Posts tagged foreign film
MOVIE REVIEW: Liquid Truth

The discolored and dingy tile grout at the bottom of a swimming pool and the imagery effect of rippling water seen under the surface bending the images above perspective starkly symbolize the many warped dimensions of Liquid Truth.  The truth in the title is as slippery as the water in director Caroline Jabor’s simmering social commentary.  The film may be foreign from Brazil, but it typifies all too many social media ills that would explode in a parallel fashion here in this country.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: The Young Offenders

The banter and B.S. traded back and forth between Alex Murphy and Chris Walley is as hysterical as it is pleasurably uncouth.  It’s an absolute wonder to realize that The Young Offenders is mutually their first on-camera film roles.  Alex and Chris’s chemistry through sarcasm and shared shenanigans feels and looks effortless.  Flabbergasted energy blasts out of both of them and it’s a hoot to watch.  Seeing the two young actors operate these over-the-top losers with reckless abandon while still injecting a little coming-of-age heart for good measure, makes the film highly entertaining.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Emerald City

I know it’s the clickbait haven of Buzzfeed, but this list of jobs well-known celebrities had before they hit it big is pretty humbling and eye-opening at the same time.  Once the millions roll in and we see the red carpets and flash bulbs, we forget the lucky breaks and hard work it took to get there, and that for every one of those matinee idols a thousand never make it.  Upon seeing Emerald City at the 3rd annual Irish American Movie Hooley, I’ll gladly raise my glass in hopes that Colin Broderick’s minimum wage days are over.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: The Villainess

The opening number makes the single-take climax fight with Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde look like a box waltz lesson from an elementary school gym class.  The woman is the reckless assassin Sook-hee, played by Ok-bin Kim of Thirst, and the scene ends with a hint of a deranged smile of glee.  The Villainess spins with dynamic energy of wanton mayhem and operatic displays of graphic violence when the talking stops and confrontations begin.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Viceroy's House

The most superlative aspect of Viceroy’s House and its chronicle of national history for the countries of India and Pakistan is the personal passion behind the project.  Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice director Gurinder Chadha is the granddaughter of family displaced by the largest migration of people in recorded human history that occurred during the Partition of India of seventy years ago.  There is an undeniable core of importance and respect present in the film that shows the great care of Chadha and all involved.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Lost in Paris

Lost in Paris is an exceedingly charming ditty of a comedy from the writing, directing, and starring duo of Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon.  Three overlapping character-coded chapters follow a wayward character’s pratfalls and screwups through the course of their fateful intersections.  Lost in Paris weaves its yarn with clever panache.  It’s a surreal jaunt that juggles the cheekily uncouth with the innocently sweet inside its ever-present sense of whimsy.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: My Cousin Rachel

Roger Michell stiffens his upper lip from his Love, Actually and Notting Hill fare to tackle a costume drama with My Cousin Rachel.  Oddly enough, this film can stake a serendipitous claim as the second Michell-directed film about “kissing cousins” after Hyde Park on the Hudson.  Unfortunately, more than a little uncomfortable laughter of preposterousness pokes out of this film while trying to portray itself as flowing romantic drama.  That’s not going to sweep anyone.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake is unabashedly a “bleeding heart” film on literal and figurative levels.  If this was a Hollywood film, it would be overrun with shouted speeches and orchestrational swells trying to manufacture emotional peaks.  Fluff like that is unnecessary if you have the right poetic realism,  For Loach, that’s second hand and he picks the right soapbox placement and thickness.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Churchill

Brian Cox one of the most underappreciated character actors in the business today.  He has been an accomplished and terrifically versatile mainstay through all levels and genres of film for over thirty years since turning our heads as cinema’s first Hannibal Lecktor in Michael Mann’s Manhunter.  Cox is a consummate performer, brimming with fervid screen presence.  From Braveheart to Super Troopers, he is never the weak link to any picture.  Churchill offers a rare lead performance from Cox and, like the chameleon he’s always been, he reminds us of his indomitable intensity.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Love, Lies

“Love, Lies” plays upon the decaying dichotomy orbiting the two women as they vie for love and validation against dignity and betrayal.  It’s impossible not to feel the emotions imbued into the punctuating moments of expression through song that fully embody the conflict and romantic encumbrances weighing on the characters.  The music is the vital and resonating fiber that unites the period atmosphere with the stirring portrayals of talent.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: My Egg Boy

The trappings of “My Egg Boy” are firmly entrenched in melodrama, yet kissed with delightful fancy.  The strength is in the dynamic writing to weave practical magic with fertile imagination.  The romantic and symbolistic peaks and valleys built by Tien-Yu Fu are endlessly relatable even when characterized.  What begins as whimsy evolves quite affectingly to something rapturously heartfelt.

Read More
SHORT FILM REVIEW: The Debt

2017 Chicago Irish Film Festival: Short Program II

Kids not only say the darndest things, but do the darndest things too.  “The Debt” is a highly charming short film illustrating a child’s view of courtship and love.  The romantic ways of the world are foreign to the young, so they make up their own ideas.  Engaging and well-acted by youth performers, this short film will charm you to pieces.

 

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Julieta

Renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar seizes our attention and lights the fires of intrigue with human simplicity in “Julieta,” his 20th feature film and Spain’s entry this year for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.  Concocting a brew of passion coupled with remorse across personal history young and old, Almodovar unspools the tangled threads of a guilt-ridden woman’s heart.  Adapted from three Alice Munro short stories, “Julieta” is a strong return to the female-focused storyscapes that have made him a legend.  

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us

When it comes to crime families in movies, any contenders and pretenders that want to be taken seriously are kissing the Corleone ring of “The Godfather” trilogy.  That’s not happening with the Cutler clan in Adam Smith’s “Trespass Against Us.”  As a mishmash of trailer park trash puffing their chests to operate with supposed principles, they occupy the polar opposite end of the glamorous spectrum of organized crime.  Call them an “Irish fugazi,” if you will, complete with their own membership rings and cracks in the hierarchy.

Read More