Certain Women (2016)

Certain Women
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Writer: Kelly Reichardt
Based on: short stories by Maile Meloy
Cast: Laura DernMichelle WilliamsLily GladstoneKristen StewartJames Le GrosJared Harris
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 30.10.2016

Plot:
A small town in Montana. Here, Laura (Laura Dern) works as a lawyer, currently busy with her client Fuller (Jared Harris) who has trouble accepting an offer for worker’s compensation. Not far from Laura, Gina (Michelle Williams) and Ryan (James Le Gros) are working on their dream home. Gina has her heart set on some stones that go to waste in a neighbor’s garden, but they’ll have to convince the neighbor to part with them. Meanwhile, a young rancher (Lily Gladstone) who stumbles into night school classes out of curiosity finds herself in front of a new teacher, Elizabeth (Kristen Stewart) and feels immediately drawn to her.

By now I’ve seen quite a few Reichardt movies, but Certain Women is the first one where I can say that I actually really liked it. Especially the last segment in this episodic film stole my heart.

[Slight Spoilers]

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Personal Shopper (2016)

Personal Shopper
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Nora von Waldstätten, Benjamin Biolay
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 29.10.2016

Plot:
Maureen (Kristen Stewart) works as a personal shopper for celebrity Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten) in Paris. It’s not necessarily her dream job, but she has to finance her life in Paris and she can’t leave Paris, until she has made contact with her recently deceased twin brother – and she is convinced she will make that contact, even if it is taking longer than usual. She is a medium after all. But as time passes and nothing happens, Maureen starts to consider leaving anyway. That’s when she starts to receive texts from an unknown sender who knows a lot about her.

Personal Shopper has a lot to offer and took me by surprise a couple of times. But then the plot moves in a direction that I didn’t particularly care for, which ultimately kept the film from going all the way into “wow” territory.

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American Ultra (2015)

American Ultra
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Writer: Max Landis
Cast: Jesse EisenbergKristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman
Seen on: 20.10.2015

Plot:
Mike (Jesse Eisenberg) and Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) have a great life together, if you consider smoking a lot of weed, working dead-end jobs and never leaving the small town they live in a great life. At least they very much love each other. But their existence is completely destroyed when it turns out that Mike is the product of a CIA experimental program which used to be run by Victoria (Connie Britton). But Victoria was demoted, her program scapped and her new boss Adrian (Topher Grace) decided to obliterate the last remains of her program – that means killing Mike. Victoria decides to go against the plan and activates Mike, causing Adrian and his henchmen who came for him a world of trouble.

American Ultra is an entertaining film that is a little uneven but definitely fun to watch.

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Still Alice (2014)

Still Alice
Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Writer: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Based on: Lisa Genova‘s novel
Cast: Julianne MooreAlec BaldwinKristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Shane McRae, Hunter Parrish, Seth Gilliam
Seen on: 13.3.2015

Plot:
Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a very successful professor for linguistics. She’s happily married to John (Alec Baldwin) and has three children (Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parish, Kristen Stewart) with whom she gets mostly along. But Alice has noticed that she keeps losing words and has trouble remembering things. Shortly thereafter she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and has to face the fact that she will not only lose her memories, but also herself and her entire life in a very short while.

Still Alice was a touching and smart film with really wonderful performances. I cried a lot which is probably what the film is made for.

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Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

Clouds of Sils Maria
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger, Brady Corbet, Nora von Waldstätten

Plot:
20 years ago, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) became a famous actress for her part in the play Maloja Snake, in which she played Sigrid, a young woman who seduces the older Helena. Now Maria is on her way to receive an award on behalf of the writer and director of the play. But before she arrives, she is informed that he passed away. Maria is shocked by the news. In that vulnerable state, her assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) tells Maria that up and coming director Klaus Diesterweg (Lars Eidinger) would like to remake Maloja Snake – with Maria as Helena and Hollywood starlet Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloë Grace Moretz) as Sigrid. Despite her trepidations about the role, Maria accepts the offer.

Clouds of Sils Maria was absolutely fantastic, if slightly long. It was interesting, intelligent, beautifully shot and above all, wonderfully acted.

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Welcome to the Rileys (2010)

Welcome to the Rileys
Director: Jake Scott
Writer: Ken Hixon
Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo

Plot:
Ever since their daughter died, Lois (Melissa Leo) and Doug (James Gandolfini) have grown distant. Doug has an affair with waitress Vivian (Eisa Davis) and keeps on losing money playing poker, while Lois hasn’t left the house in a while and practically only gets by with the help of medication. After Vivian suddenly dies, Doug is completely lost. He goes to New Orleans for a conference where he meets 16-year-old runaway, stripper and prostitute Mallory (Kristen Stewart). On a whim he decides to stay and help Mallory out, which actually prompts Lois to finally leave the house.

There were a lot of good things about Welcome to the Rileys and some things that didn’t work so well. Generally I was pretty unimpressed though.welcome_to_the_rileys

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
Based on: Stephenie Meyer‘s book
Sequel to: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Michael Sheen, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell Bower, Mackenzie Foye, Maggie Grace, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Rami Malek, Joe Anderson, and for me most importantly Lee Pace

Plot:
Bella (Kristen Stewart) survived the birth of her daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) and is quickly adapting to having become a vampire like Edward (Robert Pattinson). But the arrival of a half-human, half-vampire child causes quite a few ripples in the vampire community. And when the Volturi hear about it, they believe that Bella and Edward turned a human child into a vampire – a capital offense they will make sure will be punished.

Well, it is over. I think that is about the best one can say about this. But they manage to have basically nothing happen in the movie at all (though they did force some action in, and quite cleverly I might add) and to not resolve anything, really. And I think that if you haven’t read the books, the whole thing only makes a limited amount of sense. At least, with 3/4 of a rum bottle I shared with C. during the film, it was quite entertaining.

breaking-dawn-part-2

[SPOILERS]

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On the Road (2012)

On the Road
Director: Walter Salles
Writer: Jose Rivera
Based on: Jack Kerouac’s novel
Cast: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Elisabeth Moss, Terrence Howard, Alice Braga, Tom Sturridge, Steve Buscemi

Plot:
After his father’s death, Sal (Sam Riley) decides to go on a road trip to visit his new friend Dean (Garrett Hedlund) and his girlfriend Marylou (Kristen Stewart). Together they hook up with some old friends in around the USA. Sal is fascinated with Dean’s energy and joie de vivre. For a while, Sal travels alone, then he travels together with Dean and other people, always looking for the next party and the next kick.

After the book, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about watching the film but I thought that with the lengths the book had, the shortenings necessary for a movie script might improve the whole thing. But if anything the movie was even more boring.

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Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Snow White and the Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writer: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Based on: the Snow White fairy tale
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson, Vincent Regan

Plot:
10 years ago, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) killed the good king, imprisoned his daughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) and took over the kingdom with her evil magic. But now that Snow White turned 18, she managed to escape her imprisonment. Since Ravenna desperately needs Snow White’s youth and beauty for her own magic, she sends the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) after her. But soon he rather joins Snow White in her fight against Ravenna.

Snow White and the Huntsman is the kind of film that opens with an apple tree in full bloom and ripe apples at the same time which tells you everything you need to know about the film: it puts style so high over substance that it leaves all logic far, far behind. Which would have been okay, if it wasn’t also incredibly boring.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
Based on: Stephenie Meyer‘s book
Sequel to: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Anna Kendrick, (and for way too little time: Michael Sheen, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jamie Campbell Bower, Dakota Fanning)

Plot:
Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are finally getting married and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) even stops sulking long enough to talk to Bella for five minutes, before Edward whisks her off to their own private honeymoon island. Within a few days, Bella realizes that she is pregnant. Since Edward is a vampire that should be impossible. And that’s only the beginning of the trouble.

Breaking Dawn was pretty much what you’d expect it would be – only that I undererstimated the amount of alcohol I would need to get through it and then we hit the birth and I wasn’t drunk yet and then we hit the imprinting and I had to beg aber_karramba for some of hers because I was all out. [See also.]
But apart from that, given the source material, the film wasn’t actually that bad.

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