Margarita, With a Straw is from India. It is set partly in India, partly in New York City. The film is a mix of Hindi and English. It’s the story of a college student named Laila (Kalki Koechlin) who leaves her home and comes to New York University to study. Continue reading “Review: Margarita, With a Straw”
This is the French version of the old fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast (original title La belle et la bête). Disney has a version of this story in the works, but this one looks like a film for grown ups. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Beauty and the Beast”
Love Is Not Perfect (original title L’amore è imperfetto) stars a woman and has a woman director. Those two things enticed me to watch it. It’s in Italian with English subtitles. The point of the film, the best I could figure it out, is that it takes a lot of time and mistakes to grow into your life. Continue reading “Review: Love Is Not Perfect”
The Second Mother [originally Que Horas Ela Volta?] is a beautiful Brazilian film from 2015. Outstandingly written and directed by Anna Muylaert, the film is a story of class, motherhood, sacrifice, and modern São Paulo. Continue reading “Review: The Second Mother”
The Innocents is from Poland and French director Anne Fontaine. In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor (Lou de Laâge) who is sent to assist the French survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for The Innocents”
The New Girlfriend is a French film. The original title is Une nouvelle amie. I watch many foreign movies but I don’t always write about them here, because I know most people aren’t particularly interested in foreign films and they don’t like reading subtitles. Continue reading “Review: The New Girlfriend”
Female Agents, in the original French Les Femmes de l’ombre, is a World War II story, taking place in the last few days before the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
In late May 1944, in London, Lieutenant Pierre Desfontaines (Julien Boisselier) and his sister Louise Desfontaines (Sophie Marceau) convince three other women to join a task force under Pierre’s command to rescue a British geologist who knows the D-Day plan. He’s been captured and is in a hospital in France. Mild spoilers ahead.
Phoenix is a German film that earned over the top rave reviews from festival goers. Set in Berlin in 1944, the film stars Nina Hoss as a woman returning from a concentration camp. It’s beautifully photographed and has a very satisfying ending. Nina Hoss is wonderful in the part. I also give it high marks; it kept me holding my breath with fear. But I had a couple of complaints about the film.
Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Phoenix”
Breathe is a film from actress-turned-director Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds, Beginnings). It’s in French with English subtitles and will be released in the US in late September.
Joséphine Japy and Lou De Laâge as two young girls whose all-consuming friendship takes a dark turn. Here’s the film synopsis:
A taut, nuanced story about the depths of female friendships and the dark side of teenage infatuations, Breathe, the sophomore directorial effort from Mélanie Laurent, is an assured adaptation of the sensational French young adult novel of the same name. Charlie (Joséphine Japy) is seventeen and bored. Her estranged parents are too caught up in their own drama to pay her much attention. School holds no surprises either, and Charlie grows tired of her staid friends. Enter Sarah (Lou de Laâge), a confident and charismatic new transfer student who brings with her an alluring air of boldness and danger. The two form an instant connection, and through shared secrets, love interests and holiday getaways their relationship deepens to levels of unspoken intimacy. But with this intimacy comes jealousy and unrealistic expectations, and soon the teens find themselves on a dangerous trajectory toward an inevitable and unforeseen collapse.
Isabelle Carré plays Charlie’s mother in Breathe.
For readers, a movie tie-in edition of the novel the film is based on will be published by St Martin’s Griffin in September. It is a translation of Anne-Sophie Brasme’s novel written when the author was just seventeen years old. It spent several months as a bestseller in France after its publication in 2001.
Dear Frankie is a 2004 film, but just joined the features available on Amazon Instant Video. It was new to me, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Emily Mortimer is Lizzie, the mother of 9 year-old Frankie (Jack McElhone). Lizzie’s mother Nell was played with chain-smoking verve by the late Mary Riggans. The three of them have been on the run from Frankie’s father for years. Lizzie and her mother are guarded and restrained and remain that way throughout the film. The film is emotionally charged, but in a vigilant and contained way. Lizzie and her mom are holding it in, but just barely.
Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Dear Frankie”