Tuesday, February 26, 2013

At the Movies – March 2013 – Part 1: Independent Films

Art-House Dramas:

Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu) – Drama – Mar 8
Plot Summary: Two young women grew up together in an orphanage forming a deep friendship. However, now there is conflict when one of the women has found refuge in a Romanian convent while the other wants her to come with her to live in Germany. Filmmakers: Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu shot to international acclaim with his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. This is his new acclaimed film. He is again working with cinematographer Oleg Mutu and production designer Mihaela Poenaru. Production designer Calin Papura (Youth Without Youth) is new to the team. Cast: The film stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur. Expectations: Beyond the Hills was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and won Best Actress (for both stars) and Best Screenplay. It looks like a good character drama, probably in the same vein as 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Trailer: Here.

Ginger & Rosa (Sally Potter) – Drama – Mar 15
Plot Summary: As potential nuclear war looms heavy over the western world, two teenage girls and inseparable friends Ginger and Rosa, growing up in London, find their relationship changing as they proceed through pivotal events in their young lives. Filmmakers: Writer-director Sally Potter is known for her experimental narratives, with films like Orlando and Yes. She is working with cinematographer Robbie Ryan (Fish Tank) and production designer Carlos Conti (On the Road). Cast: The film has a strong group of actors including leads Elle Fanning and Alice Englert. Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, and Alessandro Nivola feature in support. Expectations: Ginger & Rosa has been met with mostly poor reviews during its festival tour. However, Elle Fanning is getting rave reviews with most calling the film merely a platform for her talent to be displayed (everything else never quite works as well). Even fans of Sally Potter are not entirely enamored with the film. This is probably only worth renting if you are a big fan of Fanning (and who is not – she is among the crop of brilliant young actresses coming into their own right now). Trailer: Here.

Art-House Comedies:

Starbuck (Ken Scott) – Comedy – Mar 29
Plot Summary: David Wozniak is a slacker who is in a lull of sorts in his life. Then, his life changes when 142 people file a class action lawsuit against him. Their issue? They are all the result of artificial insemination and David is their biological father. Filmmakers: This is Canadian writer-director Ken Scott’s second film, and first to see a wide release in America. Oddly, he is in the process of writing and directing an American remake of this film due in October called The Delivery Man (I cannot think of another example of a director remaking his own film in a different language – Alfred Hitchcock did remake some of his own earlier films, like The Man Who Knew Too Much and some same North by Northwest is a remake of The 39 Steps). He is working with composer David Lafleche, cinematographer Pierre Gill (Upside Down), and art director Danielle Labrie (who worked on Scott’s first Sticky Fingers). Cast: The film stars Patrick Huard. Expectations: Starbuck looks like a great dramedy. It played to acclaim and won many awards in Canada (having come out in 2011 there). It is probably worth checking out for fans of good character driven comedy/dramas (Ha! I thought of two – Ole Bornedal’s Nattevagten in 1994 and Nightwatch in 1997 – and Jean-Marie Poire remade Les Visiteurs 1993 in 2007 with Just Visiting, but somehow kept his two French leads). Trailer: Here.

No comments:

Post a Comment