Archive for the ‘Dramedy’ Category

Classic: Trainspotting – ***

Posted: October 2, 2017 in 1996, Action, Dramedy, UK, XXX

Just back from a visit to Edinburgh. Decided to watch some movies from Scotland. Starting with a classic.

Damn. This movie dates from 1996. Back then, it was a riot! A movie with a killer soundtrack, the first chart topping techno club filler (‘Born Slippy’ by Underworld), the mainstream debut of Ewan McGregor (who’s been EXCELLENT ever since), great surrealist scenes with the main character sinking into a dirty toilet for instance, with Robert Carlyle being incredibly violent, with heroin and shit and hiv and sex and alcohol just splashing around on the main screen. Yeah. Back then, this was THE movie to see.

And, hey, it’s still a pretty cool movie anno 2017.

Favorite line this time around:

Tommy: Doesn’t it make you proud to be Scottish?

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton: It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We’re ruled by effete arseholes. It’s a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won’t make any fucking difference!



Patients is a quite a unique movie experience about a young man who is paralyzed after a silly diving incident in the swimming pool and tries to live with the fact that he’ll never be a professional basketball player or physical trainer anymore . The synopsis may not be all that appealing, but go see it anyways. It’s really well done.What makes the experience great (and appealing for a different kind of crowd that usually watches ‘disease of the week’ movies) is the storytelling. It’s not politically correct, it’s not sensitive, it’s not overdramatizing… It’s just very real. It also has a lot of humor as well (even though the references and jokes get lost in translation). And it’s filled with great tracks ranging from modern instrumental tunes to heartfelt rap.  Because of its multicultural cast, it may appeal to an audience that normally can’t relate to stories of disabled people. Just because in general they are always white. The main character in this movie is also white, but the rehabilitation centre that he stays at is very bbb (beur black blanc – north african, black, white). It’s sad that anno 2017 you notice this difference to other movies about disabled characters. But it makes it intriguing as well. The acting is very good. Especially by Pablo Pauly in the lead role. The topic is delivered in the most truthful way. The situations are real. The directing is brilliant. There are quite some original shots. The scenes are edited extremely well, especially during the musical intervals. In fact, this is great cinema. A must.

Florence Foster Jenkins – *(*)

Posted: February 26, 2017 in 2016, Dramedy, Musical, USA, X1/2

A 99 cent rental.

That kind of is the reason why this movie is on here.

And because it has Meryl Streep in it who got yet another Oscar-nomination for her portrayal of the title character.

It’s about a society lady who’s been sponsoring a lot of musical performances throughout her life and who decides it’s time to go onstage herself (before she dies). She hires a vocal coach and a young piano player and has her husband pay them a LOT of money to pretend that she’s actually good. Her voice, however, is the most terrible thing ever recorded in American music history.

It’s an okay movie, but it has little to no appeal. It’s a one gimmick musical comedy and only conjures up two or three laughs. The music sequences are terrible. That’s the point of course. But that doesn’t make them enjoyable. As a period piece it’s quite on spot. And the comical acting is good. But it’s the kind of movie that you forgot minutes after you’ve finished watching.

This is amazing.

This series is outstanding. The acting is incredible. The balance between emotional drama and small humor is so perfect that it just hits the right chords.

Not since The Wire: Season 4 did a tv show get me so hard. Every single episode brought tears. It’s almost flawless. The child actors aren’t really performing as well as the adult counterparts. And the final episode is a little bit too PC. But those are just minor complaints.

The biggest problem for this show is that the bar is raised so incredibly high that more episodes can only disappoint.

No trailer, but a few great scenes.

This is the most powerful scene in recent tv history


This brother fight is brilliant:

This is strong too:


There’s something really charming about the story of Seyolo Zantoko, who decided to become the general practitioner of a rural town in northern France back in the late seventies. Graduated from the university of Lille, he didn’t care about returning to his troublesome home country Zaire and preferred to stay in France. However, being the only black person (and having the only black family) in a very conservative community wasn’t all that easy. Until of course, times change and people become more accepting.

The story is pretty straightforward, predicable and simple. But it’s a great tale.

A few years ago, rapper Kamini Zantoko scored a hit with a silly rap song about growing up as the only black guy in a small rural village. (see below) Someone asked him to write a script about his youth, which he did and with some help of others it has now turned into an entertaining movie with some drama and a lot of humor. It’s an homage to his father, who decided to take the risk (and the opportunity) to integrate in unknown territory for blacks.

It’s a great example of the many French dramedies that mix the multicultural society with la France provonde. Maybe it’s something Hollywood should start focus on. Try and see it with subtitles because the accents are quite difficult to understand (the African accent sounds perfect compared to the rural accent of the other characters).

Chocolat – **(*)

Posted: November 9, 2016 in 2016, Drama, Dramedy, France, Historical, XX1/2

Roschdy Zem’s previous movie Bodybuilder was flawed by a boring and non-intriguing story, bad acting and an uneven balance between drama and comedy. Chocolat is quite the opposite. It’s still flawed though, but at least it’s not mediocre. 

The movie title refers to a black entertainer who became quite a succesful artist in Paris during the Belle Epoque, a decade before the outbreak of World War I, when people like Toulouse Lautrec were creating billboards for all kinds of events and Paris hosted world exhibitions showing cultures from all over the world.

The man really existed. His name was Rafael Padilla and he was a former slave from Cuba who ended up working in a French circus and who eventually made it to the main circus theatre of Paris as a clown. So, it’s a true story, which makes it even more intriguing. The first black entertainer in France!

To play the character, Roschdy Zem chose the most popular black actor of the moment: Omar Sy. It’s a good choice, especially if you think about the similarities between both entertainers. They are both really popular, but nobody really takes them seriously. The big difference however, is that ‘Chocolat’ (the artist name of Rafael Padilla) could never prove  that he had some talent as a dramatic actor and Omar Sy makes it very clear: give him a dramatic part and he’ll be even more popular. Equally as good is James Thierréé as the clown who helped Chocolat become so beloved. He’s a mysterious and sad character with doule standards, who intrigues until the very end.

It’s a straight foward chronologically linear biopic which is loosely based on true events. A lot of what you see is fictional and several twists were added for dramatic purposes. But it works. This is not the kind of period piece where all the historical details have to be accurate. It’s a movie about an entertainer that needs to be entertaining. And succeeeds.

Somehow someone thought it was better to end Looking with a movie rather than with a third season. There were probably some financial reasons to stop this excellent series about three gay guys in San Francisco. The show kind of flopped despite rave reviews, which is sad. It wasn’t a flawless piece of television fiction, but at least it felt real with characters that you could actually relate to and storylines that were both fun and dramatic.

But now it’s over and based on the quality of this extra long episode, maybe that’s for the better. In this movie, Patrick returns back to San Francisco after having left the city to pursue new career possibilities in Denver (and to runaway from all the drama that he encountered in the Golden Gate city). His best friend Agustin is getting married and that’s the only reason why he’s revisiting. But for the makers of this special, the wedding is just a background theme, because it’s all about Patrick, Patrick and Patrick: the naive and immature drama queen de luxe. Will he make closure with Kevin? Will he reconnect with Richie? Or will he actually grow up?

We don’t want him to grow up. We want him to doubt. We want him to be a mess. But we also want to learn more about the other characters. Like Dom, who doesn’t even get 10 percent of the movie maker’s attention. What’s that all about?

Only watch it if you’ve seen the two seasons and if you are ready to be disappointed.