Review: Parched

Parched is from India, beautifully directed by Leena Yadav. It’s a visual treat while being a heartbreaking look at the lives of women in a brutal patriarchal society. Continue reading “Review: Parched”

Review: Margarita, With a Straw

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”

Watch This: Trailer for Beauty and the Beast

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”

Review: Love Is Not Perfect

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”

Review: The Second Mother

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”

Watch This: Trailer for The Innocents

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”

Review: The New Girlfriend

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”

Review: Phoenix

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”

Watch This: Trailer for Breathe

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 in Breathe

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.

Watch This: Trailer for A Second Chance

The Danish film A Second Chance (En Chance Til) will premier at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. It’s a film from Academy Award winning director Suzanne Bier.

Based on the trailer, the film looks powerful and gut-wrenching. The film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Maria Bonnevie.

A police officer steals a child from drug-addicted parents at a crime scene. His wife bonds with the child and threatens to kill herself if he returns the child to the real parents. It looks complicated and fraught and full of many of the deep, meaningful emotions that make me a fan of many Danish films.

It will be a while before this film reaches any likely places to view it in the U.S. – probably on a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon. It looks excellent. I hope it becomes available to Americans soon.

A Second Chance Photo by Henrik Petit