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Delicacy-DVD Review 08/08/2014

Posted by Films to consider in César Awards, Comedy, French language film, Light Drama, Movies, Romance, Romantic comedy, Sarlat International Cinema Festival.
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DELICACY (French) 2011
La délicatesse

Directed by David Foenkinos and Stéphane Foenkinos
Starring Bruno Todeschini, Audrey Tautou, Melanie Bernier, and Francois Damiens

NOMINATED, Best Adapted Screenplay (David Foenkinos); Best First Film, César Awards, France
WINNER, Prix Aquitaine: Prix d’interprétation masculine (Damiens), Sarlat International Cinema Festival

After losing her husband in an accident, young widow Nathalie (Tautou) devotes herself to her work. She seems to have no time for romance, but one day she inexplicably plants a sensual kiss on Markus, a Swedish coworker who is unpolished, to say the least. Once she happens down that road, there is no going back.

A romantic comedy/poignant story that will be enjoyed by fans of Audrey Tautou, although this film is not of the same caliber as the better-known Amélie. Bruno Todeschini does well in his role as her bumbling but charming suitor.

105 min. Rated PG-13

For more info:
Delicacy

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Safety Not Guaranteed-DVD Review 05/24/2014

Posted by Films to consider in ALMA Awards, American, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Fantasy, Independent Spirit Awards, Romance, Romantic comedy, Sundance Film Festival.
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SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (American) 2012
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, and Karan Soni

Among other awards and nominations:
WINNER, Favorite Movie Actress-Comedy/Musical (Plaza), ALMA Awards
NOMINATED, Most Promising Filmmaker (Trevorrow), Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
WINNER, Best First Screenplay (Derek Connolly); NOMINATED, Best First Feature, Independent Spirit Awards
WINNER, Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award (Connolly); NOMINATED, Grand Jury Prize-Dramatic (Trevorrow), Sundance Film Festival

Darius (Plaza) is a lowly intern at a Seattle feature magazine. She volunteers to accompany coworkers Jeff (Johnson) and Arnau (Soni) to follow up on a quirky classified ad. As Darius gets to know its creator, self-proclaimed time traveler Kenneth (Duplass), she begins to question whether he is as delusional as everyone else thinks.

An unusual and enjoyable story. The movie was filmed in Seattle, with a low-key cast of actors who lend an unaffected charm to its telling.

86 min. Rated R.

For more info:
Safety Not Guaranteed

The Adjustment Bureau-DVD Review *** 04/27/2014

Posted by Films to consider in Academy of Science Fiction, Action/Thriller, American, Based on a short story, Black Reel Awards, Bram Stoker Awards, Drama, George Nolfi, Movies, People's Choice Awards, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
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The Adjustment Bureau (American) 2011 ***
Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick

Directed and screenplay written by George Nolfi
Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, and John Slattery

Among a few other nominations:
WINNER, Best Supporting Actress (Blunt); NOMINATED, Best Science Fiction Film, Saturn Awards, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
NOMINATED, Outstanding Supporting Actor (Mackie), Black Reel Awards
NOMINATED, Bram Stoker Award-Screenplay (Nolfi),Bram Stoker Awards
NOMINATED, Favorite Drama Movie, People’s Choice Awards
NOMINATED, Bradbury Award, (Nolfi-writer/director), Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

David Norris (Damon), a politician on the rise, accidentally finds out from the “Adjustment Bureau” that he is not meant to be with Elise (Blunt), a dancer he fell in love with after a few minutes of conversation.

A fast-paced and interesting movie that combines a believable romance with a quirky sci-fi/action story about the forces that shape our lives: human decision-making and chance versus the possibility of other powers-that-be. [Note: said “other powers-that-be” must wear hats of some sort or other!!! I’m just saying . . .]

As a side note, Matt Damon claims this is his first romantic lead role, and he proves himself up to the task; Emily Blunt, who had no formal dance training prior to getting herself prepped for this role, does too.

Highly recommended.

106 min. Rated PG-13.

For more info:
The Adjustment Bureau

Romantics Anonymous-DVD Review *** 04/03/2014

Posted by Films to consider in Cabourg Romantic Film Festival, César Awards, Comedy, French language film, JeanPierre Améris, Light Drama, Romance, Romantic comedy.
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Romantics Anonymous (French) 2010 ***
Les émotifs anonymes

Directed by JeanPierre Améris
Starring Benoit Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carré

WINNER, Best Actress (Carré), Cabourg Romantic Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Actress (Carré),César Awards, France

A very sweet and funny story about a couple who meet because of their mutual love of chocolate. Jean-René (Poelvoorde) and Angélique (Carré) are each afflicted with a level of shyness that is emotionally crippling. At work Jean-René hides his anxieties behind a stern demeanor, but his business is failing and will soon be bankrupt. Angélique is too overcome by her fears to have her skill in creating exquisite chocolates acknowledged. The couple meets by chance, but beginning a relationship is not simple.

The cast, including the supporting characters at Jean-René’s chocolate-making business, helps the movie soar above the simple plot.

Highly recommended.

80 min. Not rated.

For more info:
Romantics Anonymous

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

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.
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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

A Royal Affair-DVD Review *** 10/28/2013

Posted by Films to consider in Academy Awards, Based on true events, Bodil Awards, César Awards, Danish language film, Drama, Emotional Drama, European Film Awards, Golden Globes, Historical Drama, Movies, Philadelphia Film Festival, Romance, Satellite Awards.
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A ROYAL AFFAIR (Danish) 2012 ***

Directed by Nicolaj Arcel
Starring Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard

Among many other awards and nominations:
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, Academy Awards
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Globes
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film, César Awards

Based on true events during the reign of Denmark’s King Christian VII (Følsgaard). When young Princess Caroline (Vikander) is “imported” from England to become his queen, it soon becomes apparent that the king is not in his right mind. Queen Caroline and the king’s German doctor, Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mikkelsen) fall in love, and together they try to put things right in the country.

Mads Mikkelsen adds a gentler touch to his character than might be expected from some of his other roles, and Alicia Vikander has a regal presence befitting her role of queen. But it is Mikkel Følsgaard who deserves special mention; in his first movie role, he plays a complicated, increasingly manic character, who is nominally in charge of an entire country’s fate.

Highly recommended if you like this kind of movie (and I do). ***

138 min. Rated R.

For more info:
A Royal Affair

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

Posted by dmbinder in American, Comedy, People's Choice Awards, Romance, Romantic comedy.
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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)

Me Too-DVD Review *** 06/30/2013

Posted by dmbinder in Emotional Drama, Goya Awards, Movies, Romance, Rotterdam International Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spanish language film, Sundance Film Festival.
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Me Too (Spanish) 2009 ***
Yo, también

Written and directed by Antonio Naharro and Álvaro Pastor
Starring Pablo Pinedo and Lola Dueñas

Among other wins and nominations:
WINNER, Best Actress (Dueñas); Best Original Song; NOMINATED, Best New Actor (Pinedo); Best New Director (Naharro and Pastor), Goya Awards
WINNER, Audience Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival
WINNER, Silver Seashell-Best Actor (Pineda), Best Actress (Dueñas);
NOMINATED, Golden Seashell (Naharro and Pastor), San Sebastián International Film Festival
NOMINATED, Grand Jury Prize World Cinema-Dramatic, Sundance Film Festival

Daniel (Pinedo) is a man in his 30s who has Down’s Syndrome. With his family’s loving support, he has developed the best of his abilities and graduates from the university.

Daniel meets Laura (Dueñas) when he starts a new job at the Department of Social Services. He immediately becomes totally smitten with her, although, unknown to him, Laura’s lifestyle is less than admirable. To put it simply, both learn something about love, in a touching and much less predictable way than that might make it sound.

Highly recommended.

103 min. Not rated. Suitable for older teens.

For more info:
Me Too

Declaration of War-DVD Review *** 05/06/2013

Posted by Films to consider in Based on true events, César Awards, Drama, Emotional Drama, French language film, Gijón International Film Festival, Movies, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Romance.
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Declaration of War (French) 2011 ***
La guerre est déclarée
Based on true events

Directed by Valérie Donzelli
Written by Valérie Donzelli and Jérémie Elkaïm
Starring Valérie Donzelli and Jérémie Elkaïm

Among other awards and nominations:
NOMINATED, Best Actress and Best Director (Donzelli); Best Film; Best Original Screenplay; Best Editing; Best Sound, César Awards, France
WINNER, Best Actor (Elkaïm); Best Actress (Donzelli); Grand Prix Asturias-Best Film, Gijón International Film Festival
WINNER, Directors to Watch (Donzelli), Palm Springs International Film Festival

Roméo (Elkaïm) and Juliette (Donzelli) are a young couple who meet, fall in love, and move in together. Soon they are having a baby, and all is well with their world, although the baby does cry a lot. When the baby begins to show other signs of distress, they take him to the doctor and receive the kind of diagnosis no parent ever wants to hear.

Based on true events. Although the brief description might make this seem like a sad movie, it surprisingly is not. The young parents, who are determined to “declare war” on their son’s disease, do not do so in the somber way one might expect.

Highly recommended.

100 min. Not rated. Suitable for older teens and adults, due to subject matter.

For more info:
Declaration of War