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The Hundred-Foot Journey Review


Good

A relentlessly smiley-glowy tone threatens to undo this film at every turn, but it's just about rescued by a spiky script and the adept cast. Director Lasse Hallstrom has been indulging in warm-fuzzy filmmaking since 2000's Chocolat, and this story (based on the Richard Morais book) seems set in the same fanciful, far too-cute France, created with digital effects rather than cinematography. Nothing is remotely realistic, but the characters are engaging and the food looks absolutely delicious. This is definitely not a film to see on an empty stomach.

The central character is Hassan (90210's Manish Dayal), who was born in India and developed his prodigious gift as a chef with his late mother. Now refugees in Europe, Hassan's Papa (Om Puri) is on a quest to establish a restaurant with his five children. They settle on an impossibly quaint French village, and set up their Indian eatery just across the road from the Michelin-starred restaurant run by the imperious Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), who of course immediately declares war on these interlopers. Meanwhile, Hassan begins exploring French cookery with Mallory's sexy sous-chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). And his innate expertise catches Mallory's attention.

This simple twist helps propel the story and draw us in, as Hassan proves that he can teach Mallory a thing or two. Where this goes is played out in a simplistic way, but for audience members who are looking for meaning there's quite a bit of insight scattered around the script. Otherwise, Hallstrom is far more interested in superficial imagery, never quite letting the actors dig deep into their characters. Dayal shows some real texture as Hassan, but is reduced in the editing to merely smiling or frowning to show the character's frame of mind. And his relationship with Le Bon's impossibly perky Marguerite is almost painfully predictable.

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The Hundred Foot Journey - Featurette


Talking about upcoming restaurent drama 'The Hundred Foot Journey', producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, director Lasse Hallstrom and star Helen Mirren reveal their thoughts in a short featurette.

'This really is a story about the fusion between two opposite cultures', says Steven, with Oprah explaining of the film's plot: 'The icy Madame Mallory, the owner of the very proper Michelin-starred French restaurent, doesn't allow for any kind of competition whatsoever.' Helen reveals that within the clashing of two food cultures 'it's a feud that becomes a war - and no holds barred actually'.

click to read The Hundred Foot Journey movie reveiw

The Hundred Foot Journey Trailer


The Hundred Foot Journey is a drama directed by Lasse Hallström (Dear John/Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and written by Steven Knight.

Based on the novel of the same name by Richard C. Morals, The Hundred-Foot Journey sees an Indian family start a new life in France, where they intend to open a family business in the form of a restaurant, however the top restaurant in the south of France is opposite the restaurant the family buy, owned by the fiercely competitive Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). This gives the family little chance of being successful, yet they persist with it exposing the French to food they won't have tasted before. When Mallory becomes aware of this, she bitterly attempts to slow down business for their restaurant, i.e. by making snide remarks about the restaurant to her customers. Over time though, the two restaurants become friends, with Mallory even offering Hassan (Manish Dayal) of the Indian family, a job at her restaurant. But how will his father (Om Puri) feel about this?  

The film came about when producer Oprah Winfrey became a fan of the script, and encouraged Steven Spielberg to make an adaptation of the novel, who she knew from working with on The Color Purple. Spielberg searched for a director he thought would be good for the role and so he found Hallström, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his adaptation of The Cider House Rules, by John Irving.

Demi Soeur Trailer


Nenette is an ageing woman with mental disabilities which has meant that she has lived with her mother all her life. Her father left a long time ago and so, following the inevitable death of her mother, she is forced to seek care elsewhere and approaches a home for people in need of general living assistance. However, as they refuse to allow her to bring her pets along with her, she decides to track down her father, but after getting lost on the way, she is picked up by a group of punks travelling from a party who take her to see her half-brother Paul instead. Paul is a pharmacist known by his family and colleagues as being particularly uncheerful and dismissive. Characteristically, he has no time for Nenette, but after she slips him a few ecstasy pills in his coffee from her punk friends, he agrees to let her stay. Unfortunately for Nenette though, the high doesn't last forever, and his ensuing comedown is likely to be worse for her.

Continue: Demi Soeur Trailer

The Girl on the Train [La Fille du RER] Review


Excellent
This understated drama really gets under the skin through vivid characters and situations. Finely skilled direction and acting makes it vividly real, like an extremely low-key thriller that grabs hold and won't let go.

Skater girl Jeanne (Dequenne) lives in a Paris suburb with her helpful mum Louise (Deneuve). When meets another skater, Franck (Duvauchelle), their romance develops quickly. And she decides to move in with him rather than take an offered job as a secretary for a legal firm headed by Samuel (Blanc), a renowned specialist in cases involving anti-Semitic violence who has a past connection with Jeanne's parents. But when things go wrong she does something that has severe consequences.

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The Witnesses Review


Grim
Lost somewhere in André Téchiné's The Witnesses, a rather bewildered Emmanuelle Beart plays the part of Sarah, a frustrated children's book author with a new baby she doesn't really understand. Although the other main characters are only known to each other through her, she seems merely female window dressing for most of this men's film. Of much more import to the filmmaker are the activities of one Manu (Johan Libereau), a rather rudderless young man who's caught the eye of a doctor out cruising one fateful summer night in a Paris park. Because of that one inexplicable attraction in the summer of 1984 (rather portentously titled here "Happy Days"), we get a rather desultory melodrama about a love quadrangle during the start of the AIDS epidemic in France. And all the while, Sarah keeps writing in the sad expectation that somebody in the film will care.

No such luck. Manu is the story's free spirit and for a good while the only character the script seems much interested in. He's the animating force that's keeping the doctor, Adrien (the sharp, excellent Michel Blanc), going through the motions of his rather sad routine life. As much as Adrien wants romance from the substantially younger Manu, the feelings aren't reciprocated, and he confides his frustration to his good friend Sarah. That's when Manu starts hanging around, and Sarah's husband Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), starts to like what he sees...

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The Monster (1994) Review


OK
I suppose that the problem with subtitled films is one of being literary. Sure, you can watch intelligent films until the cows come home, but the passerby on CNN's Showbiz Today said it best when he said "I don't like to read when I go to movies."

The fact is that most people don't like to read anymore. I am highly unusual in my affinity for the written word (I not only read books, but write them as a hobby), in my love of conversation as an art form. A small percentage of America likes that. This is the latter half of the 20th century. The information age where the only things that we like to read anymore are web pages. Our stories are told to us through movies. Our book reports are done courtesy of Cliffs (who, don't ask me why, did Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the easiest reads ever).

Continue reading: The Monster (1994) Review

The Monster Review


OK
I suppose that the problem with subtitled films is one of being literary. Sure, you can watch intelligent films until the cows come home, but the passerby on CNN's Showbiz Today said it best when he said "I don't like to read when I go to movies."

The fact is that most people don't like to read anymore. I am highly unusual in my affinity for the written word (I not only read books, but write them as a hobby), in my love of conversation as an art form. A small percentage of America likes that. This is the latter half of the 20th century. The information age where the only things that we like to read anymore are web pages. Our stories are told to us through movies. Our book reports are done courtesy of Cliffs (who, don't ask me why, did Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the easiest reads ever).

Continue reading: The Monster Review

Prospero's Books Review


Unbearable
Peter Greenaway is possibly best known for this inexplicable film, a fanciful, musical, nearly-all-nude recreation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. You have to wonder if the austere John Gielgud, who has played Prospero in the theater five times, knows if topless women are voguing behind him as he delivers his lines. Or that a child is projectile urinating in the background. The paycheck couldn't have been that great.

Continue reading: Prospero's Books Review

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