Alexandra (Aleksandra)

BBBB (out of 5) Famed opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya makes a rare foray into film acting and does not come off in the least bit an amateur. She plays a woman who rides a military train to Chechnya to visit a barracks where her grandson is stationed as a captain. Once there she roams the…

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My Blueberry Nights

BB (out of 5) Following the international success of In The Mood For Love and the critical adoration of 2046, it could come as no surprise that Wong Kar Wai’s next move would be to break into the English market. It was a project highly anticipated given the combination of his genius directorial power combined…

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Import/Export

BBB.5 (out of 5) Harrowing drama that charts the difficulties of people simply trying to get by in two European countries. Olga lives a life without hope in the freezing cold Ukraine; when the opportunity comes to go work in Austria as a cleaning lady, she takes it. Paul can’t hold down a job in…

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Silent Light (Stellet Licht)

BBB (out of 5) Slow, meditative film that examines the lives of Mennonites living in a ranch community in Mexico. The father of a farming family finds his soul torn in multiple directions because he cannot decide between his love for his wife and the affection he feels for another woman with whom he has…

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Sicko

BBBB (out of 5) Documentarian and loveable rabble-rouser Michael Moore delves into the All American Dream once again for this wholly absorbing film on the state of the nation’s health care. He interviews scores of subjects in five different countries to come up with evidence that the United States is in favour of a system…

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4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (4 Luni, 3 Saptamani si 2 Zile) (2007)

CRISTIAN MUNGIU Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Romania, 2007.  Mobra Films, Centrul National al Cinematografiei, Mindshare Media, McCann-Erickson, Televiziunea Romana, Saga Film, The Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam Festival.  Screenplay by Cristian Mungiu, script consultant Razvan Radulescu.  Cinematography by Oleg Mutu.  Produced by Cristian Mungiu, Oleg Mutu.  Production Design by Mihaela Poenaru.  Costume Design by Dana Istrate.  Film Editing by Dana Bunescu.  Cannes Film Festival…

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Tehilim

BBB.5 (out of 5) A father and his son driving to school get into a minor car accident; the boy goes to get help and, when he comes back, finds that his father has disappeared. From there begins an Israeli L’Avventura as this Orthodox family is rocked to the core, the mother pulling her resources…

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The Band’s Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret)

BBBB (out of 5) The subtly humorous joys of this film are not to be missed. Based on actual events, it chronicles the experiences of the Alexandria police’s musical band as they travel to Israel to attend an Arab music festival. When there’s no one to meet them at the airport, they ask for directions…

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Paranoid Park

BBB (out of 5) Gus Van Sant continues to explore the fascinating (to him) world of shirtless skinny teenagers with this miniature foray into the psyche of a high school student.  Young Gabe Nevins spends his free time away from high school and girlfriend Taylor Momsen (most famous as Ron Howard’s Cindy Lou Who) on a…

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Love Songs (Les Chansons D’Amour)

BBBB (out of 5) Christophe Honore follows up more disturbing films like Ma Mere with this delightful musical that isn’t without some dark tones of its own.  Clotilde Hesme, Ludivine Sagnier and Honore mainstay Louis Garrel are a menage a trois that the latter two created to save their struggling relationship. The situation works pretty well, even…

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A Mighty Heart

BBBB (out of 5) True-life story of Daniel and Mariane Pearl is given solid treatment by director Michael Winterbottom. The Pearls (Dan Futterman, Angelina Jolie) are journalists stationed in Karachi, Pakistan who have their world upended when he is kidnapped by an Islamic fundamentalist group and she, six months pregnant, is left wondering about his…

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Zodiac

BB (out of 5) Starting in 1969, a series of murders were attributed to a figure known only as the “Zodiac” killer for more than a decade before police gave up on the search and decided that the case rested somewhere between fact and hoax. To date only a fraction of the murders that the…

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