Climates (Iklimler)

BBBB (out of 5) Nuri Bilge Ceylan shoots in digital for the first time and the images are crisp and gorgeous in this subtle, sexy romantic drama.  He himself stars with his real-life wife (Ebru Ceylan) as a troubled couple, he a professor and she a television producer, who are having difficulties with intimacy while on…

Rate this:

Lights In The Dusk (Laitakaupungin valot)

BBB (out of 5) Aki Kaurismaki goes for film noir in this gorgeously shot piece, played in a minor key.  A shopping mall security guard falls for a gorgeous, mysterious blond and leaves behind the faithful girl at the snack bar with whom he has been having a muted romance.  The blond is actually working…

Rate this:

Private Fears In Public Places (Coeurs)

BBB (out of 5) Alan Ayckbourn’s play is given cinematic treatment by perennial experimenter Alain Resnais in this pleasant if not groundbreaking multi-character affair.  Love and loneliness in Paris is the age-old theme being touched upon by a disparate group of individuals who are all linked one way or the other:  real estate agent André…

Rate this:

Syndromes And A Century (Sang Sattawat)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Apichatpong Weerasethakul was inspired by his own family’s medical background to set a film within the confines of a hospital, abandoning the exotic folklore of forays into the jungle and creating images that are instead made up of mundane realities.  The result, which has a bare subplot of two doctors and…

Rate this:

Seraphim Falls

B (out of 5) Liam Neeson and his posse chase Pierce Brosnan relentlessly through the forests and across the desert of post-Civil War USA in this uninteresting drama. Why he’s after him is left a complete mystery until long after you’ve realized that you don’t have a single emotion invested in either of these characters. Along the…

Rate this:

I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone (Hei Yan Quan)

BBBB (out of 5) Gorgeously felt film slides comfortably into director Tsai Ming-Liang’s oeuvre of boldly atypical films. Taiwanese Norman Atun is visiting Kuala Lumpur and is beaten viciously by a group of thugs. Staggering on the streets, he is rescued by a group of men, one of whom takes his patient’s recovery upon himself personally…

Rate this:

Born And Bred (Nacido Y Criado)

BBBB (out of 5) A young family are on their way to a last-minute getaway vacation when their car veers off the road and their lives are put into complete reversal. We catch up with Robert, the male head of the household, sometime later, working a grunt job at a remote airport in cold Patagonia….

Rate this:

All The King’s Men (2006)

BB (out of 5) An impressive cast is wasted around a two-hour Oscar speech by Sean Penn, who is impressive but has been given too much free reign to go crazy in this remake of the Robert Rossen 1949 Oscar winner. Penn plays a good ole boy from Louisiana who rises to the top of…

Rate this:

Alatriste

BB (out of 5) The most ambitious project ever attempted in the Spanish film industry, this epic is an incomprehensible mess adapted from five novels by Arturo Perez-Reverte.  Viggo Mortensen gives a monotonous performance as the title character, a 17th-century soldier turned mercenary who, as a sword for hire, becomes unwittingly involved in the intrigues…

Rate this:

Requiem

BBB.5 (out of 5) The true story of Anneliese Michel, who died of starvation after an exorcism in Germany in 1976, is the inspiration for this fictional film (the same story also provided the basis for the horror film The Exorcism Of Emily Rose). Sandra Hüller is superb as a young epileptic girl from a conservative…

Rate this:

Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan)

BBBB (out of 5) A powerful epic so explosive at its Cannes debut that the government yanked it from competition for the Palme D’Or and placed a five-year ban on the filmmaker (which he broke with his even better Spring Fever in 2009).  You would think the erotic content (including some wonderfully steamy sex) would…

Rate this:

Away From Her

BBBB (out of 5) Actress Sarah Polley makes her directorial debut with this poignant adaptation of Alice Munro’s story The Bear Came Over The Mountain.  Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie play a four-decades married couple whose relationship unravels when the symptoms of her Alzheimers disease begin to appear with a vengeance. He is eventually forced to place her…

Rate this: