Euphoria (2017)

Euphoria
Director: Lisa Langseth
Writer: Lisa Langseth
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Eva Green, Charles Dance, Charlotte Rampling, Mark Stanley, Adrian Lester, August Zirner
Seen on: 4.7.2018

Content Note: (assisted) suicide

Plot:
Emilie (Eva Green) and Ines (Alicia Vikander) are sisters who haven’t seen each other in a long time. Emilie has organized a holiday for the both of them, promising that they’ll visit the most beautiful place on earth. Ines is suspicious, but the two start their journey. Slowly both Emilie’s plans and the frail relationship between the two sisters come to light.

Euphoria is a touching film with great actresses that is a success when it comes to portraying the relationship of the two sisters and less successful regarding the big topic it tackles: assisted suicide.

Film poster showing Alicia Vikander and Eva Green in profile, looking in different directions.

[Slight SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Justin Haythe
Based on: Jason Matthewsnovel
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciarán Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons, Sergei Polunin
Seen on: 28.3.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a promising ballet dancer. Or rather, she used to be until an injury cost her her career. Instead she is recruited by her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) for the Sparrow School, a school designed to make spies. Training is hard, but Dominika makes it through. The target of her first mission is CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) who appears to have a Russian informant – and Dominika is supposed to find out who the informant is. But she and Nate gravitate towards each other – and that may threaten both of their missions.

I didn’t expect much of Red Sparrow, I have to say, but I filed it under “the things I do for Matthias Schoenaerts” and watched it anyway. I shouldn’t have – and neither should you.

Continue reading

Hannah (2017)

Hannah
Director: Andrea Pallaoro
Writer: Andrea Pallaoro, Orlando Tirado
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, André Wilms, Stéphanie Van Vyve, Simon Bisschop
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 27.10.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Hannah (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband (André Wilms) of many years eat dinner. He changes a lightbulb. She packs a bag for him. They drive to prison and he stays there, while Hannah has to navigate the life they used to share on her own from now on. Their son (Julien Vargas) isn’t of much help, Hannah remains at a distance in her theater group and the only human contact she has is with Nicholas (Simon Bisschop), a young disabled boy she takes care of.

Hannah isn’t an easy film, but for me, it was a film well worth the effort I had to put in watching it (funnily enough, I said pretty much the same thing about Pallaoro’s first film, Medeas). Crafted carefully in every frame, it’s an exercise in what isn’t said or shown

Continue reading

Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Assassin’s Creed
Director: Justin Kurzel
Writer: Michael LesslieAdam CooperBill Collage
Based on: the video game franchise
Cast: Michael FassbenderMarion CotillardJeremy IronsBrendan GleesonCharlotte RamplingMichael Kenneth WilliamsDenis MénochetAriane LabedKhalid AbdallaEssie Davis
Seen on: 5.1.2017

Plot:
Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) was sentenced to die. But the Abstergo Company fake his death instead and bring him to Madrid. As Abstergo’s CEO Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) explains, Cal’s ancestor belonged to a brotherhood of assassins, and they need him to access his own genetic memories to find the Apple of Eden, an artifact that belongs to the Templars and that has been historically protected by the Assassin’s Creed. Cal is more than reluctant to participate until Rikkin’s daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) puts him into the Animus – a machine that makes it able to access his genetic memories.

Assassin’s Creed was impressively nonsensical and it was far from pretty enough to make up for the incredible stupidity. I saw it on January 5th and it was clearly one of my biggest mistakes of the year that I did not bring alcohol to the screening.

Continue reading

45 Years (2015)

45 Years
Director: Andrew Haigh
Writer: Andrew Haigh
Based on: David Constantine‘s short story In Another Country
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James
Seen on: 10.10.2015

Plot:
A week before Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) celebrate their 45 year anniversary together, a letter arrives in their home from Switzerland. The contents of the letter brings Geoff’s past into the present and causes great friction between him and Kate who finds herself re-evaluating their marriage.

With 45 Years you get exactly what you’d expect: a perfectly acted film that focuses on characters over plot and gets a little too miserable in its realism.

45Years Continue reading

Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

Night Train to Lisbon
Director: Bille August
Writer: Greg Latter, Ulrich Herrmann
Based on: Pascal Mercier‘s novel Nachtzug nach Lissabon
Cast: Jeremy Irons, Martina Gedeck, Jack Huston, Mélanie Laurent, Lena Olin, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Tom Courtenay, Charlotte Rampling

Plot:
Raimund (Jeremy Irons) is a teacher who leads a rather lonely life. But it takes a sudden turn, when he keeps a young woman from comitting suicide who leaves her coat with him. Inside that coat he finds a book and train tickets to Lisbon. The book resonates with him, so on a whim he boards the train to find the author of the book. But instead of finding the author, he finds a whole story of love and betrayal during António de Oliveira Salazar‘s dictatorship.

There is only word I can use to describe Night Train to Lisbon: boring. It was so boring, I fell asleep for half an hour during the film. And despite cutting the movie short that way, it was still way too long.

night_train_to_lisbon

Continue reading

Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia
Director: Lars von Trier
Writer: Lars von Trier
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Brady Corbet, Jesper Christensen, Udo Kier

Plot:
It’s Justine’s (Kirsten Dunst) wedding day. But even though she should be the happiest person alive, apart from her husband Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), she is haunted by dreams and visions of the end of the earth, when the planet Melancholia collides with ours. Her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) tries to hold it all together, but is ultimately helpless against the overwhelming presence of Melancholia – both the planet and the mood.

After Antichrist, I was very reluctant if I actually wanted to see Melancholia. But the cast and the trailer’s aesthetics drew me in. In the end my fears that it would be the misogynist disaster Antichrist was, proved to be unnecessary. But I still only liked the first half.

Continue reading

Never Let Me Go (2010)

Never Let Me Go is Mark Romanek‘s (director) and Alex Garland‘s (writer) adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins, Andrea Riseborough, Domhnall Gleeson and Charlie Rowe.

Plot:
Kath (Carey Mulligan) watches Tommy (Andrew Garfield) go in for his probably final donation and uses this time to reflect upon her life: How she grew up at Hailsham together with Tommy and Ruth (Keira Knightley), slowly discovering and coming to terms with the path chosen for her by her mere existence: she like all the other children at Hailsham is a clone, built for donating her organs and ultimately her life.

Never Let Me Go is an excellent adaptation, though it doesn’t manage to be quite as good as the book. Which probably wouldn’t have been possible anyway. But with a brilliant cast, wonderful soundtrack and very nice cinematography it has everything you need.

Continue reading

StreetDance 3D (2010)

StreetDance 3D is the newest addition to the dance movie genre and the first to be in 3D. It was directed by Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini and stars Nichola Burley, Richard Winsor, Charlotte Rampling and George Sampson [yes, that George Sampson].

Plot:
Oh, the usual, the usual: underdog but really good dance group gets ready for tournament, obstacles get in their way, a yoda-like figure (Charlotte Rampling) forces them through ridiculous training which makes them better dancers (in this case, by combining ballet and street dance) and they go out to blow the minds of people and win the world.

Okay, the movie is not an achievement in film making. But it’s definitely one of the better dance movies. It’s got good and plenty choreographies, a good soundtrack and it pushes all the right buttons. If you like dance movies, you’re going to love it.

Continue reading

What Just Happened?

Mathieu Kassovitz is one of my favourite directors (though he’s also a good actor). So, I had high hopes for Babylon A.D., even though Vin Diesel was the main actor. Plus Charlotte Rampling, Michelle Yeoh and Gérard Depardieu are a really strong cast.

I have to admit, the movie left me a bit confused. There were scenes, which were really cool, but mostly, it felt like they didn’t take their time. The introduction of the world was too short, things happened too quickly and everything just seemed so… hurried.

To defend my sweetie Kassovitz right away: He had some major issues with the production company and had to cut a lot of the movie and shoot scenes differently etc. Well, it was pretty noticeable. At least, I got the European version, which is about 10 minutes longer than the US American one.

There were many details that I liked a lot [the advertisements!] and the whole world seemed to be really well thought through. I haven’t read the book – Babylon Babies [French] by Maurice G. Dantec, but the film made me want to.

Unfortunately, they didn’t use Michelle Yeoh like they could have – in the action scenes, she gets to kick ass, but we hardly get to see it. Also, give me more Charlotte Rampling! And Gérard Depardieu!

I didn’t much like Aurora (Mélanie Thierry). She is pretty, but didn’t do anything else than look pretty and cry a bit. Even though she was physically the strongest, she was a really weak character.

Well, I think I can summarise it with saying that it was good material wasted, unfortunately.