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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Elle

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Isabelle Huppert gives one of her best performances in years in this stylish, provocative and exciting thriller by Paul Verhoeven.  She plays a wealthy video game designer who is brutally raped by a masked intruder and then insists on getting back to her normal, if stressful life:  she is not liked by her employees…

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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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Saint-Cyr (The King’s Daughters)

BBB (out of 5) Louis XIV’s unofficial wife Madame de Maintenon (Isabelle Huppert) decides to head up a school for impoverished girls of noble birth that will offer a liberal education and create a new force of femininity that didn’t exist as an option in her day. It also serves as an opportunity to aid…

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The Suicide Shop (Le Magasin Des Suicides)

BBB (out of 5) It’s tough to make a business out of helping people kill themselves, but thankfully the gloomy, animated Paris of this minor charmer is full of sad and desperate folks who keep the shop’s door spinning year in and year out. The family that has run the Suicide Shop for many generations…

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A Screaming Man (L’Homme Qui Crie)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A fascinating study of cultures clashing in multiple ways.  Adam works the swimming pool of a luxury resort in N’djamena, Chad that has been appropriated by Chinese owners, its ritzy setting a complete contrast to the struggling lives of its employees in their own homes.  After years of holding his post,…

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My Worst Nightmare (Mon Pire Couchemar)

BBBB (out of 5) Isabelle Huppert dips into her repertoire and pulls out one of her best stock characters, the uptight bourgeoise, for this fun romantic comedy by Anne Fontaine. After attending a school conference and encountering a vulgar, unemployed jack of all trades (Benoît Poelvoorde), she is horrified to discover him at her home: their…

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