Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018)

PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Poland/United Kingdom/France, 2018.  Opus Film, Apocalypso Pictures, MK2 Productions, Arte France, BFI Film Fund, Canal+ Polska, Cinestaan Film Company, City of Lodz, City of Warsaw, EC1 Lódz – Miasto Kultury, Eurimages, Film4, Kino Swiat, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, MK2 Films, Maziowiecki Fundusz Filmowy, Mazovia Region, Mazovia Warsaw Film Fund,…

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Mr. Nobody (2009)

JACO VAN DORMAEL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB. Belgium/Germany/Canada/France/USA/United Kingdom, 2009.  Pan Européenne, Virtual Films, Christal Films, Pathe, Integral Films, Lago Film, Toto & Co Films, SCOPE Invest, Groupe Un, Caviar Films, ARD Degeto Film, Belga Films, Canal+, Caviar, CineCinema, Climax Films, Deutscher Filmforderfonds, Fortis Film Fund, France 2, France 2 Cinema, France 3, France 3 Cinema,…

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Mademoiselle Chambon (2009)

STEPHANE BRIZE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  France, 2009.  TS Productions, F Comme Film, Arte France Cinema, Canal+, TPS Star, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Rézo Films, Sofica Soficinéma 4, Région Provence Côte d’Azur, Procirep, Angoa-Agicoa, MEDIA Programme of the European Union.  Screenplay by Stephane Brize, Florence Vignon, based on the novel by Eric Holder.  Cinematography by Antoine Heberle.  Produced…

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Attenberg

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ariane Labed makes a startling film debut as a young woman disconnected from the few people she shares her dull factory town with.  Her father is dying and she is not overly sensitive about it, her only other companion is a friend of whom she asks advice on life’s banalities like french…

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The Neon Demon

BB.5 (out of 5) Young and inexperienced but not naive, Elle Fanning comes to L.A. to be a model and is immediately on her way to the top of the game, loved by photographers and agents and plucked from obscurity for her first big runway show the minute she shows up to be tested.  A…

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Around A Small Mountain (36 vues du Pic Saint Loup)

BB (out of 5) Sergio Castellitto drives by Jane Birkin‘s stalled car and helps her get back on the road, following her to a small village where the circus that she performs with is doing shows to meager audiences and poor business.  He befriends members of the troupe and uncovers old family secrets, learning that Birkin has only…

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Brooklyn

BBB.5 (out of 5) Colm Toibin’s novel is adapted by Nick Hornby with pleasing results, starring Saoirse Ronan as the determined young woman who emigrates from Ireland to America in 1952 and does not allow herself to get swallowed up by the gigantic world she encounters. Encouraged to go by her loving older sister and sponsored…

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The Missing Picture (L’Image Manquante)

BBBB (out of 5) Rithy Panh adapts his own memoir about surviving the Khmer Rouge for a moving and powerful film. File footage of battle and hardship are interspersed with dramatic recreations of Panh’s experiences using wooden figurines to represent the characters in his narrative; it sounds twee but there is a haunting quality to…

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Francofonia (Francophonia)

BBB (out of 5) Alexander Sokurov returns to the world of museum filmmaking that brought him such critical acclaim with Russian Ark in 2002.  This time he looks at the Louvre as the central symbol of French cultural contribution to the arts, much of it focusing on World War II and the compromises of the…

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This Must Be The Place

BB.5 (out of 5) Sean Penn plays an aging Robert Plant-like rock star who has left the business and lives off his riches in a small Irish town with his firefighter wife (Frances McDormand).  He spends days with his few friends, among them a groupie girl and a chatty, womanizing bloke.  Penn’s thin, reedy voice flatly…

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Clouds of Sils Maria

BB.5 (out of 5) Successful movie star Juliette Binoche is on her way to an awards ceremony honouring the playwright who launched her career decades earlier, with cell-phone laden assistant Kristen Stewart perpetually behind her.  On the train ride to Zurich they learn that the event’s honouree, on whose behalf Binoche was planning to accept a prize,…

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Plato’s Academy (Akadimia Platonos)

BBBB (out of 5) Stavros runs his tiny Athenian shop on a roundabout where two other companions run theirs, the three of them (along with a fourth friend) spending their days snoozing in their chairs in this straggly part of the city where customers rarely occur and no work needs to be done.  They also…

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