Friday, April 04, 2008

Now Playing: Clooney, Foster and plenty for the Francophiles

The Flight of the Red Balloon Hou Hsiao-Hsien makes gorgeous movies. Three Times...just lovely. This one stars the beloved Juliette Binoche and critics are loving as is the norm for Hsiao-Hsien.
Jellyfish (Meduzot) Another acclaimed foreigner, this one Israeli. It was one of the Ophir nominees (i.e. Israel's Best Pictures) but was passed over for the Oscar submission when they went with The Band's Visit (later disqualified) and then Beaufort which did become one of 2007's Foreign Film nominees.
Meet Bill A comedy starring Aaron Eckhart... also known as 'that guy who went to college with Nathaniel' (teehee). Supposedly this one will be going wide next month. Jessica Alba, Timothy Olyphant and Elizabeth Banks in supporting roles. In concept isn't it hard to see Eckhart as a man lacking in confidence? Not a timid wallflower actor.

Sex and Death 101 Winona Ryder and Simon Baker star in 'That Movie With A Truly Terrible Poster'
My Blueberry Nights The Weinsteins, jailer of countless films, are finally letting you see the new Wong Kar Wai picture. But will you? Norah Jones travels and encounters Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and other beauties on her way.
Tuya's Marriage Lots of foreign films to choose from this weekend. This one is set in Mongolia
Shine a Light Scorsese. The Stones. 'nuff said for those who love either
And finally...
Water Lilies was up for three French Oscars (the Cesars) last year, all in the "promising" categories. Best First Film for its director and the two young female were up for Most Promising Actress. Here's the young and hormonal trailer...

Foreign film trailers often leave out dialogue, as if those who would be interested would lose interest if they knew it was going to be subtitled. Um... However, since this is the way marketing of foreign pictures works, I much prefer the absence of any words to those lame narrated trailers where someone tries to sell you on how beautiful or heartwarming or miraculous a foreign film is, while all the while you're noticing that they're too scared to make you listen to [gasp!] A FOREIGN LANGUAGE!

None of the wide releases are doing well critically on Rotten Tomatoes. Nothing is even in the 60 percentile range. Oops

<---- Nim's Island Jodie Foster does one for Charles and Kit. Abigail Breslin and Gerard Butler co-star in this family adventure film
The Ruins The new horror film based on a Scott Smith novel. He also wrote A Simple Plan. Presumably most of the young stars including X-Men's Ice Man, Tilda Swinton's gay son from The Deep End, and Donnie Darko's girlfriend die violent horrible deaths.
George Clooney, Renée Zellweger and that guy from The Office star in this period romantic comedy about footballers (the American kind).


Anonymous said...

Check out those guns on Jodie lol !

Seriously, it's good to see her having fun and not being harassed/savaged/raped/gang-raped/locked in a tiny space/assaulted... you get the idea

Who's interested in My Boringerry Nights ? Nora Jones should stick to music. She's so vanilla. No substance

And Nat, it's kind of a turn on to think of you and Aaron losing your virginity on the same campus

Glenn Dunks said...

Alex, that's what a lot of people say about her music, too! I also have a feeling Aaron Eckhart was the type of guy who was not longer a virgin at college (I won't speculate about Nat).

That Sex and Death 101 movie has already gone direct-to-DVD down here so I'm surprised it's being released theatrically (even if it screams CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION!). I wrote about that poster a while back. Doesn't Wino look so much like Bridget Fonda circa Point of No Return?

Cinesnatch said...

Winona Ryder looks like Bridgette Fonda in one of her many guises in that horrible French remake of Le Femme Nikita

... um, I just read Glenn's post. lol.


horrible AMERICAN remake you mean? actually i was confused for the love for the french film itself. better surely but still...

although i love Jean Hugues Anglade in it.

has anyone seen this Water Lilies film?

Anonymous said...

If you're going to do your part and see one foreign film this week, please, I beg you, avoid the hollow cutesiness of Jellyfish and embrace the pluck and gorgeousness of Tuya's Marriage.

Cinesnatch said...


Anonymous said...

That guy is John Krasinski! And he rocks! He just needs to pick better projects (Leatherheads looks pretty decent though).

He's got a future. I know it.

Anonymous said...

Water Lilies is pretty amazing. Really captured what it's like to be a 15-yo girl.

Anonymous said...

Unlike goran, I recommend Meduzot. I can't say I loved-it-loved-it, but it was an interesting take on "several interwoven tales" genre, with evocative, dreamlike atmosphere, and good acting. Every thread in itself is a little short on substance, true, but so are Etgar Keret's - the film's co-creator - short stories that had been its inspiration. And certain hollowness fits the general theme of characters feeling lost and directionless in their lives (and therefore going with the flow, like, you know, Jellyfish). Plus with the running time under 90 minutes, there is not enough time to get bored or annoyed at this. ;)

(That's not to say Tuya's Marriage is not worth watching.)

And don't let Metacritic fool you: Red Balloon critical reception was actually pretty mixed. Only Binoche is consistently praised.

Anonymous said...

//Doesn't Wino look so much like Bridget Fonda circa Point of No Return?//

Thank you, Glenn! I feared I might go mad asking myself "who does she remind me of here?" It's funny that they now think that in order to sell a movie with Winona Ryder, they have to make her look like anyone else BUT Winona. Alas.

And whoever designed and executed is obviously clueless about the most basic elements of human anatomy and how the head, neck and shoulders are actually joined together. It's a pet peeve of mine with movie posters - usually it's a star's body pasted awkwardly onto a neck/body that cannot be his/her's. I suppose I should, like an Olympic judge, give points for difficulty of execution and for adding a half-twist?


Anonymous said...

Oh, and can someone explain to me why, in a movie that is supposedly set in the 1920's, when even Mary Pickford felt compelled to go with the tide and bobbed her trademark curls, why Miss Z (what are we calling her in these parts nowadays, Nat? It's all so confusing) is sporting a late '30's/early '40's Veronica-Lake style shoulder-length pageboy?

It's funny that even on the Leatherheads homepage, that image of her is so retouched (photoshopped, whatever.) I guess that's the trend nowadays? (See Winona poster - and the Nim's Island poster for that matter) Sell a movie with a (once) beloved female star by making sure she looks like anything but herself? Hard times.


Anonymous said...

I second sarcastig's recommendation of Water Lilies. Wonderful film, stunning directorial debut for newcomer Celine Sciamma. She wrote the screenplay as well.

Anonymous said...

Do you all think Nathaniel discovered his true gay self while stating at Aaron Eckhart in the locker
room after an exhausting baseball match ?

It brings back so many memories of wild gay sex in college, and being punished by the biology teacher for it

Brian Darr said...

Well, I loved the Flight of the Red Balloon. It's probably my favorite of his films since Millenium Mambo (not that I disliked Three Times or Cafe Lumiere).

That Water Lilies trailer is certainly enticing. I'd marked it as a "maybe" at the San Francisco International Film Festival, but I've upgraded to "hopefully".

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'd recommend Water Lilies too. It has a real tone of its own quite unlike any other film I've seen. The cinematography is so so crisp and Sciamma is being heralded as a new voice in French cinema. I mean it's not an excellent film, but still one that should be seen.

I'd also recommend My Blueberry Nights - I thought Darius Khondji's work on it was beautiful, and it is a great cast after all. Wong mines similar themes from his back catalogue, but I really enjoyed this one.

Flight of the Red Balloon - best film of the year so far for me. It's a brilliant essay on loneliness - all the characters in the film were in some way isolated, and the red balloon homage really works well with it. But it's so subtly done. Little White Lies magazine called Binoche's work "perhaps the best screen performance of her career" - and I'd be inclined to agree.

Anonymous said...

Water Lilies is probably the best film I've seen so far this year. It's pure cinema, working solely on visuals. The dialogue is unnecessary. Absolutely beautiful.