Ernest & Celestine (Ernest Et Celestine) (2012)

STEPHANE AUBIER, VINCENT PATAR, BENJAMIN RENNER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 2012.  La Parti Productions, Les Armateurs, Maybe Movies, Mélusine Productions, StudioCanal.  Scenario and dialogue by Daniel Pennac, based on the albums by Gabrielle Vincent.  Produced by Eric Beckman, Didier Brunner, David Jesteadt, Henri Magalon, Stephan Roelants, Michael Sinterniklaas, Vincent Tavier.  Music by Vincent Courtois.  Production Design by Zaza, Zyk.  Film…

Rate this:

Pieta

BBBB (out of 5) Gang-do is a hired goon who goes around breaking limbs when borrowers cannot pay back what they owe his loan shark boss, crippling them and using their insurance claim money as compensation for their dues (that also include massive interest rates).  He plies his trade without the slightest regret or compassion, his impassive gaze…

Rate this:

The Act Of Killing

BBBB (out of 5) Joshua Oppenheimer originally intended to make a documentary about victims of death squad leaders who rose to prominence following the military overthrow of the Indonesian government in 1965.  Oppenheimer found that he could barely get individuals to go on camera with their stories since, unlike other places where dictatorship and genocide destroyed…

Rate this:

Post Tenebras Lux

BBB (out of 5) Carlos Reygadas investigates the line between the physical and ethereal in a loosely formed look at an urban family who have taken up residence on a Mexican ranch. The children are fascinated by the natural wonders around them, the father is somewhat unsettled by the phenomena he sees (and his taking…

Rate this:

Do Not Disturb (2012)

BB.5 (out of 5) French remake of Lynn Shelton’s Humpday, in which Yvan Attal and François Cluzet take over the roles of best friends who get too drunk at a party and agree to make a sex tape together.  Attal’s tranquil life of marriage with Laetitia Casta is interrupted when Cluzet, for whom the wild life has…

Rate this:

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

BB (out of 5) It is not that shocking to see a Hollywood movie in which misfit teens are played by actors who are far more attractive than outsiders tend to be in real life, but even when taking that into account, this film still comes off as obnoxiously disingenuous.  Logan Lerman plays a teenager…

Rate this:

Quartet (2012)

BB.5 (out of 5) A retirement home for successful classical musicians is the setting for this comedy adapted from Ronald Harwood’s play, which also marks the directorial debut of actor Dustin Hoffman.  Maggie Smith plays a world-famous opera singer who has decided to enter her dotage, made worse when it turns out that her ex-husband (Tom…

Rate this:

What Maisie Knew

BB (out of 5) Henry James’s novel, about a couple’s divorce seen through the eyes of their precocious little girl, is updated to modern day with an opaque Onata Aprile playing the tot who is torn between bickering parents Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan.  The upper class origins of the novel’s couple have been turned into the…

Rate this:

Twice Born

BB (out of 5) The ineptitude of Sergio Castellitto to make movies about women without despising them is even more painfully felt here than it was in Don’t Move, particularly given the grossly melodramatic nature of the screenplay and the abysmal lack of chemistry between the leads.  Penelope Cruz is fantastic as a middle-aged Italian woman…

Rate this:

War Witch (Rebelle)

BBB.5 (out of 5) A young girl is removed from her village by a rebel army in an unnamed African country suffering civil war.  She is immediately made a warrior by her captors, barely fourteen years old and pregnant and suddenly seeing things from a jaded and violent perspective.  This poetic, beautifully shot film takes…

Rate this:

Jump

BBB (out of 5) It’s New Year’s Eve in Derry and trouble is afoot: a local gangster has had his safe robbed of a bunch of money, a young man is looking for his missing brother, a girl is ready to throw herself off a bridge while two other lassies are looking for her and…

Rate this:

Cloud Atlas

BB.5 (out of 5) A scientist in the late nineteenth century is beset by illness while on an ocean voyage; a composer in England in the 1930s becomes assistant to a cantankerous legend in his field; a reporter in 1970s America investigates the shady dealings of a nuclear power corporation; a struggling publisher in 2012…

Rate this: