Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an authoritarian dictator. A blending of fact and fiction, this award-winning film has a remarkably visual sensibility thanks to actor-turned-director Brady Corbet and his intense cast. It's a bit relentless in its murky atmosphere, but there are flashes of genius all the way through.
The story opens in 1918 Paris, where an American diplomat (Game of Thrones' Liam Cunningham) is knee-deep in negotiations that will lead to the Treaty of Versailles. His wife (The Artist's Berenice Bejo) and pre-teen son Prescott (Tom Sweet) are rattling around their country house waiting for him to come home, and there's also a loyal maid (Yolande Moreau) and an observant nanny (Stacy Martin). But Prescott is a handful, refusing to cut his hair and challenging everyone around him by throwing a series of epic tantrums. With his father busy with work, his mother is so lonely that she turns to family friend Charles (Robert Pattinson) for company. And it doesn't help that the maid indulges Prescott's every whim, leaving the nanny unable to control him.
Where all of this goes is elusive and complex, hinting at a variety of secret activities happening just out of reach. Since everything is depicted through Prescott's immature perspective, the film's plot feels suggestive and seemingly irrational, and yet there's a driving sense of logic to it as well. And by mixing in newsreel footage to root everything into this pivotal point of history, Corbet offers haunting echoes of the young lives of populist tyrants like Hitler and Mussolini (and maybe Donald Trump). All of this allows the cast to dig deeply into their roles, offering a glimpse beneath the surface at every step. At the centre, the remarkable young Sweet is fierce and also fragile, eerily likeable even as he behaves so monstrously. Meanwhile, Bejo's helpless sensitivity is cleverly contrasted with Cunningham's distance.
Continue reading: The Childhood Of A Leader Review
'Innocence' is one of few options at the cinema this weekend.
Ok, so it's that time of year again. Summer is over and the major studios have shut up shop to prepare for the fall. It's traditionally a baron wasteland for movies though look hard enough and you'll almost certainly find a couple of indie gems. Innocence is not one of the those movies.
Sophie Curtis stars in 'Innocence'
Starring relative newcomer Sophie Curtis, Innocence follows a young woman who discovers her elite Manhattan preparatory school harbors a dark secret. It must be noted at this point that the movie has no connection to the 2005 French movie of the same name, about a six-year-old girl who arrives at a remote boarding school. That movie was dark, disturbing and fascinating - this Innocence is terrible.
Continue reading: 'Innocence' Is Final Nail In The Coffin For Summer Box-Office
Henry Whipple is a highly respected farmer in the world of agriculture and thinks of little else other than expanding his three generation old farming land in Iowa. After watching his favourite son Grant fly the nest as a football star, he does his best to push his youngest son Dean into the family business, understanding that the empire will be lost if he doesn't take on the responsibility. However, Dean has other things on his mind; he wants to be a professional car racer and is already a champion on his local circuit. He is determined to prove his sceptical father wrong by reaching the racing heights of ARCA and NASCAR. Henry, meanwhile, faces big business troubles when his farm is investigated by GMO corn company Liberty Seeds; his whole career hangs in the balance, but he must learn that if he doesn't change the way he is, it won't be the only thing he loses.
Continue: At Any Price Trailer
Henry Whipple is an ambitious farmer with high hopes for his promising agricultural family business. His son Dean, however, wants to be a professional racing driver and already looks set to be a huge star with his sport earning him numerous awards. With the Whipple business under threat of breaking down with no heir to carry it on, tensions arise in the household as Henry struggles to put his family's interests before the welfare of his company. Things get even more serious when crisis arises in the business with the threat of exposure that could cost him and his family everything they have including each other.
'At Any Price' is an intense family drama directed and co-produced by Ramin Bahrani ('Goodbye Solo', 'Man Push Cart', 'Chop Shop') following his research into technologically-advancing agricultural businesses in the American Midwest. He also co-wrote the movie with Hallie Elizabeth Newton in her screenwriting debut. It is set to be a touching flick challenging the ethics of these businesses and questioning the happiness of the families involved and has so far been screened at the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and the Venice International Film Festival. It will be released in cinemas later in 2013.
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Continue: At Any Price Trailer
Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...
Henry Whipple is a highly respected farmer in the world of agriculture and thinks of...