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Entries in French Film (3)

Thursday
Jul072016

The Innocents

The Innocents
Directed by: Anne Fontaine
Released on: July 1st, 2016
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Poland, December 1945. A group of Benedictine nuns sing praises to God. Ritual and simplistic, these notes offer comfort and peace. Suddenly, the harmonious hymns are pierced by a scream of agony. The scream is both literal and metaphorical, for these nuns of the Polish Church are agonized by what man, nature and God have put them through.

In response to the scream, Sister Maria (Agata Buzek) seeks the help of a doctor — "not a Polish or Russian doctor." This brings her to Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Laâge), a doctor working for the French Red Cross.

Reluctant at first to help a nun, the leftist doctor is moved by Maria's predicament and agrees to come back to the convent.

The nuns are possessed by a shocking secret.

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Monday
Nov162015

Love

Love
Directed by: Gaspar Noé
Released on: October 30th, 2015 [LIMITED]
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther 

Nothing should be surprising when one goes to see a film by writer-director Gaspar Noé (Irreversible; Enter the Void). In the opening scene of his latest film, Love, a woman named Electra (Aomi Muyock) and a man named Murphy (Karl Glusman) are fingering the genitals of each other. His cock is as hard as rock (a stiffy in cinema!) while she is just squeaky wet. The scene does not end until he ejaculates — money shot and all.

Clearly, the two are in love.

With the cinematic blink of an eye, which Noé used masterfully in Enter the Void, Murphy now occupies his bed with Omi (Klara Kristen). It is New Year's Day and their son, Noe (Jean Couteau), is screaming in the other room. As Murphy goes to retrieve the boy, we learn Murphy is suffering from veisalgia (AKA a hangover) and has been hung out to dry up in a relationship he does not want.

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Monday
Apr272015

Gemma Bovery

Gemma Bovery
Director: Anne Fontaine
Screening: April 2015 at COLCOA Film Festival
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Rather than another adaptation of Madame Bovary, co-writer and director Anne Fontaine's Gemma Bovery is a light lit-crit cinematic reinterpretation of Gustave Flaubert's great novel. 

After years in the publishing business, Martin Joubert (Fabrice Lucchini) has returned to the Northern France town of Normandy (the name of which works better as a play on words in English than in French). Martin may still be a voracious reader, but he now runs his deceased father's bakery. Martin is a natural at baking and seems happiest at work. At home, he has a nice wife, Valérie (Isabelle Candelier), plus a teenage son, Julien (Kacey Mottet Klein) who does not share his father's love of reading.

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