Lady Bird (US – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

When the tricky Oscar buzz is at the gate, there is usually one or two Indie contenders. This year, actress Greta Gerwig’s second film as adirector, Lady Bird, falls into such category. It is praised in almost every lists around.

An partially agreeable coming-of-age comedy drama boosting lovable performance by lead actress Saoirse Ronan ( Hanna, Atonement, Brooklyn), Lady Bird introduces us into the world of Christine a young adolescent woman, in Sacramento, year 2002. Bored by how life goes on in her city, she dreams of going to college in NY.

Through one year in the life of Christine we get episodic honest drama and humor with friends, parents, teachers, etc. Nice.

But…

The Oscar buzz for this film is beyond me. We’ve (approximately) seen this Continue reading

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LUCKY (US – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

John Carroll Lynch’s LUCKY is a beautiful act of love. The Actor’s first feature as a director stars another (mythic) character actor, Harry Dean Stanton (Paris, Texas, Alien, Wild at Heart), in a rare lead. The actor died on September 15, 2017 at age 91, two weeks before the film was first released on US screens.

LUCKY is all the way about the peculiar Stanton. And it works great as a homage while most of these type of films fail. Lucky is not really about its basic story line:

Stanton plays Lucky. The old US Navy veteran is at the dusk of life. When his quiet routine, walking around between home, the local diner and regular Bar (and arguing with locals) starts to fail because of declining health… (SHOULD I STOP HERE?)

What you should know instead to prepare yourself:

1) Famous film critic Roger Ebert created (and was right on) the “Stanton-Walsh Rule,” stating: Continue reading

The Girl Without Hands (France – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Sébastien Laudenbach’s The Girl Without Hands (La fille Sans Mains),  his first feature after a string of highly promising shorts, is a hand-painted animated jewel of a film in glorious 2D. The story of a young woman, collateral victim of her father’s pact with the Devil, challenging the darkness of the world with her purity of mind and body.

Freely adapted from European folk tales (once collected by Brothers Grimm), The Girl Without Hands is mainly the results of Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: A Ghost Story

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for Cinetalk.net

Do it simple, Do it Right. And with A Ghost Story, in which a recently deceased soul comes back to haunt the house he shared as a living, it is exactly what writer-director David Lowery does, while re-uniting again with the Rooney Mara & Casey Affleck duet (after 2013’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints).

Lowery took the gamble to introduce a ghost character simply dressed with the white cloth of our childhood, from these days when we looked under the bed and in the closet. And it works because we relate.

The rest is all about doing the right things Continue reading

It Comes at Night (USA – 2017) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

It Comes at Night is Trey Edward Shults’ second feature starring Joel Edgerton (Black mass, Midnight special) Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Alien: Covenant) and Christopher Abbott (A most violent year, James White)

A world threat, coming under the form of a virulent disease, forces a family to isolate itself under a set of rules. The sudden arrival of another family seeking refuge puts their domestic order and empathy to test.

It Comes at Night is your behind closed doors – let-them-come-I’m ready- minimalist take on the end of civilization. It shares the pessimistic views on the subject of pictures like Time of the Wolf (2003), The Road (2009) Take Shelter (2011) and countless others. It pretty much covers known territories to film buffs of the 21st century, basically making honest and efficient use of what looks like a shoestring budget. Yet it is not totally successful in Continue reading