Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Two Days, One Night", "Before I Go to Sleep", "This is Where I Leave You"

Julien Faddoul

Two Days, One Night ***

A solar-panel factory employee who has recently suffered a nervous breakdown has one weekend to convince her colleagues they must give up their bonuses in order for her to keep her job.
Totally absorbing Belgium film about retaining self-wroth through the dichotomy of work and grace, shot with the directors’ typical naturalistic eye. Though this plot is their most affected, their meticulousness and care remains unparalleled.

wd – Jean-Pierre Darenne, Luc Dardenne
ph – Alain Marcoen
pd – Marie-Hélène Dozo
ed – Igor Gabriel
cos – Maïra Ramedhan Levi

p – Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd

Cast: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée, Christelle Cornil, Olivier Gourmet, Pili Groyne, Simon Caudry, Batiste Sornin, Timur Magomedgadzhiev

Monday, October 20, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Starred Up", "Force Majeure", "A Walk Among the Tombstones"

Julien Faddoul

Starred Up ***

A teenage offender's violent behavior gets him moved to an adult prison in Ireland that includes his long-incarcerated father.
Searing prison drama that ranks as one of the best of its kind: It impeccably weaves the grand illusion of virtue in an environment that deconstructs men to their core depravity. The acting is extraordinary.

d – David Mackenzie
w – Jonathan Asser
ph – Michael McDonough
pd – Tom McCullagh
ed – Jake Roberts, Nick Emerson
cos – Susan Scott

p – Gillian Berrie

Cast: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend, Sam Spruell, Peter Ferdinando, Anthony Welsh, David Ajala, Raphael Sowole, Gershwyn Eustache

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Whiplash (2014/US)

Julien Faddoul

* (1 star)

wd – Damien Chazelle
ph – Sharone Meir
pd – Melanie Jones
m – Justin Hurwitz
ed – Tom Cross
cos – Lisa Norcia

p – Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michal Litvak

Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist

Whiplash is the persistent, rabid story of a music student who studies jazz and wants to be a virtuoso, fastened to a film that doesn’t want to be about either.

I feel that the film could get away with misunderstanding the former, but the fact that it misunderstands the latter is what is so egregious. Speaking as someone who spent years studying under intense situations an aesthetic craft – in my case, the art of acting – I have seen the detrimental effects that blinding artists into athletes has, not only on the artist, but also on the culture.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "The Judge", "Tusk", "God Help the Girl"

Julien Faddoul

The Judge

A successful lawyer returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral only to discover that his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder.
Desultory, wan family drama where characters treat each other with needlessly glib and complicated actions instead of using easily accessible common sense.

d – David Dobkin
w – David Dobkin, Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque
ph – Janusz Kaminski
pd – Mark Ricker
m – Thomas Newman
ed – Mark Livolsi
cos – Marlene Stewrat

p – David Dobkin, Susan Downey, David Gambino

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Gone Girl", "The Immigrant", "Obvious Child"

Julien Faddoul

Gone Girl ***

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.
Staggeringly realized, preposterously plotted pulp-thriller that constantly remodels itself throughout its duration. What begins as a tawdry crime drama, becomes an electrifying depiction of the inherent aspects of reciprocity in human relationships. It signifies a director with a total command of his cinematic powers.

d – David Fincher
w – Gillian Flynn   (Based on the Novel by Gillian Flynn)
ph – Jeff Cronenweth
pd – Donald Graham Burt
m – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
ed – Kirk Baxter
cos – Trish Summerville

p – Cean Chaffin,. Joshua Donan, Arnon Milchan, Reese Witherspoon

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, David Clennon, Lisa Banes, Missi Pyle, Emily Ratajkowski, Sela Ward, Scoot McNairy, Casey Wilson, Lola Kirke, Boyd Holbrook