Friday, June 29, 2012

The Door

Director: István Szabó
Starring: Helen Mirren, Martina Gedeck, Károly Eperjes, Gábor Koncz, Enikö Börcsök, Mari Nagy, Ági Szirtes, Péter Andorai

Based on the semi-autobiographical 1987 Hungarian novel by Magda Szabó, the period drama tells of an unusual relationship between a well-to-do novelist (Martina Gedeck) and her graceless, elderly cleaner, Emerence (Helen Mirren). The latter has had a traumatic life which she has successfully kept a secret until a dramatic event in the writer's life prompts her share her past with unpredictable consequences. Set in 1960s in Hungary bourgeois, the much respected and rather eccentric, Emerence lives alone in a small house but has never let anyone beyond her front door (the ‘Door’ of the title). When the final revelations as to what lies behind the door come they are intriguing, but perhaps never as dramatic or moving as they should be, mainly because the film never really sets up drama of the relationship between the two women to its full effect. Despite this there are good performances from the cast with exceptional cinematography. Pure arthouse.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hysteria

Director: Tanya Wexler
Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett

A romantic comedy centered around the development of the electromagnetic vibrator during the late Victorian era. Doctor Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), is a specialist in treating women with "hysterica” in a most unorthodox way. Dr Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is an idealistic, forward-thinking medic who drifts from job to job mainly due to his skepticism and out-spokenness. He joins Dalrymple’s private practice and falls for his employer’s daughters the demure Emily (Felicity Jones) and the "volatile suffragette" Charlotte (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Keen to develop his medical experitse Granville perfects manual "vulvar massage," but the popularity of the treatment leaves him with painful carpel tunnel syndrome and its up to his gadget-loving best friend (Rupert Everett) to help ease matters with a new invention. What might have been a jolly good romp ends up rather a damp squib. Mildly amusing

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Happy Event (Un heureux evenement)

Director: Rémi Bezançon
Starring: Louise Bourgoin, Pio Marmaï, Josiane Balasko, Thierry Frémont. Category III

A whirlwind romance between TV presenter, Barbara (Bourgoin) and shop assistant, Nicolas (Pio Marmai) follows a chance encounter at a video store. In the midst of their infatuation, Barbara falls pregnant and as they wait for the happy event their perfect relationship begins to fall apart. A humorous and thought-provoking dramedy told in two parts. The real ordeal begins with the new arrival and the resultant strain it puts on the protagonists’ relationship. Sure to bring both laughter and tears.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Once upon a time in Anatolia

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Starring: Yilmaz Erdogan, Firat Tanis, Taner Birsel, Ahmet Mumtaz Taylan, Muhammet Uzuner

Moody road trip come detective movie set in the Turkish Steppes. A murder of a local man has been committed and the body buried somewhere in the vast fields of the Anatolian countryside. The killers (Firat Tanis and Burham Yildiz) lead a convoy featuring a police chief (Yillmaz Erdogan), town doctor (Muhament Uzner) and prosecutor (Taner Birsel) to where the body is buried. Packed into three cars the group search field after field but to no avail and as the night draws on, tensions escalate, and individual stories slowly emerge from the weary small talk of the men. Nothing here is simple, and when the body is found, the real questions begin. Fabulous cinematography by Gokhan Tiryaki in this pot boiler. Long but worth the wait.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The King is Dead!

Director: Rolf de Heer

Starring: Dan Wyllie, Bojana Novakovic, Gary Waddell, Luke Ford, Anthony Hayes

This is a suburban dark comedy with Max (Dan Wyllie) and Therese (Bojana Novakovic) who have just bought a new house. On one side is the perfect neighbours and on the other, a ne'er -do-well who lives in a rundown hovel. King (Gary Waddell) is a simple man and Max and Therese suspect is a drug addict. He friends Shrek (Luke Ford) and Escobar (Anthony Hayes) are regular visitors and regularly party to the early hours. No matter the polite reasoning all seems to fail until eventually the likeable Max and Therese take matters into their own hands. Good performances throughout in this little Australian movie and well worth a watch.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Three Stooges

Directors : Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Starring: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Kate Upton, Larry David, Sofia Vergara, Kirby Heyborne

Reprise of the old Three Stooges movies set in the present. Larry Fine (Sean Hayes), Curly Howard (Will Sasso) , and Moe Howard (Chris Diamantopoulos ) are back and twenty-five years after leaving the orphanage they find their home under threat of foreclosure. With the usual slapstick mayhem the trio and nuns set out to right wrongs as only they can against the villainous Lydia (Sofia Vergara). A sub plot of two along the way including a brief reconnoiters with reality TV show, Jersey Shore. However in the end this is a mixed bag comedy which may only appeal the aficionados.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Where do we go now?

Director: Nadine Labaki
Starring: Nadine Labaki, Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Julien Farhat, Antoinette Noufaily

A bitter sweet comedy in a small Lebanese village where Muslims and Christians live in harmony. When tensions begin to rise in the region and old wounds soon to be rekindled the women decide to keep their men from finding out about the violent skirmishes that rage nearby. They hire a troupe of skimpily-clad Ukrainian dancers and bake hash-bread in an attempt to keep their men preoccupied . Then reality takes hold and a young man is killed. Worth a watch.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Polisse

Director: Maïwenn le Besco
Starring: Maïwenn Le Besco , Frederic Pierrot, Joeystarr, Marina Fois, Emmanuell Bercot, Karin Viard

Life behind-the-scenes at a Child Protection Unit in Paris. Maïwenn (Maïwenn Le Besco ) is a photojournalist on a Ministry of the Interior assignment who flits between cases in this doco-styled drama that aims to highlight both the horrendous tasks these officers must deal with as well as their general ineptness at carrying them out. The team is led by Baloo (Frederic Pierrot), who must deal with bureaucratic pressure from above and insubordination from below. His most ardent officer is Fred (Joeystarr), an immigrant whose passion for children's welfare turns too personal and forcefully deviates from the interrogation protocol. Iris (Marina Fois) is a hard-hearted pro who maintains a chilly distance from her cases. He partner Nadine (Karin Viard) is a divorcee who can’t admit to her colleague that she’s still madly in love with her cheating ex-husband. The language and detail is raw, as to be expected from a film that follows the investigation of crimes against children. Many of the anecdotes were based on real cases. The end of the movie is not for the faint hearted.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Take this waltz

Director: Sarah Polley

Starring: Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman

A slow moving love story involving three people. Margot (Michelle Williams) is in love with her cookbook author husband Lou (Rogen), and lives happily in a Toronto townhouse. The she goes to Nova Scotia on a work trip and has a brief flirtatious relationship with Daniel (Luke Kirby) a handsome artist, who it transpires lives close by. They share cab ride back from the airport and realize something significant has happened between them. Margot tries to avoid contact but is drawn to her new paramour. Over the hot summer, Margot and Daniel keep finding ways to bump into each other, stealing moments together to dance around their mutual attraction without ever acting on it. Torn between her genuine feelings of love for Lou and her schoolgirl crush for Daniel the more she tries to suppress her feelings the more erotic they become. The title comes from a Leonard Cohen song heard when the inevitable finally happens between Margot and Daniel. Good performances from the cast.