Category Archives: film reviews

L’Indivision by Mélanie Delloye (2021) 

Family drama. Pretty cathartic.

The story is set inside a large house with its own lonely inhabitant – elderly gentleman, father of the family. His children want to convince him to sell the house. He opposes.

As the plot unravels, we learn the family secrets and reasoning behind particular characters.

Well written and acted, with claustrophobic camera eye.

Watch it if you are into enclosed drama set out on the people’s faces.

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Filed under Warsaw Film Festival 2021

“The One I Love” by Charlie McDowell (2014)

Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are a young couple on the crossroads who attend a therapy. Their shrink advises them a retreat in a house at an unspecified location.

They reluctantly agree and part for a short trip to a beautiful faraway location where they deal with each other, each other’s expectations and fears.

What they go through and the way things go, is the most significant strength of this feature film.

It makes one think for a long time afterwards on what exactly happened there.

Smooth acting, improvised dialogues provide an artsy experience that is less literal and more emotional than one would expect.

A recommend.

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“Saturday Night Fever” (1977) by John Badham

This film has not aged well. Despite it being made in the golden era of Hollywood. The daily problems of 20-somethings do not correspond well to today’s experiences.

One could argue that it is a fair social study of late 1970’s in New York among the children of 2nd or 3rd generation of immigrants from Old Europe.

I love dancing and I do see the appeal of the main story. So I understand how it became a success back in its time.

But now? No thanks. I am allergic to disco music, so probably that is why it has been a difficult watch.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is a universal picture of troubled youth. I just don’t dig it.

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Filed under Catching Up, Cult Classics

“The Post” (2017) by Steven Spielberg

Remember “All the President’s Men” from 1976 with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman? Well – this is its prequel.

A phenomenal depiction of personal struggle of Mrs. Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) who decides to follow on The New York Times’ publishing of the Pentagon papers after the NYT has been banned from writing on the topic by the court.

Despite possible implications related to the IPO of The Post (The Washington Post), the owner and publisher of the title decides to fight for the freedom of speech, publishes the articles and then joins the New York Times in the Supreme Court fighting for the First Amendment / freedom of the press rights.

President Nixon is quoted several times (from real life tapes) digging one deeper hole after another which eventually leads to Watergate – shown in “All the Presidents’ Men”.

Beautifully shot, costumes, machinery, real breath of the times and the suspense held to the extent needed – without pushing it too far, which could easily be achieved.

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Filed under 2017 cinema releases

Mes provinciales by Jean-Paul Civeyrac (2018)

Over 2 hours in length in black and white. What to expect? It could be pretentious. But it’s not.

This film has everything I look for in the cinema. There is the protagonist: conflicted, entrapped in his own personality and indolence. Seemingly passive but in the end turns out to have had a clear agenda all the way. There is romance, there is love, there is quest for the sense of life and plenty of literature references (such as e.g. the original French title is a nod to Blaise Pascale’s “Les provincials”).

It’s set in Paris, so there is a lot of smoking, long discussions into the night over bottles of wine and traces of things that other metropolises do not have. There is also love and its diverse faces and measures. One of those films that leaves you thoughtful and pensive for a long time. Funny enough, we get asked one question throughout the film “why making films?”. Well this one provides a decent answer.

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Toril by Laurent Teyssier (2016)

A thriller wherein the emotions grab you by the throat.

Young man’s struggle with life, love, duty towards his father and desperate attempts at saving the family agricultural business.

What originally begins as long exposition, ends up a masterpiece of managing the audience expectations at exactly the right pace.

Feature debut and a really good mature film.

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Filed under film reviews, Warsaw Film Festival 2016

Julie by Alba Gonzalez de Molina (2016)

Julie is French and for some reason ends up in the Pyrenees looking for an escape from the world.

There is a small village where she is welcomed with open arms and houses .

She quickly accommodates to the local customs and habits. She does, however, hide a secret. And when the secret comes out she loses the trust of the locals.

A peaceful study of loneliness and being lost in the world. Beautiful film. And a debut.

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Paris Tower 13 by Thomas Lallier (2016)

Documentary on cultural event of the year in Paris in 2013.

A gallery owner invites over 100 street artists to convert an abandoned block of flats set for destruction into an art gallery that will only be open to the public for one month.

The author became one of the artists involved in the project being the filmmaker among them.

A beautiful story – very vivid imagery and a statement that art is an important element of our lives.

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Putin Forever? by Kyrill Nenashev (2015)

Documentary on Russian protests against falsifying the results of presidential elections in 2012.

Estimated budget of $2000,00 (two thousand).

It is fascinating, shocking and eye opening. I personally haven’t heard of 2012 white marches engaging millions (sic!) in Moscow and other places in Russia.

A definite recommend.

 

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Filed under film reviews, Warsaw Film Festival 2016

Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) by Sharon Maguire

Bridget Jones is the old spinster we know. This time over 40, however, managed to reach perfect weight over the years. This film is a drift from Helen Fielding’s book “Mad About the Boy”, where Mark Darcy is dead and Bridget is widowed with two kids.

Here Mark Darcy is alive and kicking with second (sic!) wife with the looks of a clothes rack. And we all meet at Daniel Cleaver’s (sic!) memorial… Jokes aside – supposedly Hugh Grant wasn’t going to participate in this project. He is replaced by the one and only Dr. McDreamy (it seems, one more time Helen Fielding got to have a silver screen crush into her stories – well done M’am!).

One incredible addition here is that Emma Thompson (herself!) has been invited to collaborate on the writing team. As a result (chicken and egg problem, not sure what came first – the role, or her writing?) – we have received an amazing comic role of renowned actress as Bridget’s OB. Amazing dialogues! Great experience.

What I like about this film – we have wrinkled romance. Apparently people in their 40’s and 50’s also fall in love, and know how to laugh at themselves. Having gained so much distance over the years definitely helps. I love this new Bridget. Perhaps now more, than ever before. Great stuff!

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Filed under 2016 cinema releases, film reviews