Happy As Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice) (2018)

ALICE ROHRWACHER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  Italy/Switzerland/France/Germany, 2018.  Tempesta, Amka Films Productions, Ad Vitam Production, Pola Pandora Filmproduktions, Rai Cinema, RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Arte France, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Regione Lazio, Office Fédéral de la Culture, Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l’Europe.  Screenplay by…

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The Monk (Le Moine)

B.5 (out of 5) A novel published in 1796 by twenty-one year-old Matthew Lewis, overflowing with images of demons and ghost nuns, lusty blood-soaked virgins and murderous friars, all of them manifested by a committed belief in the supernatural world, has been turned into a dour and pompously spare experience directed by a skeptic with…

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Jet Lag (Decalage Horaire)

BBB (out of 5) The characters are what makes this one really zing, especially since the story is nothing new: two strangers meet in an airport, spend a day together and go off to a new life changed and enriched. Jean Reno is a tired businessman traveling between jobs who crosses paths with a beauty expert…

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To Die (Or Not) (Morir [O No])

BBBB (out of 5) This charming film uses a crafty little narrative device to tell its story: it shows scenes of people acting in a destructive way that ends with their deaths; halfway through the film the scenes are played in reverse order, this time with the characters connecting with each other and experiencing a…

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Caresses (Caricies)

BBBB (out of 5) Excellent human drama from Spanish director Ventura Pons has a Ronde-like plot that only helps make the drama richer. The film is a circular collection of two-character scenes, where the player from the previous scene moves on to interact with a new figure in the next scene, then that new person…

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Potiche (2010)

FRANCOIS OZON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  France, 2010.  Mandarin Films, FOZ, France 2 Cinema, Mars Films, Wild Bunch, Scope Pictures, Canal+, France Télévision, TPS Star, Région Wallone, La Banque Postale Image 3, Cofinova 6, Cinémage 4, Soficinéma 6, SCOPE Invest.  Screenplay by Francois Ozon, based on the play by Pierre Barillet, Jean-Pierre Gredy.  Cinematography by Yorick Le Saux.  Produced by…

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Ricky (2009)

FRANCOIS OZON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  France/Italy, 2009.  Eurowide Film Production, FOZ, Teodora Film, BUF, France 2 Cinema, Coficup 3, Backup Media, Uni Étoile 5, CineCinema, Canal+, Le Pacte.  Screenplay by Francois Ozon.  Cinematography by Jeanne Lapoirie.  Produced by Chris Bolzli, Claudie Ossard, Vieri Razzini.  Music by Philippe Rombi.  Production Design by Katia Wyszkop.  Costume Design by Pascaline Chavanne.  Film Editing by Muriel…

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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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Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto Del Fauno) (2006)

GUILLERMO DEL TORO Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  Spain/Mexico/USA, 2006.  Estudios Picasso, Tequila Gang, Esperanto Filmoj, Sententia Entertainment, Telecinco.  Screenplay by Guillermo Del Toro.  Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro.  Produced by Alvaro Augustin, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Bertha Navarro, Frida Torresblanco.  Music by Javier Navarrete.  Production Design by Eugenio Caballero.  Costume Design by Lala Huete.  Film Editing by Bernat Vilaplana.  Academy Awards 2006.  Cannes Film Festival…

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Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

STEPHEN FREARS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom, 2002.  BBC Films, Celador Films, Jonescompany Productions.  Screenplay by Steven Knight.  Cinematography by Chris Menges.  Produced by Robert Jones, Tracey Seaward.  Music by Nathan Larson.  Production Design by Hugo Luczyc-Wyshowski.  Costume Design by Odile Dicks-Mireaux.  Film Editing by Mick Audsley.  Academy Awards 2003.  Toronto International Film Festival 2003.   Chiwetel Ejiofor is excellent as a Nigerian doctor working…

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Leaving (Partir)

BBBB (out of 5) Kristin Scott Thomas plays the wife of a wealthy physician (Yvan Attal) who is looking to get back into her own work as a physiotherapist after years of raising their children. Her life is moving in a straight, successful path until the hunky Spanish construction worker who is building her home office…

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