Thursday, 30 April 2015

Crisp Criticism - "The Last Five Years", "Phoenix", "Actress"

Julien Faddoul

The Last Five Years

A struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate the struggle and deconstruction of their love affair.
An abysmal, clumsily filmed version of the stage musical that does nothing but heighten the source material’s flaws.

wd – Richard LaGravenese   (Based on the Musical by Jason Robert Brown)
ph – Steven Meizler
pd – Michael Fitzgerald
m – Jason Robert Brown
ed – Sabine Hoffmann
cos – Ciera Wells

p – Janet Brenner, Kurt Deutsch, Richard LaGravenese, Lauren Versel

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, Meg Hudson, Natalie Knepp, Cat Lynch

Phoenix **

A disfigured concentration-camp survivor, unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis.
Well-constructed, classically massaged piece of post-war allegory with beats that never advance from the predetermined.

d – Christian Petzold
w – Christian Petzold, Harun Farocki   (Based on the Novel by Hubert Monteilhet)
ph – Hans Fromm
pd – Kade Gruber
m – Stefan Will
ed – Bettina Bohler
cos – Anette Guther

p – Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber

Cast: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf, Michael Maertens, Imogen Kogge

Actress ***

Brandy Burre, a retired actress, decides to reclaim her life as an actor, at which point the domestic world she's carefully created crumbles around her.
A difficult film to characterize: a documentary that invites one to constantly question its authenticity. However, Greene’s accessibility to his subject (he was Burre’s neighbour) brings an acute vividness while always flirting with expectations, both in the chronicling and the craft.

d – Robert Greene
ph – Robert Greene
ed – Robert Greene

p – Robert Greene, Susan Bedusa, Douglas Tirola

Cast: Brandy Burre, Michael Tomlinson

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