Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl

The decision to keep things as simple as possible has paid off in spades. At only 64 minutes, the film is a short but sweet introduction to the work of Portugese auteur de Oliveira, and that it has a wonderfully droll sting in its tale is the icing on the cake.
Rating: 4.0 starsHoopla Factor: 3.5 stars Continue reading Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl

Yuri’s Day

Rappoport does a fine job of her rather thankless role, given she is allowed barely an ounce of natural appeal and her character arc goes from obnoxious to insane. She rarely waivers, hitting each mark for her director, and given this is a character study and the focus must remain on her from beginning to end, she really does perform well.
Rating: 1.5 starsHoopla Factor: 0.5 stars Continue reading Yuri’s Day

Séraphine

The film is shot beautifully, with the French landscape vividly brought to life and the small town lifestyle under the shadow of two World Wars and the Great Depression evocatively demonstrated. Costume design and art direction allow the sense of reality to pervade this biopic and do justice to Provost’s vision.
Rating: 4.0 starsHoopla Factor: 3.5 stars Continue reading Séraphine

Love Me No More

The internal conflict evident behind his eyes is a hard acting task to successfully pull off, and yet Dupontel succeeds. Perhaps it is recollections of past performances that subconsciously encourage a degree of sympathy with his character, because, as written in the screenplay, he is intolerable.
Rating: 3.0 starsHoopla Factor: 2.5 stars Continue reading Love Me No More

The Class

Several long shots add to the sense of immersion in a real classroom rather than spectating a staged scene, and director Laurent Cantet seems to know just when they’ve reached their natural end. This is particularly evident also in the introductory sequence in which the teachers are meeting one another at the start of the new school year.
Rating: 4.0 starsHoopla Factor: 4.0 stars Continue reading The Class

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire is an utterly magical film, transporting the audience to a place of abject poverty and human degradation, and yet somehow becoming a life-affirming and profoundly moving love story. It could only be a hard heart that isn’t in some way affected by Jamal’s story.
Rating: 5.0 starsHoopla Factor: 5.0 stars Continue reading Slumdog Millionaire