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Jerichow-Movie Review 02/22/2013

Posted by Films to consider in Action/Thriller, German Film Awards, German Film Critics Association Awards, German language film, Movies, Suspense, Venice Film Festival.
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Jerichow (German) 2008

Written and directed by Christian Petzold
Starring Benno Fürmann, Nina Hoss, and Hilmi Sözer

NOMINATED, Best Direction; Outstanding Feature Film, German Film Awards
WINNER, Best Film (Petzold), German Film Critics Association Awards
NOMINATED, Golden Lion – Petzold, Venice Film Festival

Ali (Sözer), a German citizen of Turkish background, hires dishonorably discharged veteran Thomas (Fürmann) to help him run a string of snack bars. Thomas falls in love with Laura (Hoss), Ali’s wife, who has more than one reason to be indebted to her abusive husband.

A satisfyingly suspenseful retelling of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Christian Petzold directed The State I Am In as well as Yella (which also starred Nina Hoss) and Gespenster which together comprise what is known as Petzold’s Gespenster trilogy.

93 min. Unrated. Adult themes and content.

 

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White Material-Movie Review 11/11/2012

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, French language film, National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics Awards, Satellite Awards, Venice Film Festival, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards.
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White Material (French) 2009
The Criterion Collection

Directed by Claire Denis
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lambert, Isaach De Bankolé, and Nicolas Duvauchelle

WINNER, Top Five Foreign Films, National Board of Review, USA
THIRD PLACE, Best Foreign Language Film (Denis), National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film, Satellite Awards
NOMINATED, Golden Lion (Denis), Venice Film Festival
NOMINATED, Best Foreign Language Film, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards

As civil unrest invades the countryside, Maria Vial (Huppert), a headstrong but not totally rational white woman, is determined to remain on the African coffee plantation that has been in her family for generations.

Isabelle Huppert is physically slight and somewhat vulnerable-looking; her portrayal of Maria Vial combines that appearance with an inner strength that inexplicably refuses to acknowledge the very real physical and emotional dangers facing herself and her family. At times the story does seem disjointed and confusing; this I think is mostly because there are so many different factions active, and the story covers a very short span of time (about two days). Still, Huppert’s performance (as well as those of the other actors named above) definitely makes it worthwhile watching.

105 min. Not rated. Adults and older teens.