In 1952 Stalin (Dussollier) "purges" the Kremlin of what he thinks are evil Jewish doctors. But he continues to get ill, so he has Dr Anna Atlina (Hands) brought to treat him. She's shocked at meeting the infamous premier, especially as he's heard she has a magnetic power in her hands. She helps alleviate his pain, and as she leaves he threatens her with execution if she ever tells anyone. Her entire life changes bewilderingly as a result, and she never knows when Stalin will summon her next.
Continue reading: An Ordinary Execution [une Execution Ordinaire] Review
Unfolding with fecund ripeness in a long and languorous day and evening in the French countryside, where some siblings and their respective others share a meal and sharp-edged conversation at the old family house, the film plays with the notion of barely-concealed secrets and a hint of rottenness. When Alex Beck (Francois Cluzet) chases his wife Margot (Marie-Josee Croze) through a forested pathway lined with lushly blooming flowers, the scene is romantic but weighted with death -- it wouldn't surprise you to find out that the soil was so rich due to bodies being buried there. Like the childhood sweethearts they once were, Alex and Margot swim playfully in a small pond and then coil up naked in the warm night air on a floating raft. She goes ashore; there are sounds of a struggle. Alex, panicked, swims for the dock only to get whacked unconscious by an unseen assailant.
Continue reading: Tell No One Review
Still, director Pascale Ferran has found her way to the core of Lawrence's novel (she actually works from an earlier version of the book), and the result is a very watchable, if a bit plodding, examination of one woman's longings.
Continue reading: Lady Chatterley Review
Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly takes its title from said book, and, like its source material, the film has a spiffy discordance to it. When Bauby (the great Mathieu Amalric) opens his eyes, so does the camera, and we are struck by the light in the same petrified and blurry way that Bauby is. Manipulated to Brakhage-like lengths, the image has the same effect as Jean-Do's fumbling voiceover; we are as unsure of his footing as he is. His pleading to not sew up an eye threatened by infection becomes our begging; we don't want to lose the slight view we have. Then, with little preparation, we aren't with the protagonist anymore, and we are looking at a frozen, terminally-twitched face in a hospital bed.
Continue reading: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly Review
Actress Marina Hands found out she had won the Best Actress Award at last year's TriBeCa Awards by email, and spent days believing the accolade was a joke.
The half French, half British star won the prize for her role as the title character in 2006 movie Lady Chatterley.
Hands says, "One day I received an email saying that I'd won the Best Actress prize.
"For days I was sitting there thinking this is a joke, until finally I got in touch with someone from the production team who confirmed that I'd won".
French actress Marina Hands is set to star in a new film about fashion icon COCO CHANEL alongside Casino Royale villain Mads Mikkelsen.
Hands, who landed the Best Actress award at the 2007 Cesar's - France's equivalent of the Oscars - has been lined up to appear in Coco And Igor with the James Bond actor, a movie detailing the relationship between Chanel and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.
It is the second movie about Chanel due to begin filming this year (07); it was announced last week (ends25May07) Audrey Tautou will play the designer in a biopic of her early life.
Coco And Igor is slated to begin shooting in September (07).
Lady Chatterley led the field at last night's (24FEB07) Cesar's - France's Academy Awards equivalent - dominating the evening with a five-awards haul.
The French film took the top Best Film gong, with Marina Hands named Best Actress for her part in the big-screen adaptation of D.H. LAWRENCE's classic novel. It also picked up awards for Best Adaptation, Best Costumes and Best Cinematography.
NE LE DIS A PERSONNE (DON'T TELL ANYONE) scooped two awards at the ceremony in Paris' Theatre du Chatelet; FRANCOIS CLUZET for Best Actor and GUILLAME CANET for Best Director.
INDIGENES (DAYS OF GLORY), which garnered nine nominations, was the surprise flop of the evening, landing only one award for Best Original Screenplay.
Oscar-tipped LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE won Best Foreign Film.
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and actress Hilary Swank were on hand to give out the awards at the star-studded event, with British star Jude Law awarded an honorary Cesar for his achievement in film.
The full list of winners is:
Best Actor - FRANCOIS CLUZET, NE LE DIS A PERSONNE (DON'T TELL ANYONE)
Best Actress - MARINA HANDS, LADY CHATTERLEY
Best Supporting Actor - Kad Merad, JE VAIS BIEN, NE T'EN FAIS PAS
(DON'T WORRY I'M FINE)
Best Supporting Actress - Valerie Lemercier, FAUTEUILS D'ORCHESTRE (AVENUE MONTAIGNE)
Best Male Newcomer - Malik Zidi, LES AMITIES MALEFIQUES
Best Female Newcomer - Melanie Laurent, JE VAIS BIEN, NE T'EN FAIS PAS
Best Director - Guillaume Canet, NE LE DIS A PERSONNE
Best French Film - LADY CHATTERLEY (PASCALE FERRAN)
Best Debut - YOU ARE SO HANDSOME (ISABELLE MERGAULT)
Best Documentary - BEING JACQUES CHIRAC (KARL ZERO/MICHEL ROYER)
Best Original Screenplay - INDIGENES (DAYS OF GLORY) OLIVIER LORELLE/Rachid Bouchareb
Best Adaptation - LADY CHATTERLEY (PASCALE FERRAN/Roger Bohbot/Pierre Trividic)
Best Music Written For A Film - NE LE DIS A PERSONNE (M - MATHIEU CHEDID)
Best Short Film - FAIS DE BEAUX REVES (Marilyne Canto)
Best Cinematography - LADY CHATTERLEY (JULIEN HIRSCH)
Best Set Design - OSS 117 - CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES (MAAMAR ECH SHEIK)
Best Sound: THE SINGER (FRANCOIS MUSY/GABRIEL HAFNER)
Best Editing - NE LE DIS A PERSONNE (HERVE DE LUZE)
Best Costumes - LADY CHATTERLEY (MARIE-CLAUDE ALTOT)
Best Foreign Film - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (JONATHAN DAYTON, VALERIE FARIS)
Arcand is too experienced to be satisfied with this singular friendship as a focal point. Instead, it's just one of the delicate links that the veteran writer/director examines in this tale that briskly comments on everything from healthcare to ethics to today's Christianity.
Continue reading: The Barbarian Invasions Review
In Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasions," the bald, flabby, bespectacled Remy (Remy Girard) is slowly dying. He never makes a miraculous recovery, nor does he renounce his sinful lifestyle, nor does he leave behind a fortune for his friends and family to enjoy. He's a goner.
How difficult it must be to get producers to finance a film about death, not to mention getting audiences to pay to see a film about death.
The reason "The Barbarian Invasions" succeeds is because -- to quote an old critical chestnut -- it's really about life.
Continue reading: The Barbarian Invasions Review
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