Animation Summits 2017 – Montreal

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The 2017 Animation summits begin today in Montreal and go from November 22-26 at Cinémathèque Québécoise and Centre PHI.

The opening film is Benjamin Renner (Ernest et Célestine) and Patrice Imbert’s enjoyable (and family oriented) slap stick feature (the Oscar contender) The Big bad fox and other tales, full of loony and sympathetic animals trying to be bad but with not much success.

Cam Christiansen’s The Wall will close the fest with Continue reading

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Roman J. Israel, Esq (US – 2017)

 

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Another Oscar contender of this Fall season is Dan Gilroy’s follow up to Nightcrawler (2014), Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Denzel Washington is idealistic defense attorney Roman Israel. He is also an odd object, a social misfit. A series of events will operate a drastic change in his life and mentality. Obviously the producers aim to obtain Oscar nod for Denzell Washington or maybe Colin Farrell for a supporting role. It is probably all they could get.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. starts as a court room drama, a tradition in Hollywood film making. The social aspect of it, in the beginning, is quite engaging.  Washington portrays a visionary with no social ability. In a way he lives in Continue reading

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (US – 2017)

 

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It is Academy Awards contenders season and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is out tomorrow with great expectations. The film stars Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) directs.

Mildred Hayes (McDormand) wants justice. Months have passed since her daughter was brutally raped and murdered and there is still no clues. She decides to rent three Billboards just outside of her hometown of Ebbing, Missouri, to deliver an intense and controversial message directed at the authorities, thus turning the village upside down. It creates a confrontation with the people of Ebbing, especially with the assistant sheriff, Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature and violent man.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an open field for acting performances. Frances McDormand as a stubborn mother out for justice seems like a natural and she delivers with passion and conviction. We want to follow that mother in Continue reading

Coco (US 2017 – Pixar)

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Pixar’s new Animated extravaganza, Coco, is out this Wednesday. The Oscar contender (and favorite to win the animated category) features the voices of Gael García Bernal and Anthony Gonzalez.

In Coco, Miguel’s dreams suffer from decades of family ban on music. But the aspiring musician finds himself locked in the Land of the dead where he meets a gallery of colorful characters. Miguel tries to unveil the secrets of his family history.

Directors Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina and their team deliver, as always with Pixar, a vivid fast pace episode, this time with Mexican flavor. The music by Oscar winner Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille), provides the sonic answer to the action and colors on screen, with rhythms Continue reading

Paradise (Russia, 2016)

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Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise is finally showing on our Montreal’s screens. The Winner of the director Award at the 2016 Venice Film Festival stars Yuliya Vysotskaya (House of Fools, The Lion in winter).

During World War 2, Olga, a Russian aristocrat living in Paris, is arrested for giving shelter to Jewish children and put into a concentration camp. A high-ranking SS officer, Helmut, who was in love with her in peaceful times, makes plan to save her casting doubts in her mind as she is confronted to the necessity of survival and choices.

Beautifully shot in black and white by Cinematographer Aleksandr Simonov Paradise story is told from three different view points: Olga, Helmut and a French collaborator. Scenes are cut with interviews of the three speaking in turns Continue reading