Alexandra (Aleksandra)

BBBB (out of 5) Famed opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya makes a rare foray into film acting and does not come off in the least bit an amateur. She plays a woman who rides a military train to Chechnya to visit a barracks where her grandson is stationed as a captain. Once there she roams the…

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Atonement (2007)

JOE WRIGHT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/France, 2007.  Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films.  Screenplay by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel Ian McEwan.  Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey.  Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster.  Music by Dario Marianelli.  Production Design by Sarah Greenwood.  Costume Design by Jacqueline Durran.  Film Editing by Paul Tothill.  Academy Awards 2007.  Golden Globe Awards 2007.  Toronto International Film Festival 2007.  A…

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The Jane Austen Book Club

BBB.5 (out of 5) Six-time wife Kathy Baker attends the funeral of her friend Maria Bello‘s dog and decides she needs to do something to cheer her up. She puts together a six-person book club dedicated to the novels of Jane Austen, assigning each reader one of Austen’s books and giving each member the opportunity to…

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Shake Hands With The Devil

BBBB (out of 5) United Nations Lt. General Romeo Dallaire (Roy Dupuis) sits in a psychiatrist’s office, wracked with guilt over the events that he then flashes back to, concerning his experiences as head of the Peacekeeping operation during the Rwandan genocide. Arriving in Kigali with the highest of optimistic hopes to keep rival tribes…

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Vexille (Bekushiru: 2077 Nihon Sakoku)

BBBB (out of 5) In mid-21st century Los Angeles, a special force of super-trained police officers are assigned to investigate the origin of the remains of a cyborg leg that was discovered on a sting operation. Japan has been the primary manufacturer of all robotic technology for some time, though it has also been completely…

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Intimate Enemies (L’Ennemi Intime)

BB.5 (out of 5) Algeria struggles for independence and the French colonial power responds by rousing up the troops. The action is centred around a sensitive Lieutenant (Benoît Magimel) who experiences increasing conflict with a sergeant (Albert Dupontel) with a less complicated view of the situations they find themselves in. As an audience member they…

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Import/Export

BBB.5 (out of 5) Harrowing drama that charts the difficulties of people simply trying to get by in two European countries. Olga lives a life without hope in the freezing cold Ukraine; when the opportunity comes to go work in Austria as a cleaning lady, she takes it. Paul can’t hold down a job in…

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Run Fatboy Run

BB.5 (out of 5) N’er-do-weller Simon Pegg left his pregnant fiancee (Thandie Newton) at the altar and five years later is not doing so well. Working a dead-end job and behind on the rent, he compounds his situation by being a loving but irresponsible dad to his now 5 year-old son. He’s motivated into action when…

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The Walker

B.5 (out of 5) Woody Harrelson plays a southern aristocrat in Washington who has concluded the legacy started by his tobacco giant grandfather and politician father with a career as a “walker”, an ornamental dandy who spends his days entertaining rich political wives. When not playing canasta with lunching ladies Lauren Bacall and Lily Tomlin, he spends…

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The World Unseen

BBB (out of 5) It’s completely understandable if you want to run for the door when a movie features a sexually liberated woman giving a conservative housewife a book of romantic poetry to read as method of seduction; I think Sappho herself would jump out of her seat screaming and head for the nearest eco-friendly…

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The Counterfeiters (Die Falscher)

BBBB (out of 5) Despite getting quite a lot of mileage out of being the world’s greatest known counterfeiter, Salomon Sorowitsch has the chips stacked against him considering he’s a Russian Jew in 1936 Berlin. After being arrested by the authorities for his illegal forging, Sally survives the entire war thanks to his copy talents,…

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Juno

BBB.5 (out of 5) Sixteen year-old wiseass Juno (Ellen Page) has curiousity-driven sex with her boyfriend (Michael Cera) and finds herself knocked up.  Without the slightest hesitation she seeks out a well-off childless couple (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner) to be the adoptive parents, in the meantime befriending them and finding that the husband is more…

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