Advertisements
jump to navigation

Broken Flowers-DVD Review 12/28/2013

Posted by Films to consider in American, Cambridge Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Comedy, Drama, Emotional Drama, Movies, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.
Tags: ,
add a comment

BROKEN FLOWERS (American) 2005

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Starring Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange, and Tilda Swinton

Winner of the following awards and nominated for several others:
WINNER, Audience Award-Best Film (Jarmusch), Cambridge Film Festival
WINNER, Grand Prize of the Jury, NOMINATED, Palme d’Or, (both for Jarmusch) Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Best Foreign Language Film (Jarmusch), Czech Lions
WINNER, Best Supporting Actor (Wright), San Diego Film Critics Society Awards

Bill Murray gives an unexpectedly touching performance in this low-key drama/comedy. Don Johnston (Murray) is a man with little emotional connection to life. He receives an anonymous letter informing him that he has a nineteen-year-old son he knew nothing about, but no other details. From his past relationships, there are four possibilities. Urged on by his neighbor Winston (Wright), a family man with dreams of writing mystery stories, Johnston makes unannounced visits to his former girlfriends to see if he can figure out who might be the mother.

Some of the comedy falls flat, but somehow the overall story makes up for it.

106 min. Rated R for language, graphic nudity and brief drug use.

For more info:
Broken Flowers

Advertisements

Much Ado About Nothing-DVD Review *** 11/25/2013

Posted by Films to consider in American, Black & white, Comedy, Joss Whedon, Movies, Romance, Romantic comedy.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Much Ado About Nothing (American) 2012 ***

Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, and Amy Acker

A very enjoyable, modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy about love and romance almost gone wrong. The script uses the Bard’s own words.

Not an award winner, the black and white film was apparently a labor of love for director Joss Whedon. Many cast members, such as Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, and Nathan Fillion, will be familiar from TV and movies.

Highly recommended, even for reluctant Shakespeare readers.
109 min. Rated PG-13.

For more info:
Much Ado About Nothing

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day-DVD Review *** 09/07/2013

Posted by dmbinder in American, Comedy, People's Choice Awards, Romance, Romantic comedy.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY (American) 2008 ***

Directed by Bharat Nalluri
Starring Frances Dormand, Amy Adams, and Lee Pace

NOMINATED, Favorite Independent Movie, People’s Choice Awards

Set in pre-World War II London, the hapless Miss Guinivere Pettigrew (Dormand) loses her job as a governess and has little hope of finding new work. Threatened with life on the streets, she uses her wits to find a new position and ends up being mismatched as social secretary to the flighty, social-climbing Delysia (Adams). Delysia teaches her what’s most important in life.

Frances Dormand, an actress I admire, makes the movie as Miss Pettigrew. It’s not an award winner, but I found the film surprisingly charming, funny, and enjoyable!

Highly recommended.

92 min. Rated PG-13

For more info:
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Widescreen & Full Screen Edition)

Silver Linings Playbook-DVD Review 08/29/2013

Posted by dmbinder in Academy Awards, Based on a novel, Comedy, Emotional Drama, Movies, Romantic comedy.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (American) 2012
Based on the novel by Matthew Quick

Directed by David O. Russell
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver

This film was very popular on the awards circuit, so click here for a list of awards and nominations.

Former teacher Pat Solitano (Cooper) returns to his parents’ house after spending some time in a mental institution where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His parents, Pat Sr. (De Niro) and Dolores (Weaver) do their best to cope with his ups and downs. When Pat Jr. meets the offbeat Tiffany (Lawrence), his life seems to take a new and more promising turn.

The beginning of this movie didn’t seem very entertaining or humorous to me, and I almost stopped watching it. One of its benefits is said to be an increased awareness of this type of mental illness and how the family is affected by it. That it did do, I suppose, although I venture to say that not all (and probably not most) outcomes are so positive. Overall, I thought the film was worth watching and that the versatile Jennifer Lawrence did deserve her Oscar win.

For more info:
Silver Linings Playbook

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.
Tags: ,
add a comment

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

Bernie-DVD Review 06/09/2013

Posted by dmbinder in American, Based on true events, Comedy, Crime, Golden Globes, Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Light Drama, Movies, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

Bernie (American) 2011
Based on actual events

Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine

Among other awards and nominations:
NOMINATED, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy (Black), Golden Globes
NOMINATED, Best Ensemble Cast (McConaughey, Black, MacLaine; Best Film, Gotham Awards
NOMINATED, Best Feature; Best Male Lead (Black), Independent Spirit Awards
WINNER, Top Ten Independent Films, National Board of Review
WINNER, Best Supporting Actor (McConaughey); Second Place-Best Actor (Black), New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Bernie Tiede (Black) moves to the small town of Carthage, TX and finds work at a funeral parlor. He proceeds to impress the entire town with his engaging and caring personality. He even wins over Marjorie Nugent (MacLaine) the wealthy, curmudgeonly widow of the bank president, a task that was thought to be impossible. But Mrs. Nugent gradually shows her true colors, and Bernie concludes that the way she treats everyone, including himself, is just not right.

A funny, documentary-style telling of events that surely fall into the category of “truth can be stranger than fiction.”

Jack Black especially amazes with his singing voice (who knew?), and Shirley MacLaine’s facial expression is spot on for her character.

99 min. Rated PG-13.

For more info:
Bernie

The Fairy-DVD Review 06/02/2013

Posted by dmbinder in Belgian/French language film, Comedy, Hamptons International Film Festival, Movies, Romantic comedy, Stockholm Film Festival.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

The Fairy (French) 2011
La Fée

Starring Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon
Written and directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy

NOMINATED, Saturn Award-Best International Film, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, USA
WINNER, Golden Starfish Award, Narrative Feature (Abel, Gordon, and Romy), Hamptons International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Bronze Horse (Abel, Gordon, and Romy), Stockholm Film Festival

A very quirky comedy/romance about Dom (Abel), an unmotivated hotel clerk in Le Havre who meets Fiona (Gordon), a self-proclaimed fairy. She promises to grant Dom three wishes; he uses up two, she disappears, and he races to find her. Thus begins a most unusual romantic adventure.

Not a big award winner, and the humor in this film (much of it physical humor) is probably not for everyone. At first, I wasn’t too taken with it, but it grew on me. It’s certainly an unusual story. And I trust no babies were injured in the making of the movie. ☺

93 min. Not rated. Not suitable for children.

For more info:

The Fairy

Wild Grass-DVD Review 03/08/2013

Posted by Films to consider in Cannes Film Festival, César Awards, Comedy, French language film, Light Drama, Movies, Romance, Romantic comedy, Sant Jordi Awards, Suspense.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Wild Grass (French) 2009
Les herbes folles

Directed by Alain Resnais
Starring André Dussollier, Sabine Azéma, and Anne Cosigny

WINNER, Special Award to Alain Resnais for all his works; NOMINATED, Palme D’Or (Resnais), Cannes Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Editing; Best Film, César Awards
WINNER, Best Foreign Actor (Dussollier), Sant Jordi Awards

When dentist Marguerite Muir (Azéma) has a purse stolen, retired Georges Palet (Dussollier) eventually comes across the wallet from it. Although Georges delivers the wallet to the police, he remains intrigued with what he knows about its owner.

For those who like a quirky story and don’t need to understand where it’s going at all times, this one should fit the bill. There’s a bit of suspense, a bit of comedy, and a bit of romance (I think).

While this particular film was not a big award winner, director Alain Resnais has been making critically acclaimed films since the 1930s. He has released yet another, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, in 2012. I’ll be on the lookout for that, and for some of his earlier films.

104 min. Rated PG.

For more info:
Wild Grass

I Do-DVD Review 02/05/2013

Posted by Films to consider in César Awards, Comedy, French language film, Movies, NRJ Ciné Awards, Romance, Romantic comedy.
add a comment

I Do (French) 2006
Prête-moi ta main

Directed by Eric Lartigau
Starring Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg

NOMINATED, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (Bernadette Lafont), César Awards, France
WINNER, Best Comedy Film, NRJ Ciné Awards

Luis (Chabat), a confirmed bachelor in his forties, must fend off his five sisters and his mother by pretending to have finally found the right woman, Emma (Gainsbourg).

Not a big award winner, but a moderately funny film about love and family done in the French way.

89 min. Not rated. Adult humor.

For more info:
I Do

Le Havre-DVD Review *** 01/19/2013

Posted by Films to consider in Cannes Film Festival, César Awards, Chicago International Film Festival, Comedy, David di Donatello Awards, French language film, Light Drama, Munich Film Festival, National Board of Review.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Le Havre (French) 2011 ***

From the Criterion Collection

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Starring Andre Wilms, Blondin Miguel, Kati Outinen, and Jean-Pierre Darroussin

Among many other wins and nominations:
WINNER, FIPRESCI Prize; Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention; NOMINATED, Palme d’Or (all Kaurismäki), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Gold Hugo-Best International Feature (Kaurismäki), Chicago International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Director; Best Film; Best Production Design, César Awards, France
NOMINATED, Best European Film, David di Donatello Awards
WINNER, Arri-Zeiss-Award (Kaurismäki), Munich Film Festival
WINNER, Top Five Foreign Films Award, National Board of Review

In the harbor city of LeHavre, Marcel Marx (Wilms) is an older man who shines shoes for a living. When his wife Arletty (Outinen), who is seriously ill, goes to the hospital for treatment, Marcel accidentally meets Idrissa (Miguel), a boy who has immigrated illegally with his family. Idrissa managed to run away when authorities caught up with them, but he is actively being sought. With the help of friends and neighbors, Marcel harbors the boy in his home.

Winner of, or nominated for, many awards (see above), Le Havre’s story is touching and quietly funny at times. Prolific Finnish director Kaurismäki has boldly taken on a film in French, which is not a language he speaks or even understands fluently. Likewise, Kati Outinen, who plays Marcel’s ailing wife, is also Finnish and speaks French somewhat haltingly. Kaurismäki has chosen his French actors wisely, as you would never know they were receiving their direction either non-verbally or through a translator.

Highly recommended.

93 min. Not rated. Suitable for teens+ because of subject matter.

For more info:
Le Havre