By the Sea (2015)

By the Sea
Director: Angelina Jolie
Writer: Angelina Jolie
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup, Richard Bohringer
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Roland (Brad Pitt) and Vanessa (Angelina Jolie) get away from home to spend some time in France. There Roland is supposed to write his new book and Vanessa, who is in a frail state, is supposed to have time and peace to recover. But things don’t really work out as planned. Roland is out drinking at the local bar all the time and Vanessa develops an obsession with the newlyweds (Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud) in the room next door.

By the Sea has its lengths, but other than that I really enjoyed it. The performances were great, it looked gorgeous and the story and characters were intriguing.

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Respire [Breathe] (2014)

Respire
Director: Mélanie Laurent
Writer: Mélanie Laurent, Julien Lambroschini
Based on: Anne-Sophie Brasme‘s novel
Cast: Joséphine Japy, Lou de Laâge, Isabelle Carré, Claire Keim, Radivoje Bukvic, Roxane Duran
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 20.6.2015

Plot:
Charlie (Joséphine Japy) is a calm, studious teenager. But then she meets Sarah (Lou de Laâge) who was just transferred to her school. Sarah is incredible and adventurous and so far has led a life full of travels and exciting men. Charlie feels immediately drawn to her and the two of them become fast friends. But as Charlie becomes more inextricably connected to Sarah with every passing day, there is something that starts to shimmer through Sarah’s wonderful facade.

Respire was very impressive, not only since it’s only Laurent’s second film: it was fantastically told and acted and drew me in completely.

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Now You See Me (2013)

Now You See Me
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common

Plot:
Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt (Woody Harrelson), Henley (Isla Fisher) and Jack (Dave Franco) are talented magicians who get a mysterious invitation including instructions to form a magic troupe and pull off certain acts. Among those acts is a bank heist that skeptic Detective Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent) have to investigate. But things are getting weirder and weirder.

Now You See Me is not a particularly smart or mind-blowing film, even though it tries very hard to be. But it is a movie that is fun and entertaining.

now_you_see_me

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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

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Beginners (2010)

[identities.]

Beginners is the newest film by Mike Mills, starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent and Goran Visnjic.

Plot:
After the death of his wife, the 75-year-old Hal (Christopher Plummer) finally comes out to his son Oliver (Ewan McGregor) and the world. He quickly takes a younger lover, Andy (Goran Visnjic) but almost as fast, Hal is diagnosed with terminal cancer. After Hal’s death, Oliver struggles with depression and lacks a general direction when he meets Anna (Mélanie Laurent) and the two of them fall for each other.

The film has many good things going for it. Most notably the wonderful cast, the dog and the fact that it actually pulls off the manic pixie dream girl trope. The problem is, though, that it is yet another artsy film about the woes of a white guy who is charmingly quirky. Which should be a genre unto its own and labelled as such so I can avoid most of its brethren.

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Le concert [The Concert] (2009)

The Concert is the newest French summer hit. It was directed by Radu Mihaileanu and stars Aleksei Guskov, Dmitri Nazarov and Mélanie Laurent.

Plot:
Andrei Filipov (Aleksei Guskov) used to be a great conductor. 30 years ago he fell from grace when he didn’t fire all the Jewish members of his orchestra. Now he works as a cleaner at the Bolshoi, and only conducts the Bolshoi orchestra in his dreams. But one day, he finds a fax from the Theatre Chatelet in Paris, inviting the Bolshoi for a concert in two weeks time. Andrei snags the fax, gets his old troup together and tells the Chatelet they’re coming to play Tchaikovsky with Anne-Marie Jaquet (Mélanie Laurent). But what connects Andrei to Anne-Marie?

The Concert is a nice movie. It features every stereotype about Russians you can think of (and then some) and yet, it’s oddly charmig, with a nice sense of humour and fine acting. But above all, it has been made with such a passion for music that, if I didn’t love him already, Tchaikovsky would probably be my new god.

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Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Inglorious Basterds is the newest movie by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Samm Levine, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, August Diehl and Michael Fassbender.

Plot:
Contrary to what the marketing wants you to believe, Inglorious Basterds is not about the Basterds, a kind of guerilla troup of American soldiers with German or Austrian roots (Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Samm Levine) headed by a half-Native American (Brad Pitt), but it’s the story of Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent). Shosanna’s family was killed by Col. Landa (Christoph Waltz) and his men, Shosanna herself barely escaped with her life. Now she’s in Paris and owns a cinema. One day, she gets advances by German soldier Fredrick Zoller. Advances, she can’t refuse, even though she tries. Through Fredrick, Shosanna is confronted once again with her past and starts to form a plan for her revenge.

Somehow, before seeing this movie I only saw reviews along the lines of “This time Tarantino goes too far”, “Inglorious Basterds sucks” etc etc. But I seem to be the only person to have seen those and since it is so not true, I’ve decided that I must have imagined it. Inglorious Basterds is interesting, entertaining and pretty much awesome. Tarantino at his best.

IngloriousBasterds

[SPOILERS]

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