The Berlinale's Golden Bear for Best Film has been awarded to Iranian director Jafar Panahi's 'Taxi'.
Jafar Panahi, the critically acclaimed Iranian director, has won the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear for his film Taxi. Panahi has been banned from making films by the Iranian authorities yet continues to work and gain international support. Panahi also stars in Taxi as a driver who meets a variety of people as he drives them around Tehran. The film both celebrates Iranian culture and condemns the censorship imposed by the Iranian authorities.
After a string of projects in America (including the masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), French filmmaker Michel Gondry returns home to let his manic imagination run wild. This film is a riot of movement, as the sets themselves seem to be alive, packing every moment of the film with visual absurdity, witty gags, colourful characters and soulful music. And while the mayhem is sometimes a bit overwhelming, the story's romantic moods resonate deeply, turning a silly movie into something surprisingly moving.
It's based on Boris Vian's 1947 novel L'Ecume des Jours, which has been adapted into two previous films and a Russian opera. In Paris, Colin (Romain Duris) is an independently wealthy bachelor whose friend Nicolas (Omar Sy) cooks and cleans and keeps music echoing around his chaotic flat. But when Nicolas admits that he's falling for their friend Isis (Charlotte Le Bon), and Colin's best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) announces that he has a new girlfriend Alise (Aissa Maiga), Colin decides maybe he should find a woman himself. Then he meets Chloe (Audrey Tautou), and the spark between them is instant. But just as they get married, Chloe becomes ill when a tiny waterlily takes root in her lung, and the only treatment is to encircle her with flowers.
As Chloe's condition deteriorates, so does the state of Colin's entire apartment, and eventually the colour begins to drain from all of Paris as well, while friendships are strained by the possibility of death. It's a startling on-screen transformation, as Gondry keeps everything in motion, using any kind of visual trickery imaginable, mainly effects that take place right on the film set, like puppetry and stop-motion. The zaniness continues in the background even after the characters' stories steal focus from them. Yes, the cast members are so strong that they manage to rise above the chaos. As always, Duris brings real charm to the whole film, generating sparky chemistry with everyone around him, and his chemistry with Tautou is seriously sweet.
Continue reading: Mood Indigo Review
Early reviews of 'Mood Indigo' are not promising as the film has been labelled whimsical, pretty but lacking in realism. But if you're prepared to suspend disbelief, you may be in for a star filled treat in this French language film starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.
Set in a fantastical Paris where fire alarms scuttle across rooms and cars hover above the city, Mood Indigo is a love story starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris. The film has been directed by Michael Gondry, who also directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Mood Indigo stars Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.
Entitled L'Ecume Des Jours, translated as Froth on a Daydream, the film follows a wealthy inventor, Colin (Duris) as he falls in love with Chloé (Tautou). The pair is awkwardly set up at a party hosted by Colin's friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) and his girlfriend Alise (Aïssa Maïga).
French filmmaker Cedric Klapisch keeps the tone light and the serious themes just under the surface as he revisits the lively characters from The Spanish Apartment (2002) and Russian Dolls (2005). Despite its comical plotting, the film remains grounded in real life, this time in an ethnically blended corner of New York City as the characters turn 40 and face major life changes. It's a relaxed, enjoyable romp that sometimes feels rather silly but continually catches the whiff of an important issue.
Our hero Xavier (Romain Duris) is living in Paris, exhausted by the surprises life won't stop throwing at him. The latest shock comes from his girlfriend Wendy (Kelly Reilly), who announces that she's taking their children (Pablo Mugnier-Jacob and Margaux Mansart) and moving back to Manhattan, where she plans to live with another man. Stunned, and knowing he can write anywhere, Xavier follows her and moves in with his old pal Isabelle (Cecil De France) and her girlfriend Ju (Sandrine Holt) in Brooklyn. Perhaps now Xavier might also be able to be in the life of the child he has helped Isabelle conceive to raise with Ju. So he finds a woman, Nancy (Li Jun Li), who will marry him so he can get an American visa. Then his ex-girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou) comes for a visit, sparking old feelings that complicate everything.
Yes, the scene is set for a wild farce of a final act as Martine, the immigration investigators, Isabelle and Ju and a variety of kids all converge on Xavier's new Chinatown flat. This wacky slapstick gets rather grating, since there are so many more interesting places this film could have gone, but it's funny and very nicely played by the cast of shamelessly charming actors. Each portrays a person who is incapable of making the most important decisions in their lives, which gives the film a loose sense of authenticity even if the events feel rather contrived.
Continue reading: Chinese Puzzle Review
Xavier Rousseau is heartbroken when his British wife Wendy leaves him for a man she met in New York and takes their two children with her. Determined to maintain contact with his kids, he flies over to America from France and attempts to become an American citizen in any way he can; from donating his sperm to a lesbian couple to marrying a Chinese woman. He meets Wendy's new boyfriend, who happens to be annoyingly nice and - to Wendy's irritation - highly sympathetic to Xavier's dilemma in moving to a foreign country, and he even has chance to reconnect with an old lover, Martine, who has come to visit him and wants to make a fresh start. As he tries to get his life back on track, things just keep getting harder and harder.
Continue: Chinese Puzzle Trailer
Although this remake of the 1962 classic is beautifully shot and acted, it's so hollow and bleak that it leaves us cold. The topic at hand is the clash between passionate romance and a suitable marriage in a time and place where society told you how to live your life. And while the production design lavishly recreates the period, there's so little hope on display that we feel trapped in a loveless marriage ourselves.
It's 1928, and lifelong buddies Therese and Anne (Tautou and Demoustier) are finally of age, ready to launch themselves into adulthood. Therese has always been promised to Anne's swaggering brother Bernard (Lellouche), and she's excited at the thought of life with him. But nothing prepares her for the harsh, icy reality. Meanwhile, Anne is freer to explore her romantic longing for the poor but sexy fisherman Azevedo (Weber). Of course he's not remotely suitable, so Therese is sent to make Anne see reason. But when she meets Azevedo, she only makes things worse. Meanwhile, her relationship with Bernard takes an even more sinister turn.
Yes, this is a film about a woman trapped in the very life she always dreamed of having, constrained by society from living her own life and forced to take drastic action. But even this doesn't have the results she was expecting, because in this time and place, a woman simply could not control her own destiny. This is an odd kind of film for the usually gregarious Tautou and Lellouche to make, as the grim tone robs them of their usual overpowering charm. Which means that they deliver potent performances as people who are rather pathetic and unlikeable.
Continue reading: Therese Desqueyroux Review
Judging by the latest trailer from Michel Gondry for 'Mood Indigo' starring Romain Duris (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) and Audrey Tautou (Amelie, Priceless), he's once again back to his stunningly surreal The Science of Sleep best for another French language cinematic beauty.
Based on a 1947 novel by Boris Vian called Froth on a Daydream, the movie sees Colin (Duris), a wealthy and successful inventor of a smell-based musical instrument named a Pianocktail. Through his friend, Chick, he meets Chloe (Tautou) and falls head over heels in love. They get married in a whirlwind romance, but while on their honeymoon, Chloe falls ill and in the ensuing weeks and months her health deteriorates. As she gets worse, so the film devolves into an increasingly dark world.
Brad Pitt became the first male face to appear in a Chanel No.5 commercial on Monday (October 15, 2012), as part of an advertising campaign that pays the Hollywood star a cool $7 million, according to Women's Wear Daily. In the new black and white ad - directed by filmmaker Joe Wright - Pitt, 48, looks wistfully into the camera.
As with most Chanel ads, there's also an enigmatic faux-philosophical drivel, which when broken down, doesn't really mean anything. On this occasion, Pitt says, "It's not a journey. Every journey ends, but we go on. The world turns, and we turn with it. Plans disappear, dreams take over. But wherever I go, there you are, my luck, my fate, my fortune. Chanel No.5, inevitable." The wishy-washy ad has already come in for scrutiny, with Erik Hayden of Time magazine calling it "nonsensical," adding that its "vaguely existential monologue ... sounds like it could plausibly have been discarded narration from the trailer for Terrence Malick's (film) 'Tree of Life." Chanel No.5 - the first perfume launched by Coco Chanel in 1921 - has previous been represented by Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve and more recently Audrey Tatou in a series of very slick, very French ads.
Pitt's commercial has already racked up millions of hits on YouTube, as well as a flurry of the usual unintentionally comical comments. One user wrote, "WHAT THE HELL IS HE SAYING??!?!? But it's OK because it's Brad Pitt," while another claimed that with Pitt or no Pitt, nobody should be spending $250 on "smelly water."
Nathalie (Tautou) has a perfect life with her childhood sweetheart Francois (Marmai). And with a new job and a decision to start a family, the future looks bright. So when Francois dies in a sudden accident, Nathalie throws herself into work to cope. Three years later, while fending off the advances of her lecherous boss (Todeschini), she inexplicably kisses dorky coworker Markus (Damiens). And without really trying, they embark on a tentative, unexpected relationship.
Continue reading: Delicacy Review
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