Zoe (2018)

Zoe
Director: Drake Doremus
Writer: Richard Greenberg
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Theo James, Rashida Jones, Christina Aguilera, Miranda Otto, Matthew Gray Gubler
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
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Plot:
Cole (Ewan McGregor) is a programmer. He has successfully developed a compatability test that can very reliably determine whether two people will be happy together. A test that incidentally led to the end of his own marriage to Emma (Rashida Jones). Now Cole develops AI in the form of robots that he brings ever closer to indistinguishable from humans. His latest project is Ash (Theo James) who is remarkably adept at reading human emotions. Meanwhile it’s Zoe (Léa Seydoux) who runs the day-to-day end of his matchmaking business. Zoe has been quietly in love with Cole for a while now but she doesn’t know what to do with her feelings.

Zoe is soft, tender and a little sad. It doesn’t really have anything new to add to the AI/robot genre, but that doesn’t mean that following it as it treads familiar ground isn’t pleasant.

The film poster showing Ewan McGregor and Léa Seydoux embracing in front of a blue-green background.
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Juste la fin du monde [It’s Only the End of the World] (2016)

Juste la fin du monde
Director: Xavier Dolan
Writer: Xavier Dolan
Based on: the play of the same name by Jean-Luc Lagarce
Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion CotillardLéa Seydoux, Antoine Desrochers
Seen on: 18.1.2017

Plot:
Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) hasn’t spoken to his family in years. But now that he is terminally ill, he wants to see them and let them know that he is dying, and soon. So he leaves his boyfriend in the big city and makes his way home to his mother Martine (Nathalie Baye), his older brother Antoine (Vincent Cassel) and his wife Catherine (Marion Cotillard) – who Louis never met before – and finally his little sister Suzanne (Léa Seydoux) who barely remembers him at all. But the reconciliation Louis is most likely hoping for is overshadowed by old resentments.

Juste la fin du monde is probably the weakest of the Dolan films I’ve seen so far (which is not all that many, unfortunately). It’s still above average, but I’ve come to expect more of Dolan than what the film gave me.

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The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin FarrellRachel Weisz, John C. ReillyBen Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Jessica BardenAshley Jensen
Seen on: 15.2.2015

Plot:
David (Colin Farrell) was recently divorced. As a single person, he has to check into the Hotel and find a new suitable partner in 45 days. If he doesn’t, he will be turned into an animal – like his brother was turned into a dog – and if nobody is there to take him in, he will be set loose in the woods surrounding the Hotel. So David tries to find somebody who is like him, but that’s easier said than done.

My history with Lanthimos’ movies has been mixed so far but The Lobster might be his best film yet. It’s certainly his most accessible film, although it is still very, very weird and not easy to get into, and my personal favorite.

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Spectre (2015)

Spectre
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Sequel to: Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Judi Dench
Seen on: 10.11.2015

Plot:
The 00 program is still reeling from recent (forced) restructures. Now M (Ralph Fiennes) has to fight to keep it going at all as C (Andrew Scott) tries to establish a more technological data gathering approach to spying. Meanwhile, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a mission. A mysterious message from the old M (Judi Dench) reaches him, sending him to a funeral in Italy and with it right in the middle of Spectre – a secret organization that seems to have its hand in every major global event.

I’m not a huge Bond fan – which is probably why I enjoyed the most recent efforts in the franchise (well, apart from Quantom of Solace) as it seemed a step away from the worst of Bond’s inherent sexism. Plus, they were good actions films. Spectre, unfortunately, is a jump back into the 70s and with it, into all the Bond-pitfalls that the Craig-Bond-era has at least partly avoided. I was disappointed.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway
Seen on: 4.8.2015
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is currently in a Russian prison. But after another agent (Josh Holloway) gets killed, his team, consisting of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton), breaks Ethan out of there and together they try to infiltrate the Kremlin to find more information about “Cobalt”, who is connected to the agent’s death. But the mission fails spectacularly and suddenly, the three of them plus data analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) have to clear the entire IMF’s name.

Much as I remembered it, Ghost Protocol was one hell of an entertaining film. It’s far from flawless, but at least it’s straight-forward fun.

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La belle et la bête [Beauty and the Beast] (2014)

La belle et la bête
Director: Christophe Gans
Writer: Sandra Vo-Anh, Christophe Gans
Based on: the fairy tale
Cast: Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux, André Dussollier, Yvonne Catterfeld

Plot:
After his ships sink, a rich merchant (André Dussolier) is left destitute. He has to move to a small cottage in the countryside, much to the chagrin of all his children, except Belle (Léa Seydoux), who loves life on the country. One day, after trying to get their money back in the city, the merchant becomes lost in the woods. He happens upon a castle where nobody seems to be, but a rich feast is there for him to take. But when he also tries to take a rose for Belle, a beast (Vincent Cassel) appears and demands that the merchant be his prisoner for the theft. The merchant agrees but asks to see his children one last time, a wish the beast grants. But when Belle hears about the sacrifice, she offers herself in her father’s stead, setting a whole string of events in motion.

Beauty and the Beast is a problematic story (hello, consent issues and Stockholm syndrome!), but I honestly thought that I had seen the worst possible version of it in Beastly. Well, La belle et la bête fights extremely hard for that spot.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Plot:
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.

grandbudapesthotel

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La vie d’Adèle [Blue Is the Warmest Color] (2013)

La vie d’Adèle
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writer: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
Based on: Julie Maroh‘s comic
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche

Plot:
Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is in high school when she meets art student Emma (Léa Seydoux) and falls in love immediately, despite never really suspecting before that she might like women. And Emma, even though she has a girlfriend, really likes Adèle, too. Emma is comfortable and very out, as opposed to Adèle, but opposites obviously attract and the chemistry between the two of them is quite explosive.

Here’s what I took away from this movie: 1) lesbians have sex too (surprise, surprise). 2) 3 hours is really, really long. 3) there are many different ways you can look wistfully into a camera. In other words I didn’t care much for this movie.

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Grand Central (2013)

Grand Central
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Writer: Gaëlle Macé, Rebecca Zlotowski
Cast: Tahar Rahim, Léa Seydoux, Olivier Gourmet, Denis Ménochet, Johan Libéreau
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Gary (Tahar Rahim) has been looking for work and barely has any money at all. So when he ends up working in a nuclear power plant, he feels like he gets a new chance. Especially since he likes his colleagues Gilles (Olivier Gourmet) and Toni (Denis Ménochet) with whom he also practically lives together. But it really is Toni’s girlfriend Karole (Léa Seydoux) who keeps him there.

Grand Central has an interesting setting and a great cast. The plot itself is nothing to write home about, but that’s kind of the point. It does get a little long, but generally it was really good.

grandcentral

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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Based on: The TV show
Sequel to: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Tom Wilkinson, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is currently in a Russian prison. But after another agent (Josh Holloway) gets killed, his team, consisting of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton), breaks Ethan out of there and together they try to infiltrate the Kremlin to find more information about “Cobalt”, who is connected to the agent’s death. But the mission fails spectacularly and suddenly, the three of them plus data analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) have to clear the entire IMF’s name.

I am actually very suprised by how excellent  this film was. It really is a more than decent action movie.

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