The Happy Prince (2018)

RUPERT EVERETT Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  United Kingdom/Belgium/Italy/Germany, 2018.  Maze Pictures, Entre Chien et Loup, Palomar, Cine Plus Filmproduktion, Robert Fox Limited, BBC Films, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Daryl Prince Productions, Heimatfilm, Raindog Films.  Screenplay by Rupert Everett.  Cinematography by John Conroy.  Produced by Sebastien Delloye, Philipp Kreuzer, Jörg Schulze.  Music by Gabriel…

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No Home Movie

BBBB (out of 5) Chantal Akerman films the last few months of her mother’s life in a sweet documentary that turns out to be her own swan song:  her mother Natalia passed away not long after filming, while Akerman took her own life not long after the film’s release.  Meditative images of the director’s travels are presented…

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Battle In Heaven (Batalla En El Cielo)

BB (out of 5) A personal driver for a Mexico City army general is sweet on his boss’s daughter, whom he has been looking after since she was a little girl. She likes to spend her days working in a boutique brothel, a secret which he keeps from her family, while he confides in her that he…

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Two Days, One Night (Deux Jours, Une Nuit)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Marion Cotillard is prepared to go back to work after being on sick leave for depression, but is informed of a devastating change at the factory where she works. Her fellow employees have been given the choice of either receiving a huge annual bonus or keeping her on staff, and have been…

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Bethlehem

BBB (out of 5) An Israeli police captain working the West Bank city of the title has a teenaged Palestinian informant whose situation is growing shakier by the minute.  Razi (Tsahi Halevi) recruited young Sanfur before the film began and is using him to get to the boy’s strategically significant brother; the cop also has…

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Bullhead (Rundskop)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) An astonishing act of childhood malevolence leads to an adult life of difficulty and strife as cattle farmer Jacky spends his days constantly reminded of a bullying incident which marked him forever. Now an adult, he becomes involved with colleagues who want his assistance in their shady dealings, tampering with the…

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The Secret Of Kells

BB (out of 5) Oddball, unpleasant animated film that dips into Celtic mythology to tell the tale of a little boy living in a medieval village. A renowned holy man arrives in his hamlet and brings with him a powerful book of ancient wisdom and magic that our pint-sized hero must help to complete. In…

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The School Of Flesh (L’Ecole De La Chair)

BBBB (out of 5) Isabelle Huppert is fascinating in this character study by Benoit Jacquot. She plays a successful business woman who takes a bisexual hustler (Vincent Martinez) home one night and is unable to let him leave. Growing obsessed over owning him, Huppert threatens to ruin her whole personal and professional life over this young…

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A Cat In Paris (Une Vie De Chat)

BBB (out of 5) Stylish, angular animation and a charming narrative heighten the experience of this miniature charmer, about a young girl who has voluntarily gone mute since the death of her father at the hands of a nasty gangster.  Her police officer mother does her best to keep a home full of love but…

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An Affair Of Love (A Pornographic Affair) (Un Liaison Pornographique)

BBBB (out of 5) Intellectual French film about a middle-aged woman (Nathalie Baye) who puts an ad in an adult magazine for someone who will indulge her in a fantasy that is never disclosed to the audience. The man who answers her ad (Sergi López) turns out to be worth even more than she’d asked…

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The King Is Dancing (Le Roi Danse)

BB (out of 5) During the reign of Louis XIV the “Sun King” (Benoît Magimel), the Parisian court’s primary musician Lally (Boris Terral) is a hotheaded Italian genius who is in love with his king and composes solely to see him dance. Lally has a wife and a mistress who both care very deeply for…

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Farinelli: Il Castrato

BB (out of 5) Boring, shallow recounting of the lives of Castrati singers in 18th-century Europe. Two brothers, one a Castrato (i.e. men whose genitals were tampered with at a young age to keep their voices beautifully high) and the other one not, travel the continent wooing crowned heads and easy women with their beautiful…

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