When the Nazis took over Vienna prior to the Second World War, they stole countless, priceless artefacts. One of these artefacts was the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and an Austrian Holocaust survivor has the perfect claim to it. Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) hires Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a lawyer of Austrian decent, to help her become once again acquainted with the famous painting of her aunt. The problem is, that the painting is held in a Vienna art gallery, and the Austrian government are adamant in keeping the national treasure. Altmann, on the other hand, is desperate to get back what is rightfully hers.
Continue: Woman In Gold - Trailer And Clips
Even though it's made in a style that feels familiar, this World War II romantic drama takes a much more complex approach to the period, most notably in the way that it refuses to let anyone become a hero or villain. This is because author Irene Nemirovsky wrote the source novel at the time, not in retrospect, which gives it an unusual kick. And the film also benefits from an extraordinarily textured performance by Michelle Williams.
She plays Lucille, who in 1940 is living in the French country town of Bussy with her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas). Since her husband is missing in action at the front, Lucille is feeling trapped in her life with the madame, who cruelly increases her poor-farmer tenants' rent even during these hard times. Then the Germans arrive to occupy the town, and officer Bruno (Matthias Schoenaerts) is billeted in their house. Initially a horrific presence, Bruno turns out to be a soulful young man who misses his family. As he composes music on Lucille's piano, she reaches out to him in friendship, surprised to find a spark of attraction. But things get more complicated when Lucille and the madame begin to help a neighbour (Sam Riley) who crosses the Germans and needs to be hidden from view.
Director Saul Dibb (The Duchess) shoots this in a fairly straightforward costume-drama style, with sun-dappled cinematography and lavish settings. But the film rises above the genre in the characters, who are never allowed to become the usual stereotypes. Both Lucille and Bruno are intelligent young people aware that they're in the wrong place at the wrong time, so it's hardly surprising that they are drawn to each other, and Williams and Schoenaerts spark vivid chemistry that never boils over into forbidden-love melodrama. Each of them is a bundle of contradictions, remaining sympathetic even when they make bad decisions. And Scott Thomas adds further texture as the harsh madame who reveals her own unexpected shadings.
Continue reading: Suite Francaise Review
During the Second World War, France was quickly and violently taken over by the German army. Now, under enemy occupation, the residents find themselves having to house and shelter their victorious enemies. Lucille Angellier (Michelle Williams) is one of these people, having to share her house with Commander Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts). Despite being on two different sides of the conflict, the two find a strange attraction to one-another, and a romance begins to blossom. But Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas), Lucille's mother-in-law, distrusts the German officer, leading to a series of events that will test the strength of love and trust, in a time of war.
Continue: Suite Francaise Trailer
Tom Schilling - 65th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - Medienboard Reception (Empfang) at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin at Hotel The Ritz Carlton at Potsdamer Platz square - Berlin, Germany - Saturday 7th February 2015
Volker Bruch, Katharina Schüttler, Tom Schilling, Miriam Stein, Ludwig Trepte and Stefan Kolditz - Shots from red carpet as a host of stars arrived at the 2014 International Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy Awards ceremony which were held at the New York Hilton hotel in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 24th November 2014
Niko Fischer is a young man who is down on his luck after dropping out of college where he was studying law. He returns to Berlin only to experience a series of unfortunate events. First, he doesn't even have enough change to by a coffee, then he loses his cash card in a broken ATM and then he is refused the return of his driver's license when he is branded mentally instable. To make matters worse, he ends up having a very awkward encounter with a girl he used to tease at school; a girl who used to be overweight but is now a stunning aspiring actress; and his strict father has found out that he is no longer in college. Niko really doesn't know where he's going with his life and with all this bad luck, he's barely being given a chance to sit and think. And is a simple cup of coffee really so much to ask?
'A Coffee In Berlin' (previously called 'Oh Boy') is a black and white German movie billed as a 'tragicomedy'. It has been directed and written by Jan Ole Gerster in his feature film debut and has won more than twenty international film awards since its initial release. It is set to hit theatres on June 13th 2014.
Even though it's perhaps a bit over-constructed, this German comedy-drama is a hugely enjoyable personal odyssey with strong echoes of Woody Allen's classic era. Shot in black and white, the film feels like a minor classic as it follows a loser through a single day in which his whole life seems to hang in the balance. And even though he's an aimless mess, we can't help but love him.
His name is Niko (Schilling), and he begins the day by breaking up with his girlfriend then trying to convince a sarcastic psychologist (Schroders) that he deserves to get his driving license back after a drunk-driving conviction. He hasn't quite moved into his Berlin flat, and a nosey neighbour (von Dohnanyi) seems far too interested in him. So he leaves to hang out with his actor friend Matze (Hosemann), at which point he runs into Julika (Kempter), a girl he used to taunt for her weight at school. But Julika is now thin and hot, so he accepts an invitation to her art performance that evening. Before heading there, he visits his father (Noethen) to ask for some money and drops in on another actor friend (Klawitter) on the film set of a Nazi melodrama.
It becomes clear early on that Niko has absolutely no ambition. So it's no surprise that his father cuts him off when he learns that Niko dropped out of law school two years ago, and has been living off his university allowance so he has time to "think". The comedy comes from the fact that everyone Niko encounters on this fateful day seems to be interrupting his plan to waste his time. And Schilling plays him so beautifully that he earns our sympathy without ever asking for it. He may be a useless slacker, but he's smart, witty and utterly charming.
Continue reading: Oh Boy Review
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