The Awakening (2011)

NICK MURPHY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom, 2011.  StudioCanal, BBC Films, Creative Scotland, Lipsync Productions, Origin Pictures, Eagle Pictures.  Screenplay by Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy.  Cinematography by Eduard Grau.  Produced by Sarah Curtis, Julia Stannard, David M. Thompson.  Music by Daniel Pemberton.  Production Design by Jon Henson.  Costume Design by Caroline Harris.  Film Editing by Victoria Boydell.  Toronto International Film Festival 2011.   With…

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A Simple Life (Tou ze)

BBBB (out of 5) Ah Tao (Deannie Yip) has worked as a maid for four generations of one family and is now aging and tired, still looking after filmmaker Roger (Andy Lau) while he worries about her health.  When she suffers a stroke, he makes her face the fact that she must retire, taking it upon himself…

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Oslo, August 31 (Oslo, 31. august)

BBBB (out of 5) Anders is nearing the end of his stint in rehab for heroin addiction, sent by his counselors into the city for a job interview that will hopefully lead to the next stage of his life.  Taking advantage of the opportunity that being in Oslo provides, he reconnects with friends and family members…

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The Turin Horse (A Torinoi Lo) (2011)

BELA TARR, AGNES HRANITZKY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland/USA, 2011.  TT Filmmûhely, MPM Film, Vega Film, Zero Fiction Film, Werc Werk Works, Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary, Ministry of Education and Culture, National Cultural Fund, Hungarian Historic Motion Picture Foundation, Duna Televízió, Erste Bank, RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera, SRG – SSR, CNC, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Eurimages.  Screenplay by Laszlo…

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Undefeated

BBBB (out of 5) Football movies are frequently rich with dramatic intensity, but this exceptionally constructed documentary shows that the game can be accentuated by high stakes tension in real life as well. It focuses on a Memphis high school where successful business owner Bill Courtney volunteers as football coach. A number of the young…

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Peace, Love And Misunderstanding

BB.5 (out of 5) Fans of Jane Fonda will find this one worth watching, otherwise it’s an unfortunately forgettable experience.  After her uptight husband tells her he wants a divorce, career-driven Manhattan lawyer Catherine Keener goes to visit her hippie mother (Fonda) on her farm in Woodstock with her two kids (Elizabeth Olsen, Nat Wolff) until she…

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Hysteria

BB.5 (out of 5) Constantly frustrating his fellow medical practitioners with his radical ideas about germs and viruses, young idealistic doctor Hugh Dancy finds himself without work on a frequent basis.  His wealthy patron (Rupert Everett) can do little for him, having exhausted all his options to get the man a posting, so Dancy is thrilled…

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Twixt

B (out of 5) Francis Ford Coppola dips into the vampire genre with unwatchable results.  A terrible Val Kilmer plays a writer on the decline who finds himself in a dusty little town during a book tour, his tomes on witch hunts still maintaining some potency with readers.  Ornery old Bruce Dern approaches and informs him of…

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Trespass

B (out of 5) A film so ludicrous it must be seen to be believed.  Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman live a gorgeous existence in their isolated manor, comfortable in their one-percentage and keeping a close eye on their rebellious teenage daughter.  When masked men break in and hold them hostage in the hopes of getting some…

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The River Used To Be A Man (Der Fluss war einst ein Mensch)

BBBB (out of 5) A German actor travelling through Africa has hired a man to take him on a trip down a river on his canoe. He lays quite comfortably on the humble vessel and enjoys the scenery while the hired man steers them through the incredibly isolated topography, telling stories of the natural world…

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Last Call At The Oasis

BBBB (out of 5) There’s no resource we take more for granted in the western world than water, but did you know that the world is running out of it? Human beings need fresh water to survive, and despite the misconception that there is an endless supply of it on a planet that is only…

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Drive

BBBB (out of 5) Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver for the movies who sidelines as a driver for robbers during their getaways; he is also that cinematic favourite, the sexy loner. There’s always exceptions to the lone rider’s route, however, and Gosling cannot help but get sucked in when he meets a sweet waitress…

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