Plot: Marie (Pauline Acquart) and Anne (Louise Blachère) are best friends, united in being not terribly popular. Anne is in the synchronized swimming team, as is Floriane (Adèle Haenel) with whom Marie is very much in love, while Anne has her eye on François (Warren Jacquin) who happens to be dating Floriane. When both Marie and Anne go after their crushes without telling the other, things become very complicated, though.
Water Lilies is a beautiful coming-of-age film, at once kind and emotionally raw, it will probably remind you of many moments when you were young yourself – mostly in a good way. Absolutely fantastic.
Plot: Anna (Kathryn Worth) arrives in Italy. The plan was that she and her husband Alex would spend a nice holiday with her oldest friend Verena (Mary Roscoe) and her family – husband Charles (Michael Hadley) and three children, Archie (Harry Kershaw), Badge (Emma Hiddleston) and Jack (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), as well as Mary’s friend George (David Rintoul) and his son Oakley (Tom Hiddleston). But after a fight with Alex, Anna decided to travel on her own, to take a break. Much to Verena’s consternation, Anna doesn’t share what’s going on and doesn’t even spend a lot of time with her. Instead she rather hangs out with the kids, especially Oakley.
Unrelated feels almost like a documentary in its approach to its story, and this sense of detachment coupled with Worth’s personal performance allows it to both empathize with Anna while casting a critical glance at her environment, and also at Anna herself. I really enoyed it.
“Plot”: In 2006, Belarus had presidential elections, re-confirming Alexander Lukashenko as the president. But the election turned out to be fraudulent and protestors took to Minsk’s main square. Khashchvatskiy details the events leading up the election and how the protestors were “handled” by police – including mass arrests and violence – to silence dissidence.
With current events in Belarus, Ploshcha is an incredibly topical documentary still. It’s irreverent tone also makes it more fun than I thought possible, given the content. I guess it’s an instance of gallows humor, but it works.
Plot: Piper (Elisabeth Harnois) moves to Santa Cruz to go to art school there and to maybe find the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was just a teenager. She starts working in a sandwich shop run by Trucker (John Doe), together with shy Jen (Clea DuVall), flirty Tish (Danneel Ackles) and punky Priestly (Jensen Ackles). Much like Piper, all four of her colleagues struggle with love and finding their place in the world.
I didn’t know much about Ten Inch Hero other than Jensen Ackles is wearing outrageous hair in it, and then I watched it and got Clea DuVall in the bargain, and that’s pretty much the best thing that can happen. Overall, the film is pretty sweet.
2057. The sun is dying and the only solution humanity has found is to send a team of astronauts there to reignite it with a fission bomb or else find all of life on earth doomed. The first mission, Icarus-I, to do just that has already failed, now a new team, Icarus-II, is on its way. When they pick up the distress signal of the Icarus-I, they decide to pick up the bomb that the ship has aboard, as a failsafe for their own mission. But that bomb may come at a higher price than they expected.
When I watched Sunshine for the first time, I remember not being particularly taken with it. But it was one of those films where I started getting doubts about my own judgement and that made me curious to check it out again almost 10 years later. And in this case, it definitely paid off, although I still didn’t fall head over heels for it, I did appreciate it much more than the last time.
Baisch (Dirk Stermann) is an archaeology professor who believes that his ex-wife will at one point want him back. His ex-brother-in-law Anzengruber (Christoph Grissemann) is less uptight than Baisch and pretty sure that ex will stay ex, but comes with his own problems. The two of them met at an event and are now on their way back into town. They stumble upon Schwanenmeister (Heinz Strunk), a musician/comedian, who hitches a ride with them. And then they crash their car and while they end up unhurt, they are unable to leave the car. And so the three men are trapped with each other – and tensions will have to rise.
I liked the idea of Immer nie am Meer, but the film was a homophobic, antiscientific and unfunny mess that dragged more than its short runtime should have made possible.
Many years ago, Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) was engaged to Frederick Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones), but took the advice of her motherly friend Lady Russell (Alice Krige), as well as listened to the opinions of her father Sir Walter (Anthony Head) and her sister Elizabeth (Julia Davis)and dissolved the engagement since Wentworth didn’t have much standing. Quite by coincidence Frederick is back in her life after years in the Navy and has made a name for himself as well as a fortune. Anne is convinced, though, that he will never forgive her for her past actions. And when her cousin William Elliot (Tobias Menzies) starts courting her, she might be getting another chance, despite being alread 27 years old and still unmarried.
Despite my love for Sally Hawkins, this version of Persuasion absolutely did not work for me. Which is not her fault, but mostly due to the script and the direction.
After the virus outbreak that decimated the population of the UK, it is time to rebuild and repopulate the island. Don (Robert Carlyle) survived on the island and is waiting for his children Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) to join him – the first children back on UK soil. Medical officer Scarlet (Rose Byrne) is a little miffed that she wasn’t informed about it – and she really doesn’t approve. Another outbreak could still happen. When the children find their obviously infected and supposedly dead mother (Catherine McCormack), everything starts to go wrong.
28 Weeks Later was a more than decent zombie movie. Even if I didn’t totally love it, I very much enjoyed it and I thought it was a really good sequel.
Yella (Nina Hoss) lives with her father (Christian Redl) after a messy divorce from Ben (Hinnerk Schönemann) who is not quite done with her and keeps on following her, trying to talk about the company they built together and that has been falling apart for a while. But now Yella has found a way out: she has a job offer in another city. But when she arrives there, the job is gone and instead she meets Philipp (Devid Striesow), a business man/con artist and gets drawn into his affairs.
Yella is a weird film and I didn’t really get into it. While it has an interesting atmosphere and good performances, the story itself left me mostly bewildered and not in a good way.
A few months ago, pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis) was in a car accident. Her husband died, she and the baby survived. But Sarah has been shell-shocked ever since and can’t really look forward to the child, even though birth is drawing ever closer. One night, a woman (Béatrice Dalle) knocks on her door and asks to use the phone. When Sarah refuses she tries to force her way inside. Rattled, Sarah calls the police who can find no trace of the strange woman. But that doesn’t mean she’s gone and has given up getting what she wants: Sarah’s child.
There is a lot to appreciate about Inside, at least before it descends into the realm of utter stupidity (which is about the last third of the film). For me, the parts that didn’t work outweighed the parts that did though.