An extremely topical theme and unpredictable characters hold the audience's attention even when this French drama takes some rather implausible turns. Shot and performed with earthy honesty, the film grapples with prickly situations in ways that are both enlightening and somewhat frustrating to watch. But by refusing to go where expected, writer-director Robin Campillo tells a story that can't help but add a personal angle to the immigration debate.
In Paris, Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin) is a middle-aged nice guy intrigued by a gang of Eastern European guys hanging around the Gare du Nord. Specifically, he finds himself dawn to Marek (Kirill Emelyanov), and eventually gets the nerve to invite him to his flat. But Marek turns up with the entire gang in tow, and they proceed to steal pretty much everything from Daniel's home. The next day, Marek comes back alone and apologetic, and Daniel reluctantly agrees to talk to him. As they begin a regular routine as rentboy and client, Daniel decides that maybe he can help Marek break free from the gang leader they call Boss (Daniil Vorobyev).
Even though it ends up as a somewhat contrived thriller, the film's shifting moods are fascinating as they evoke strong responses from the characters and the audience. In the beginning, the horror of Daniel's situation gives way to a rather sweet and messy friendship that's tricky to categorise. Is he in love with Marek or just lusting after him? Or perhaps something completely different is going on here. Campillo enjoys keeping the audience off balance, which can feel rather elusive, especially when something happens that's difficult to believe. But the film so provocative that it's worth the effort.
Continue reading: Eastern Boys Review
Grace Kelly is one of the most famous and most beloved Hollywood actresses in the world having won an Academy Award and two Golden Globes among others, and having starred in some of the most exciting films of the fifties. In 1955, her life changes dramatically when she catches the eye of the charming Prince Rainier III of Monaco who is on the lookout for the perfect wife. After three days of meeting, wedding plans begin and the high profile of such an event forces Grace to give up acting. Their marriage is about to be seriously tested, however, as Grace is offered a new screen role and she is itching to get back in front of the cameras. Unfortunately for her, nobody is in agreement with her continuing in film as a bad role could mar her royal reputation.
'Grace Of Monaco' is the dramatic onscreen biography of actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, who was well-known for appearing in several of Alfred Hitchcock's films. It has been directed by the BAFTA nominated Olivier Dahan ('La Vie en Rose', 'Ghost River', 'Crimson Rivers 2') and written by Arash Amel ('The Expatriate'). The film is set to be released in the UK on June 6th 2014.
Grace Kelly is one of the most loved women of the past 100 years. The former Hollywood star was a favourite of the silver screen, but that was only really the beginning of her journey. When Grace Kelly fell in love with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, her personal life turned into a story that could rival that of a classic fairy tale.
Though not from royal stock, Grace is to many their favourite royal to have lived; beauty, elegance and a gentle and nurturing nature only added to the appeal of Grace throughout the world.
Nicole Kidman now takes on one of her most difficult roles to date and plays the much loved actress. Set in the 1960's whilst her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, faced invasion by the French over tax disputes, the princess was also facing one of the most turbulent times of her life. Grace of Monaco was directed by Oscar winner Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose) and written by relative newcomer Arash Amel.
This French dramatic thriller is so gleefully trashy that it's rather entertaining, as long as you don't try to take it seriously. Sleek and seductive, it's a pungent tale that plays out like a particularly lurid corporate soap. It also gives smart actresses Sagnier and Scott Thomas plenty of juicy material to play with as two women who try to derail each others' lives.
In the Paris office of a multinational corporation, Christine (Scott Thomas) is a fiercely ambitious executive looking for opportunities to advance her career. But then so is her brainy assistant Isabelle (Sagnier). And when Christine passes one of Isabelle's clever ideas off as her own, Isabelle gets even by seducing Christine's boyfriend (Mille) and deploying her assistant (Marquet) on secret missions. From here the manipulative manoeuvring accelerates, as both women try to get the upper hand. And Isabelle seems to be playing a much longer game.
Director Corneau fully indulges in the story's sordid elements, letting both Sagnier and Scott Thomas play up their characters' nasty ambitions as they engage in a vicious tit for tat. Every word and gesture is designed to bring the other one down a notch. As the balance of power shifts back and forth, we are aware that there's a larger plot developing off-screen, so watching it emerge is a lot of fun, especially then there's so much twisted chemistry between these two actresses and the hapless men they use to carry out their evil scheming.
Continue reading: Love Crime [Crime d'Amour] Review
Christian (Wilson) is the leader of a group of eight French monks living in a Catholic monastery in rural Algeria. Their only mission is to pray and serve the local people, and over the generations they have become an integral part of the community. When fundamentalist tensions spill into violence in the country around them, they have a difficult decision to make: abandon the people and flee home to France or stand up to the injustice. Opinions are split, but they opt to seek an answer together. And their decision could cost them their lives.
Continue reading: Of Gods and Men [Des Hommes et des Dieux] Review
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