Sylvain Richard's best ever films = (The Wall: Ben-Hur: The
Passion of the Christ: Wizard of OZ: Gone With the Wind: 13
Tzameti: This Island Earth: 2001 Space Odyssey: Modern Times:
Metropolis) 5 favourite directors = Alfred Hitchcock, Martin
Scorcese, Takashi Miiki, Oliver Stone and Woody Allen .
2.5 -- LES DOIGHTS CROCHES (STICKY FINGERS),
Comedy set in the 1960s. Six buddies from an impoverished
sector of Montreal (Faubourg-à-M'lass) attempt to commit
"the robbery of the century" -- of two million dollars. They
get caught but one escapes with the money. Upon their release
two years later, the five learn that in order to retrieve
their share they need to do the 839 km. pilgrimmage to Santiago
de Compostela (Spain), and more importantly they need to clearly
show that they have changed: easier said than done. The main
cast includes the "cream of the crop" of Quebec actors : Roy
Dupuis, Patrice Robitaille, Claude Legault, Paulo Noel and
Jean-Pierre Bergeron -- and they deliver. Has moments where
I began to desingage but was always drawn back. Director's
first film as director, who previously wrote the screenplay
for "Maurice Richard."
Delightful musical comedy centering on a career woman who
is hard, haughty and racist. One day she is diagnosed with
Addison's desease -- a rare condition by which ones skin pimentation
changes colour (i.e. she will turn black -- allusions to Michael
Jackson, but in reverse). Director wanted to tackle a very
serious subject in a light and funny way -- and succeeds.
Shows that one can be racist and not even be aware of it and
in the most suble of ways, often holding fast to foundationless
concepts that will crumble in the face of overwhelming evidence.
A charming, unique, innovative and original take for a ``romantic
comedy`` containing three major elements: (1) Documentary
-- Charlene Yi does not believe in fairytale or Hollywood
mythology of love so she sets out on a trek (along with her
director played by Jake Johnson) across America to inquire
"What is love?" (2) Narrative -- along the way she meets Michael
Cera and a certain chemical attraction develops. (3) Puppetry
-- recreates stories in place of routine talking head and
still images. Totally realistic with every piece fitting together
3.4 -- THE PERFECT GETAWAY,
Survival thriller with the theme "paradise gone bad."
Set on the lush island of Kauai, Hawaii, three couples are
hiking the secluded and remote 11 mile trail from Ke'e Beach
to Kalalau Valley. News circulates that there is a killer
serial couple on the island tracking and eliminating its victims
(à la Natural Born Killers). All three couples suspect the others.
Who is guilty? All show suspect behaviour and innocence. Previously
directed Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick and wrote the
screenplays for The Fugitive and G.I. Jane.
2.4 -- WHATEVER WORKS,
Allen returns to New York City with this delightful yet at
times irritating romantic comedy. Boris, world class grouch
and self proclaimed genius (Larry David), developes an unlikely
relationship with Melodie (Evan Rachel
Wood), a teen runaway from Eden, Mississippi.
Despite having nothing in common, a chemistry (predictably)
develops. In Larry David, Woody Allen has found a perfect
sub for his brand of neurosis fueled humour. Script and editing
a bit choppy.
-- THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE,
Social drama set in October 2008 about an upscale Manhattan
call girl who offers her clients a simulation of a full romantic
relationship -- the "girlfriend experience." Interesting premise
presented in an unengaging, monotone manner.
Gondry, Carax and Joon-Ho
Three part urban theatre fantasy (same genre as New York
Stories and Paris Je t'aime) poses the question,"Does man
define the city or does the city define the man?" An
entertaining look into the heart and soul of Tokyo.
LIMITS OF CONTROL,
Existential account of a mysterious loner assigned to do
a "job" that is outside the law. Thus, begins a voyage that
take him across Spain; a voyage that is repetitively dreamlike.
The protagonist crosses paths with similarly nameless characters,
many of whom are played by internationally known stars in
cameo appearances. Limits of Control, which follows Broken
Flowers, is an engaging film that requires full attention
to catch the subtlest of clues that are at best parsimoniously
offered. Excellent score by Boris.
THREE MONKEYS, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
A drama showing how past indiscretions and hidden secrets
back to haunt and even destroy us. A well thought out idea
undermined by weak editing. Good performances throughout.
RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, Jonathan Demme
Dysfunctional family comedy drama. Excellent performances.
Good music by Robyn Hitchcock.
Reorchestration of "12 Angry Men." Many elements make this
distinctly Russian/Chechen. Its unfolding & logic of the
dialogue logic (as with original) kept me glued to my seat,
attentive to every word. Unfortunately subtitles were a
bit hard to read.
OF TIME AND THE CITY, Terrence Davis
recollection and ode to the city of Liverpool. Madden's
"My Winnipeg" more compelling.
GOMORRA, Matteo Garrone
Based on monumental study of Camarra Mafia in Naples. Overly
complicated which doesn't detract from the larger message.
Closer to Day to Day than Godfather or Scarface. Locations
and actors well chosen.
Brutally realistic "arthouse" historical essay on the 1981
Maze Prison hunger strike in Belfast. Some of the sequences
were hard to follow due to editing & heavy Irish accents.
WENDY & LUCY,
Lost girl Wendy, accompanied by her dog Lucy, get bogged
down in a small Oregon town. Despite fine acting performance
and credible script, I just couldn't identify.
2.2 -- I KILLED MY MOTHER (J'AI TUE MA
A depiction of a "love/hate" relationship between a mother
and her 16-year old gay son. Also a coming of age story.
I found too many of the scenes in this "adrenalin adulterated"
film unnervingly exaggerated. Nonetheless ( attributed to
immaturity), a director/actor with major potential.