Robert Redford is the only actor in the new film by J.C. Chandor. This is the role of a lifetime for Redford. And it is a pity that the film is playing out of competition in Cannes.
After the success of ‘Margin Call’ , J.C. Chandor has left the confines of the office-space, turned off the noise of the endless chatter and opened himself to the vast expanses of the ocean. Robert Redford is the sole performer in his new movie ‘All Is Lost’. Not a single word is uttered, with the exception of a short introductory monologue. And despite all this, Chandor and Redford manage to take us on an awesome tempestuous trip full of suspense, where nothing is taken for granted, apart from man’s will to survive.
This film had been talked about before anyone even had a chance to watch it – for the heated erotic scenes between its two female protagonists and for its three hour duration. Right after its screening, which set the town chattering, one thing became obvious : this is one of the year’s finest films!
One would be justified to assume that a French film which dealt with the erotic relationship of two women and that lasted just under three hours, would be an exercise in a French style of emotional navel-gazing. But in Abdellatif Kechiche’s “La Vie d’Adele”, not a single scene seems superfluous. The film envelopes you completely in the heroine’s reality, in her everyday life and her emotional world, and in the passionate relationship which will affect and define her.
Overtly stylized, extremely violent, but essentially empty, Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film makes sense only as a patchwork of wonderful scenes, or as parody of revenge thriller films.
How many silent glances, slow motion pans, red-light tinted hallways and how much evocative music can you fit into a movie without it slipping into parody? Nicolas Winding Refn seems to be testing the limits and walking the thin line in ‘Only God Forgives’, a movie trying so hard to be ‘arty’, it hardly gives you the chance to take it seriously.
Perhaps it is because the movie’s plot needs no more than a few sentences to explain: An American drug dealer rapes and kills an under-age girl in Bangkok. The girl’s father, egged on by a cop, kills him. The killer’s brother forgives him, but his mother arrives on the scene from America to bury her son and seek revenge. Perhaps it’s because the characters don’t for a single moment stray from the typical qualities actors in such movies are expected to have. Neither do they seem to have an inkling of depth, or of motive, for the matter, other than to give Refn the chance to put some beautiful and extremely violent scenes together. Read on
Well polished and with career best performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, Liberace’s crystal candelabra illuminates the screen, but doesn’t hide much behind its glimmer.
At the beginning of the film Scott Thorson (who would later become Liberace’s lover) explains how it’s strange that mainstream audiences, especially women adored Liberace, even though he was gay. ‘They have no idea he’s gay’ his friend says, and opens our eyes to a strange reality. In the mid 70’s, the flamboyant persona of the eccentric piano virtuoso known as Liberace, the talented man with the regal wardrobe, was so overwhelming, his brand of glitter blinded the audience to the obvious. Liberace presented himself as a larger than life royal caricature of himself as the artist. He was the product of a puritan age and never admitted his sexual preference publicly. He had even sued newspapers that had implied as much for libel, but spent most of his free time chasing after his young blonde lovers, regardless. He would fall in love with them passionately and turn them into princes in his extravagant palace, He would undress them in his Jacuzzi, and later dress them up in gold.
Returning to Italy after ‘This Must Be The Place’, Sorrentino creates his own ‘Dolce Vita’, in a movie that celebrates the beauty of simplicity.
Jep is a stylish and phlegmatic 65 year-old man, charming and still loveable, a successful author of just one book, a well-known journalist and socialite. He lives in Rome, and when we say ‘lives’ we mean ‘to the fullest’. He likes to walk around his hometown with its great history, bathed in the summer sun. He comes and goes as he pleases. Sometimes he enters the wonderful houses of art buyers and opinion makers. Other times he passes his time at an old friend’s strip joint. He goes to parties that last until dawn and is the perfect host when entertaining friends at his own house, which is situated right next to the Colosseum. He’s a bon viveur, a friend of the arts and of those that create, sell or write about them.However, he’s also a man in the twilight of his life, who feels the constraint and pressure of time, and the need to assess his life’s experiences.