The Square (Sweden – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Our series on Oscar contenders continues…

When the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced, next January, Cannes’ Palm d’Or, Ruben Östlund’s The Square, will probably be one of the lucky five in the ‘Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film’ category.

After humble beginnings with intriguing contemporary low budget character (and behavior) studies, Gitarrmongot (2004), Involuntary (De Ofrivilliga, 2008) and Play (2011), Östlund hit it big on the festival circuit in 2014 with the celebrated Force Majeure (Turist). A career build up that led to this more sophisticated new opus.

In the acerbic comedy-drama, The Square, Christian, a big time modern art museum curator in Stockholm, faces crisis on multiple fronts, both professionally and personally. By trying to create controversy, the young public relation team of the museum get plenty of what they asked for. Too much of it. And while trying to handle the situation, getting out of control, Christian must also Continue reading

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I, Daniel Blake (UK – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

When I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, Ken Loach entered a highly select group of directors who took home the award twice. Much has been written about it since (it comes late on our Canadian screens as Cannes 2017 edition is already at the Gates) people even suggesting the jury’s top recognition had more to do with the overall body of work – Loach is already 80 – than the film itself.

So what?

I, Daniel Blake  bears Ken Loach (and screenwriter’s Paul Laverty) signature all along. It depicts the despair of a 59-year-old worker, Blake, who, after a heart attack, must apply for social care. Mr Blake contributed a whole life to a system soon to discover it doesn’t really work both ways as Continue reading