Tag Archives: foreign film

FILM REVIEW: Victoria

Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015)

It’s been said that if you come out of a film thinking about the cinematography, it probably wasn’t a very good film overall. Victoria ran the risk of relying too much on this factor; the film’s cinematographer, Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, even earns first credit above director Sebastian Schipper in the end titles. The film is shot in one single continuous take (not Birdman-style, but actually) and has a run time of 134 minutes. Some may call it a gimmick, and alone it wouldn’t be enough to make a great film. However, it is the combination of the strength of the performances, a compelling story, and a unique way of shooting that make Victoria an extraordinary feat of filmmaking that should be seen by all lovers of cinema. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Victoria

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FILM REVIEW: My Skinny Sister

My Skinny Sister (Sanna Lenken, 2015)

It’s sadly all too common for women in Western society to experience body image concerns. In a culture where thin is in, and beauty is everything, girls are taught to hate their bodies from early on, with severe cases resulting in the onset of eating disorders. Writer and director Sanna Lenken suffered from anorexia nervosa during her adolescence, and witnessed the effect this had on her parents and younger sister. Feeling that this aspect was sorely lacking in fictional onscreen accounts of the disorder, she wrote My Skinny Sister, a fictional portrayal told from the perspective of the younger sister of a teenage girl suffering from anorexia. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: My Skinny Sister

FILM REVIEW: Wild Tales

Wild Tales (Damián Szifrón, 2014)

Wild Tales is the most seen Argentinian film of all time, and was nominated for best foreign language film at this year’s Oscars. Though this might work in its favour, many will be tempted to write it off as foreign, pretentious wankery that they won’t waste their time with because subtitles are too much effort, wah wah wah. Well I wouldn’t call myself a lover of foreign film (I see some, I like some of what I see) but I would implore all cinema lovers to see this film. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Wild Tales

FILM REVIEW: Mommy

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)

Xavier Dolan’s Mommy is a hard-going slog. Emotionally harrowing, long, and full of drawn-out conversations. However, I did find myself hanging on every word. Or at least I thought I did, because it seems that I missed a fair bit. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mommy

FILM REVIEW: Eastern Boys

Eastern Boys (Robin Campillo, 2013)

The subtitles for French film Eastern Boys don’t start until ten minutes in, almost leaving the audience to wonder if they’ve been omitted by mistake. The ‘Eastern boys’ – immigrants from Eastern Europe – wander around Paris’ Gare du Nord, slyly communicating with one another in a language that isn’t readily identifiable. We don’t really know what’s going on, but then neither does the film’s protagonist, the middle-aged Frenchman, Daniel Muller (Olivier Rabourdin). After Muller plucks up the courage to speak to young Ukrainian man, Marek (Kirill Emelyanov), they arrange a meeting at Muller’s house the following day. But this meeting doesn’t go the way Muller planned, and the true intentions of the Eastern boys, led by their ‘Boss’ (Daniil Vorobyev), are gradually revealed. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Eastern Boys

FILM REVIEW: Two Days One Night

Two Days One Night (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2014)

Marion Cotillard and French film. Usually a good mix, except that this film wasn’t even French, but Belgian. And it was a bit too mundane for my tastes. Inspired by various true stories about factory workers in France, Belgium, Italy, and America, Two Days One Night charts Sandra’s (Marion Cotillard) efforts to visit all sixteen of her co-workers who have voted for her dismissal in favour of a bonus. After convincing the boss to allow another secret ballot, she sets out to win the majority vote and her job back. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Two Days One Night

FILM REVIEW: Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (David Trueba, 2013)

Who wouldn’t want to drive to Almeria and chat with John Lennon? Get me a time machine and I’m there. In Living is Easy with Eyes Closed, teacher Antonio San Román (Javier Cámara) uses John Lennon’s lyrics to teach English to his students. One weekend he drives his cute little Fiat to Almeria in an attempt to find Lennon who is shooting a film on location. Antonio picks up a couple of stragglers along the way – first Belén (Natalia de Molina), a young pregnant woman, and then Juanjo (Francesc Colomer), a schoolkid who is sick of his father telling him to cut his Beatles-esque hair. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Living is Easy with Eyes Closed