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Animal Kingdom-DVD Review *** 06/25/2014

Posted by Films to consider in Academy Awards, Action/Thriller, Australian, Australian Film Institute, Australian Writers Guild, Chlotrudis Awards, Golden Globes, Movies, Satellite Awards, Sundance Film Festival, Suspense.
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ANIMAL KINGDOM (Australian) 2010 ***

Written and directed by David Michôd
Starring Jacki Weaver, James Frecheville, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Ben Mendelsohn, and Sullivan Stapleton

Among many other wins and nominations (too many to list; here are just the wins from one):
WINNER, Samsung Mobile AFI Award for Best Film (Liz Watts); Best Direction (Michôd); Best Lead Actor (Mendelsohn); Best Lead Actress (Weaver); Best Supporting Actor (Edgerton); Best Editing (Luke Doolan); Best Original Music Score (Antony Partos, Sam Petty); Macquarie AFI Award for Best Original Screenplay (Michôd), AFI Members Choice Award (Liz Watts); Readers’ Choice Award (Liz Watts), Australian Film Institute

When teenager Josh “J” Cody’s (Frecheville) mother dies from a heroin overdose, he gets reacquainted with the rest of her family. And what a family it is. Grandmother Janine (Weaver), who is affectionately referred to as Smurf, is the matriarch. She has three sons, each of whom is in his own way a hardened criminal. Janine herself will stop at nothing to keep her family together.

A very suspenseful thriller from start to finish. Jacki Weaver, who might be familiar from her role as a very different mother, Dolores in Silver Linings Playbook, gives a chilling performance as a mother who is overly involved in her sons’ lives. Director Michôd has a more recent film, The Rover, which has received excellent reviews from viewers.

Highly recommended for a good action thriller.

113 min. Rated R.
For more info:
Animal Kingdom

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Another Year-DVD Review *** 03/02/2014

Posted by Films to consider in Academy Awards, British, Cannes Film Festival, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Chlotrudis Awards, David di Donatello Awards, Emotional Drama, European Film Awards, Light Drama, Mike Leigh, Movies, Romance.
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Another Year (British) 2010 ***

Directed by Mike Leigh
Starring Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Oliver Maltman, Peter Wight, and David Bradley

among many other awards and nominations:
NOMINATED, Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Leigh), Academy Awards
WINNER, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention (Leigh), Cannes Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Actress (Manville), Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
WINNER, Best Supporting Actress (Manville); Best Ensemble Performance (cast members); NOMINATED, Best Movie; Best Director (Leigh); Best Original Screenplay (Leigh), Chlotrudis Awards
NOMINATED, Best European Film (Leigh), David di Donatello Awards
NOMINATED, Best Actress (Manville); Best Composer (Gary Yershon), European Film Awards

Another Year follows a year in the life of a happily married middle-aged couple. As Tom (Broadbent) and Gerri (Sheen) interact with their family and friends, humor and happiness appear in equal measure with poignant moments and sad developments.

This movie will not appeal to those looking for a complicated plot or a lot of action, but the depiction of lifetime friendships and the changes in the characters were very moving. As noted above, actress Lesley Manville garnered honors in her role as Gerri’s needy workplace acquaintance, Mary.

Highly recommended.

130 min. Rated PG-13 (but subject matter unlikely to be of interest to a teen!)

For more info:
Another Year

La Moustache-DVD Review 10/02/2013

Posted by dmbinder in Cannes Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Chlotrudis Awards, Dark Drama, Emotional Drama, French language film, Psychological Suspense.
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LA MOUSTACHE (French) 2005

Directed by Emmanuel Carrère
Starring Vincent Lindon and Emmanuelle Devos

WINNER, Label Europa Cinemas (Carrère), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, FIPRESCI Prize (Carrère), Chicago International Film Festival
WINNER, Best Actor (Lindon); Best Adapted Screenplay (Carrère), Chlotrudis Awards
WINNER, Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation (Carrère), NOMINATED, Best Film,
Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival

When Marc (Lindon) decides to change his image by shaving the mustache he has had for years, no one–including his wife Agnès (Devos) or his friends and coworkers–notices. Soon, he begins to doubt whether he actually had the mustache; eventually, he is forced to question his own sanity.

A psychological suspense story that keeps you guessing about what is real and what might be a brush with madness.

Vincent Lindon has a great face for showing the internal confusion his character experiences. Both he and Emmanuelle Devos are popular French actors.

87 mins. Not rated.

For more info:
La Moustache

Sound of Noise-DVD Review 06/18/2013

Posted by dmbinder in Cannes Film Festival, Chlotrudis Awards, Comedy, Crime, Molodist International Film Festival, Movies, Musical, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Swedish language film, Warsaw International Film Festival.
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SOUND OF NOISE (Swedish) 2010

Directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson
Starring Bengt Nilsson, Magnus Börjeson, Marcus Boij, Johannes Björk,
Fredrik Myhr, Anders Vestergard, and Sanna Persson

WINNER, Young Critics Award-Best Feature, Cannes Film Festival
NOMINATED, Buried Treasure, Chlotrudis Awards
WINNER, Audience Award-Full-length Films, Molodist International Film Festival
WINNER, New Voices/New Visions Special Jury Mention; NOMINATED, New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize, (both Simonsson and Nilsson), Palm Springs International Film Festival
WINNER, Audience Award-Feature Film; Free Spirit Award, Warsaw International Film Festival

A truly unusual story about six percussionists who wreak havoc around the city by performing musical numbers that use a variety of things–from the human body to vehicles–as instruments. It falls to tone-deaf policeman Amadeus Warnebring (Bengt Nilsson) to pursue them. Warnebring, who was raised in a highly musical environment (his brother, a celebrated conductor, was a child prodigy), hates the sound of music.

Funny and entertaining. And definitely different. Loved the music! Listen to some here. Hope the link’s not too choppy.)

102 min. Rated R.

For more info:
Sound of Noise

Poetry-DVD Review *** 09/23/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Asian Film Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Chlotrudis Awards, Drama, Highly recommended, Korean language film, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Movies.
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Poetry (South Korean) 2010 ***
Shi

Written and directed by Chang-dong Lee
Starring Jeong-hie Yun, Da-wit Lee, and Hira Kim

Among other awards and nominations:
WINNER, Best Director, Best Screenwriter (Chang-dong Lee); NOMINATED, Best Film, Asian Film Awards
WINNER, Best Screenplay; Prize of the Ecumenical Jury-Special Mention; NOMINATED, Palme d’Or (all Chang-dong Lee), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Best Original Screenplay (Chang-dong Lee); NOMINATED, Best Actress (Jeong-hie Yun), Best Movie, Chlotrudis Awards
WINNER, Best Actress (Jeong-hie Yun), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

In her mid-sixties, Mija (Jeong-hie Yun) wants to learn how to write poetry, something she has wanted to do since she was a child. Although she has just received a diagnosis that she is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, she starts taking a class at the local community center. Mija is raising her surly teenage grandson Jongwook (Da-wit Lee); soon she must also face the consequences of his participation in a horrible crime.

Jeong-hie Yun was a well-known South Korean film star from the 60s to the 90s. This was her first return to films since 1994. Her graceful presence and natural simplicity adds much to the film’s complex and unpredictable story line.

Highly recommended.

139 min. Not rated. Suitable for older teens.

Check it out on Netflix
or
Amazon: Poetry

A Somewhat Gentle Man-DVD Review 08/13/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Amanda Awards, Berlin International Film Festival, Chlotrudis Awards, Dark Comedy, Hans Petter Moland, Movies, Norway, Norwegian language film, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.
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A Somewhat Gentle Man (Norwegian) 2010
En ganske snill mann

Directed by Hans Petter Moland
Starring Stellan Skarsgard, Bjorn Floberg, Gard Eidsvold, Jorunn Kjellsby, and Jannike Kruse

WINNER, Best Actor (Skarsgard); NOMINATED, Best Film; Best Editing; Best Supporting Actress (Kjellsby), Amanda Awards, Norway
WINNER, Reader Jury of the “Berliner Morgenpost” (Moland); NOMINATED, Golden Berlin Bear (Moland), Berlin International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Actor (Skarsgard), Chlotrudis Awards
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards

A dark comedy from the north country, with a suitably quirky sense of humor and a very amusing cast of characters.

When Ulrik (Skarsgard) is released from prison after serving a 12 year sentence for murder, he tries to escape from the revenge plot put into action by his former associates.

103 min. Not rated. Suitable for adults and older teens.

Check it out on Netflix
or
Amazon: A Somewhat Gentle Man