The Happy Prince (2018)

The Happy Prince
Director: Rupert Everett
Writer: Rupert Everett
Cast: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Anna Chancellor, Tom Wilkinson, Béatrice Dalle, Edwin Thomas
Seen on: 6.6.2018

Plot:
Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) has been through hell and he knows that he won’t make it much longer. Reflecting on some of the most important relationships in his life – with his wife Constance (Emily Watson), his great love Alfred Bosie (Colin Morgan), his friend Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas) – he keeps returning to one question: how did things end up the way they did?

Oscar Wilde is a fascinating figure and looking at the darker moments of his life is certainly interesting. Unfortunately, the way the story is told in this film doesn’t work at all. In fact, it’s pretty bad.

Film poster for The Happy Prince (2018), showing Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde and Colin Morgan as Alfred Bosie Douglas walking down some steps in the sunshine.
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ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

ABCs of Death 2
“Sequel” to: The ABCs of Death
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Like the first film, ABCs of Death 2 is an episode movie in which 26 directors each got a letter in the alphabet to which they chose a word from which they built their story/short film. The letter M was given to an unknown director through a contest.

Of course there are segments that I liked better than others and some I didn’t like at all, but altogether, I liked ABCs of Death 2 better than The ABCs of Death. Julien Maury – who was a guest at this year’s /slash – told us beforehand that one of the rules they got for their segment was that they shouldn’t use too much toilet humor. Apparently all the directors got that memo and it really does help. Watching 26 short films in a row is certainly exhausting, but since the last few segments are particularly strong, you don’t feel it as much. I really enjoyed myself.

As a warm-up we got to see the M-finalist Le Meat by Austrian Wolfgang Matzl (who also did the fantastic credits animation for the feature) which was really cool, funny and weird. A great way to get started!

[After the jump, I’ll talk briefly about all the segments separately. That includes listing the directors, writers (as far as I could find out who wrote what) and the names of each segment. Since it was fun to guess the titles while watching the film, you might not want to read on if you haven’t seen it yet.]

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Aux yeux des vivants [Among the Living] (2014)

Aux yeux des vivants
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Théo Fernandez, Zacharie Chasseriaud, Damien Ferdel, Anne Marivin, Fabien Jegoudez, Nicolas Giraud, Francis Renaud, Béatrice Dalle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Victor (Théo Fernandez), Tom (Zacharie Chasseriaud) and Dan (Damien Ferdel) decide to skip school and instead spend the day outside, smoking awkwardly, talking and getting up to no good. After burning down a farmer’s barn, they end up at the abandoned Blackwoods Film Studios. But they aren’t alon there: They stumble on a masked man who has a woman locked in his trunk. But that is only the beginning of all of their troubles.

Among the Living is an interesting mix of adventure movies like The Goonies or Explorers and outright horror film. On paper, this sounds intriguing. But the reality is too uneven to really enjoy.

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Livide [Livid] (2011)

Livide
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Chloé Coulloud, Félix Moati, Jérémy Kapone, Catherine JacobChloé MarcqMarie-Claude Pietragalla, Béatrice Dalle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Review by Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Lucie (Chloé Coulloud) just started as a trainee care giver and tours through various houses with Catherine Wilson (Catherine Jacob) where they visit and take care of old people. One of them is Madame Jessel (Marie-Claude Pietragalla) who has been in a coma for years. Madame Wilson tells Lucie about a supposed treasure at the house, which Lucie passes on to her boyfriend William (Félix Moati) and his brother Ben (Jérémy Kapone). William decides that they should go and look for that treasure. Despite initial hesitation, Lucie goes along with the plan. But what they find in the house is very different from what they expected.

I absolutely loved Livide. The aesthetics, the story, the atmosphere, the attention to detail – it was really great.

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À l’intérieur [Inside] (2007)

À l’intérieur
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Writer: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Cast: Alysson Paradis, Béatrice Dalle, François-Régis Marchasson (and Tahar Rahim in a mini-role)
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
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.

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