The Monuments Men (2014)

The Monuments Men
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Based on: Robert M. Edsel‘s non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, Justus von Dohnányi

Plot:
As World War II is in full swing, the European art collections (both private and public) are methodically plundered by the Nazis. So Frank Stokes (George Clooney) manages to get a squad together, consisting mostly of old men who know their art. They are tasked with saving what is left – from statues to paintings. But even as the end of the war comes ever closer, this is neither easy nor without its dangers.

The Monuments Men is a film that is utterly mediocre. (puzzledpeaces called it “beige” and that hits the nail on the head pretty much.) The script isn’t good, the directing isn’t good, the camera work isn’t good – but none of it is all that bad either. It’s a film that tries to be as acceptable as possible to as many people as possible and with that desire loses all shape and impact.

themonumentsmen

Continue reading

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Terence Winter
Based on: Jordan Belfort‘s book
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Shea Whigham

Plot:
Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) dreams of making a whole lot of money on Wall Street. At first this seems rather impossible, especially since the stock markets crash right when Jordan gets his broker’s license. But then Jordan finds a way to make it big, even if it’s not entirely legal. He enjoys the money way too much to care about that. Even when the FBI gets involved, he can’t stop.

The Wolf of Wall Street was one of the most uncomfortable movie experiences I had in recent times. It was not only the content, but also the length and the audience that had me cringing.

wolfofwallstreet

Continue reading

Möbius (2013)

Möbius
Director: Eric Rochant
Writer: Eric Rochant
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Cécile De France, Tim Roth, Émilie Dequenne, Vladimir Menshov

Plot:
Alice (Cécile de France) is an American trader in a Russian bank in Monaco. She had to leave the USA after less than legal trades, a circumstance which makes her the target of the FSB who would like to take down the bank’s owner Ivan Rostovsky (Tim Roth) for money laundry. But there are two things that make this more difficult: one, the FSB doesn’t know that Alice is already working for the CIA. And two, FSB leader Moise (Jean Dujardin) starts an affair with Alice.

kathrintha, with whom I saw the film, summed it up perfectly, so I’m gonna just steal it: “It’s sad when a film just falls flat on it’s pretentious face halfway to So-Bad-It’s-Good.”

möbius

Continue reading

The Artist (2011)

The Artist
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Writer: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcom McDowell
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the star of silent films. At the height of his career, he meets the aspiring actress Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). Even though they hit it off, their paths lead them into seperate directions: Peppy is drawn to talking pictures, while George doesn’t believe that anyone would want to hear him talk. As talking pictures get more and more popular, George’s star starts to sink quickly.

The Artist’s concept is absolutely wonderful – making a silent movie that laments the end of silent movies. And it’s a beautiful, funny, sentimental, touching and smart film which pretty much makes it perfect.

Continue reading

Les petits mouchoirs [Little White Lies] (2010)

Little White Lies is the newest film written and directed by Guillaume Canet, starring Marion Cotillard, Benoît Magimel, François Cluzet, Gilles Lellouche and Jean Dujardin.

Plot:
Ludo (Jean Dujardin) is the center of a very diverse group of friends. When he has an accident, his friends decide to still go ahead with the trip they have planned together. But the tensions within the group keep rising: Vincent (Benoît Magimel) tells Max (François Cluzet) that he is in love with him, despite both of them being straight and married. Marie (Marion Cotillard) tumbles from one bed partner to another, while her best friend Éric (Gilles Lellouche) is trying very hard to convince himself that he wants the relationship he has with his girlfriend. With all their various problems and troubles, do their friendships have a chance of surviving?

I very much enjoyed Little White Lies. It could have gone the way of so many “friends breaking apart” movies and just be overly dramatic, but it shows restraint in the right places (mostly), is character-driven  and just all around nice.

Continue reading