August 8, 2013 |
Pitiless, devastating, unadorned, "Our Children" is an exceptional film that puts the worst, most painful part of its story on the screen first. Or so you will be tempted to think. Directed by Joachim Lafosse and starring three of Europe's top actors - Emilie Dequenne, Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim - this is a taut psychological study, based on a true story, of the complexities of personal power relationships that begins with the kind of shattering revelation that would be the conclusion of most films.
January 13, 2013 |
"Amour" won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film on Sunday night. Austria's "Amour" has been an art-house awards powerhouse since winning the top prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. Director Michael Haneke won the Golden Globe for his previous film, "The White Ribbon," and "Amour" recently racked up an impressive five Oscar nominations as well. With strong performances by Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, the film is a deeply felt, harrowing examination of an aging couple facing the end of life.
December 6, 2012 |
Romantic but pitiless, fearlessly emotional as well as edgy, "Rust and Bone" is a powerhouse. It's the kind of risky venture only a consummate filmmaker could manage, and then only with the help of actors who are daring and accomplished. With director Jacques Audiard in charge and Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts as stars, all the pieces have fallen exactly into place. Although "Rust and Bone" is old fashioned and sentimental at its core, this film's idea of romance is not everyone's, and it's certainly not Jane Austen's.
November 25, 2012 |
If French cinema still carries a reputation for talky chamber pieces of the bourgeoisie, here's a visceral slice of life in the raw: Whether it's the killer whales, the prominent Katy Perry song, the back-alley fighting or its unlikely romance set against day-to-day hardships in the South of France, the new "Rust and Bone" is imagistic and emotionally wrought, pushing into surprising territories. Director and co-writer Jacques Audiard's previous film, "A Prophet," was another high-pitched drama and was nominated for the foreign language Academy Award.
November 14, 2012 |
The French film “Rust and Bone” has been picking up awards buzz ever since it first appeared earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival and just recently received the top prize at the London Film Festival as well. It is perhaps no surprise that the film features a riveting performance by Marion Cotillard, who previously won an Oscar for her French-language performance in “La Vie en Rose,” so for many American audiences the real discovery of the film will be Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts.
November 3, 2012 |
Though it has become axiomatic over the last few years that the audience for foreign-language films has been shrinking in America as superheroes dominate the box office, there have been a few recent signs of new life. Earlier this year the Iranian film "A Separation" was nominated for an Oscar not only in the foreign-language category (which it would go on to win) but also for its screenplay, where it competed against the likes of "Bridesmaids," pushing the film out from the margins of the art house.