A Perfect Day (2015)

A Perfect Day
Director: Fernando León de Aranoa
Writer: Fernando León de Aranoa, Diego Farias
Based on: Paula Farias’ novel Dejarse llover
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, Mélanie Thierry, Fedja Stukan, Eldar Residovic
Seen on: 17.11.2015

Plot:
Mambrú (Benicio Del Toro) and B (Tim Robbins) are aid workers who have been in the Balkans for a while now, assisted by their translator Damir (Fedja Stukan). Sophie (Mélanie Thierry) recently joined them, but hasn’t been doing things for long. Their job is to give humanitarian aid in a region still very much riddled by war. On this particular day this means trying to get a dead body out of a well. But that proves to be difficult, and it’s not made easier by the fact that Mambrú has to pick up an evaluator who turns out to be his ex Katya (Olga Kurylenko).

A Perfect Day manages to balance a realistic depiction of aid work in a war-torn country with a strong sense of humor. I didn’t expect it to unfold the way it did, but I enjoyed it immensely.

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The Zero Theorem (2013)

The Zero Theorem
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Pat Rushin
Cast: Christoph Waltz, Lucas HedgesDavid ThewlisMélanie ThierryMatt DamonGwendoline ChristieRupert FriendRay CooperLily ColeSanjeev BhaskarPeter StormareBen WhishawTilda Swinton

Plot:
Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) works as an entity cruncher for a huge corporation. The hours away from home are torture for Qohen as he is waiting for a call, so he has been trying to convince the corporation that he could work from home. When his supervisor Joby (David Thewlis) tells him that Management (Matt Damon) will be at his party, Qohen decides that he has to go there and talk to him. And he actually succeeds in that plan and a little while later, he starts working on the Zero Theorem from home.

Gilliam knows how to make a world look cool and a film look pretty. The cast is wonderful, too. Other than that though, the film is a boring, sexist mess.

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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.