Archive for April, 2015

With every visit of Versailles comes the desire to learn more about the life in the exuberant estate. It’s one thing to walk around on its premises amongst thousands of other tourists. It’s another to sit back, relax and enjoy the splendor of movies like Les Adieux A La Reine.  This little known French production has a stellar cast, enough contemporary humor to make it not a dull historical piece and tons of little details that are often overlooked by others filming in the baroque palace. Fans of the queen Marie Antoinette aren’t going to be happy with the fascinating portrayal by Diane Kruger of their beloved queen. She’s only in a few scenes, but turns the famed royal into an arrogant, moody, egocentric, but gorgeous bitch who abuses the adoration of her story reader for personal benefit. Lea Seydoux is equally excellent as the main character, a girl who reads stories to the Queen and who would do anything to be in her favor. Virginie Ledoyen looks stunning too, but has too little screen time to fully embody her character (Marie Antoinette’s best friend). This could easily have been made as a four episode tv series. But as a feature movie it works as well.

Suite Francaise – *(*)

Posted: April 14, 2015 in 2015, Belgium, France, Romance, UK, War, X1/2

The setting of Suite Francaise is interesting: a small village in occupied France anno 1944. The Germans take over control and need to find lodgings for their officers. They are not going to sleep in the houses of the poor laborers and farmers, but choose the big mansions of their landowners, who in return lose all their power and prestige.

Kristin Scott Thomas’s Madame Angellier is one of those stuck up bourgeois who ‘welcomes’ German officer Bruno von Falk into her house. Her son is missing in action and she hates the arrival of these nazis who probably killed her son. Her daughter in law however is less hateful, especially when she hears the officer play the piano.

The story has great potential, but the director and producers decided to make it into an incredibly boring love story without passion, without playful humor, without lust, with a lot of stereotypical characterization and without any linguistic logic at all.

Either you have everyone speak English without accents, or you have everyone speak English with an accent or you have every character speak its own language! Some of the French and German characters speak with an accent; others don’t.

It’s well made and it will attract and audience, but it’s not Lust/Caution.

Selma – ***

Posted: April 6, 2015 in 2014, Drama, Historical, USA, XXX

David Oyelowo should have at least gotten nominated for his empowering interpretation of Martin Luther King. He is incredible. His speeches are immaculate and his gestures and looks outshine a thousand words. This is really a great performance.

There are more positive things about this historical account of the 1964 Selma events. The soundtrack for instance, which is very varied and has songs from the sixties combined with new compositions by Fink and John Legend. The camerawork is great too and the story is often told by strong images and scenes.

There are some negative points as well: not all the acting is good and the character depiction is very stereotypical. But all in all it’s definitely worth watching!

Just not before you want to party the night away…