truth or if you like in a post-truth - the same way we use to confine to it in the other areas of life.
When the plot of the film was announced there was a question raised: will Koreeda have enough knowledge of European realities? It was all food, everything was in order with this and the director settled the French capital very naturally. He even found in its pacifying suburban landscapes the resemblance to his native Japan. Koreeda stays also very close to the genre of elegiac family drama with Chekhov's intelligent subtexts and the images of the "family nest" in fact as a metaphor for a real "humane prison".
It is very difficult to say how significant this art work will be in the career of Koreeda who is at his artistic peak in the world fame and if this particular film will have any positive waves of consequences. In the final credit, Catherine Deneuve while under the gun of Eric Gauthier’s camera, accompanied by the music of Alexei Aigi walks endlessly along the alley with her companion and friend: a cute little dog. The star returns to where she came from - to outer space. It seems, to be the last truth devoid of any tragic pathos.
There’s a great deal of warmth and good humour in filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu’s (who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Shoplifters) wry new dramedy The Truth.
It is his first film abroad in a language not his own and he worked with a totally French crew.
It also marks the first time beloved Academy Award nominees Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche have featured alongside one another.
They star as a celebrated actress and her estranged daughter.
Fabienne (Deneuve) and Lumir (Binoche) have a prickly relationship.
Fabienne is a larger-than-life, now ageing, French cinema icon.
She’s had more affairs than hot dinners and she was hardly the mother figure Lumir would have liked while growing up.
Lumir, a screenwriter, lives in New York with her struggling actor husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) and their inquisitive young daughter Charlotte (Clémentine Grenier).
When Fabienne publishes her memoir the trio heads to Paris for the occasion.
It comes as no surprise to Lumir that everything in her grand childhood home still revolves around her mother.
As she begins to read Fabienne’s book – which mother promised to send her, but somehow didn’t get around to – it becomes clear the tome is riddled with omissions, lies and embellishments.
Those concern both Lumir and Fabienne’s relationship with the great artistic rival of her past, Sarah Mondavan, who is no longer with us.
Not surprisingly, Fabienne in painted in a far more favourable light than is true.
Mind you, she has no time for explanations or small talk.
She’s preparing for her next film, a science-fiction drama, where she is cast in a small role alongside a rising new talent (Manon Clavel) who is touted as “the next Sarah Mondavan”.
However, Fabienne is not at the top of her game anymore.
Still, she is always on show and feels she has a reputation and standing to uphold.
She is uncomfortable playing second fiddle and being outshone by another star on the rise.
There is no doubt Manon reminds Fabienne of her former rival, who – incidentally – Lumir was close to.
Although Manon is charming and agreeable, Fabienne hardly affords her the same sentiments in return and tries to find every excuse concerning the worth of the script and her inability to live up to expectations.
Separately, Fabienne plays a joyful cat and mouse game with her granddaughter, who is led to believe she is a witch and can turn humans into animals, if she so chooses.
A case in point is a turtle who bears the name of Fabienne’s former husband, her daughter’s father.
The script is witty and joyful, the performances a standout, led by Deneuve in her best role in years, which she assumes with a twinkle in her eyes.
Deneuve revels in being the centre of attention – a leading actress playing an actress ... just perfect.
Binoche, too, is nuanced as daughter, wife and mother, carrying hurt and anger from her past, but also a spirit of forgiveness.
I loved the frequent visits to the movie set and the film within a film scenes involving three generations of actress.
The question must be asked: what is fact and what is fiction?
The film has a laconic style.
Manon Clavel is particularly evocative as the young actress with a big future – the consummate professional.
Ethan Hawke is given a bit of a thankless role as a fish out of water but handles it skilfully, recognising he is the third wheel.
I also liked Clémentine Grenier as his daughter, more than a little precocious and clearly blessed with the acting gene.
Kore-eda Hirokazu has lovingly crafted a gentle, delicious celebration of family dynamics put to the test.
You could reasonably argue that not a great deal happens, but the beauty comes from the interactions.
Rated PG, The Truth scores a 7½ out of 10.
A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION website website RATE: 10/10
Something strange is happening in the little country town. One very mysterious guest is arriving from outer space from the far away planet located in a different galaxy.
A very naughty young alien, Lu-La's spaceship loses control and lands close by to the farm where Shaun and his herd live. The sheep get very excited as the alien can do the things they have never seen before.
Shaun decides to make friends with Lu-La and help him to find his way home. Less Shaun knows that the security agents are hunting this spaceship for days now. The agents follow the alien and Shaun to find out the secrets of unknown civilization.
This is basically the story.
It was a long-awaited adventure sequel for the famous Shaun. Shaun looks like a center of the most unusual and funniest adventures.
They should succeed in their operation to return Lu-La home and well... you tell me. I highly recommend to see this animation in particular. It was the funniest film I have seen in the last two years. The humor is very intelligent. Add to this the quality of the detailed animation is very high so you will be enjoying it with your kids forgetting your age indeed.