Manderlay

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier’s proposed trilogy of observations of American society starts out strong with Dogville but moves on to a much less interesting second chapter (the third has yet to be produced at the time of this review).  Forced to drop out of the project because of conflicting commitments, Nicole Kidman is replaced … More Manderlay

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Oliver Twist (2005)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Roman Polanski follows his Oscar winning The Pianist with the fulfillment of a longtime dream of his, to adapt Dickens’ oft-filmed novel, reuniting with screenwriter Ronald Harwood and cinematographer Pawel Edelman.  Barney Clark is terrific in the titular lead as a woefully treated boy who is raised in an orphanage and workhouse before taking to the streets of London … More Oliver Twist (2005)

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The Masseur (Masahista)

BB.5 (out of 5) Brillante Mendoza investigates the exploitation of Manila’s handsome young men, who earn money in brothels that masquerade as massage parlours. One boy in particular performs his duties amid flashbacks to his father’s funeral, the preparation and rituals juxtaposed with very little subtlety against the images of him rubbing down his clients. … More The Masseur (Masahista)

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Vers Mathilde (Towards Mathilde) (2005)

CLAIRE DENIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  France, 2005.  Celluloid Dreams.  Cinematography by Agnes Godard, Helene Louvart.  Produced by Pascal Caucheteux.  Music by P.J. Harvey.  Film Editing by Anne Souriau.   Claire Denis applies her hypnotic style to the documentary format and proves to be as innovative as she is when making narrative films. Here she follows provocative choreographer and performance artist … More Vers Mathilde (Towards Mathilde) (2005)

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Mary

BBB.5 (out of 5) Abel Ferrara goes for just the right tone, execution and attitude in this absorbing film, but it’s a shame he doesn’t go as far with its concept as he could have. After completing the filming of a religious epic that bases its presentation of the life of Christ on the recently … More Mary

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The Shore

BB (out of 5) This rip-off of Francois Ozon’s Under The Sand is atrociously put together, with a cast of unbelievably awkward actors (except for the two leads), plastic dialogue and meaningless, slow direction by Dionysius Zervos. While vacationing with her grandparents in Atlantic City, a little girl goes missing on the beach and sets … More The Shore

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