Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
  Current Issue  
  Back Issues  
Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Diane Gordon
Robert Rotondo
Sylvain Richard
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Marcel Dubois
Emanuel Pordes
  Film Reviews
  Bowling for Columbine
Shanghai Ghetto
Talk to Her
City of God
Magdalene Sisters
Dirty Pretty Things
Barbarian Invasions
Fog of War
Blind Shaft
The Corporation
Station Agent
The Agronomist
Maria Full of Grace
Man Without a Past
In This World
Buffalo Boy
Shake Hands with the Devil
Born into Brothels
The Edukators
Big Sugar
A Long Walk
An Inconvenient Truth
Sisters In Law
Send a Bullet
Banking on Heaven
Chinese Botanist's Daugher
Ben X
La Zona
The Legacy
Irina Palm
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Poor Boys Game
Finn's Girl
Leaving the Fold
The Mourning Forest
Beneath the Rooftops of Paris
Before Tomorrow



SYLVAIN RICHARD is a film critic at Arts & Opinion. Here are his ratings, always out of 4, reserving 2.5 or more for a noteworthy film, 3.5 for an exceptional film, 4 for a classic.


Sylvain Richard Among 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 .

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."

2.8 -- AGATHE CLERY, Etienne Chatiliez
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.

3.5 -- PAPER HEART, Nick Jasonovic
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 intrinsically perfect.

3.4 -- THE PERFECT GETAWAY, David Twohy
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 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, Woody Allen
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.

1.8 -- THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE, Steven Soderbergh
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.

2.8 -- TOKYO, 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.

2.7 -- LIMITS OF CONTROL, Jim Jarmusch
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.

2.3 -- THREE MONKEYS, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
A drama showing how past indiscretions and hidden secrets can come
back to haunt and even destroy us. A well thought out idea undermined by weak editing. Good performances throughout.

2.6 -- RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, Jonathan Demme
Dysfunctional family comedy drama. Excellent performances. Good music by Robyn Hitchcock.

3.6 -- 12, Nikita Mikhalkov
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.

2.2 -- OF TIME AND THE CITY, Terrence Davis
Personal recollection and ode to the city of Liverpool. Madden's "My Winnipeg" more compelling

3.0 -- 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.

3.0 -- HUNGER, Steve McQueen
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.

2.0 -- WENDY & LUCY, Kelly Reichhardt
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 MERE), Xavier Dolan
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.


  = shared webhosting, dedicated servers, development/consulting
Festival Nouveau Cinema de Montreal, Oct. 10-21st, (514) 844-2172
Festivalissimo Film Festival - Montreal
2008 FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL (Montreal) North America's Premier Genre Festival July 3-21
Montreal World Film Festival
CINEMANIA(Montreal) - festival de films francophone 1-11 novembre, Cinema Imperial info@514-878-0082: featuring Bernard Tavernier
2009 FIFA International Film Festival
Montreal Jazz Festival
Couleur JAZZ 91.9
Armand Vaillancourt: sculptor
Available Ad Space
Valid HTML 4.01!
Privacy Statement Contact Info
Copyright 2002 Robert J. Lewis