Chocolat (2015)

Chocolat
Director: Roschdy Zem
Writer: Cyril Gely, Olivier Gorce, Gérard Noiriel, Roschdy Zem
Cast: Omar Sy, James ThiérréeClotilde Hesme, Olivier Gourmet, Frédéric Pierrot, Noémie Lvovsky
Seen on: 2.6.2016

Plot:
At the end of the 19th century, George Foottit (James Thiérrée) used to be a well-regarded clown, but his shtick has grown old and he is relegated to the sidelines more and more. That’s when he meets former slave Rafael Padilla (Omar Sy) who works in a small circus in Northern France. Foottit sees potential in him and proposes that they should form a clown duo – and one that defies all expectations, both regarding what clowns can do and what black people can do.

Chocolat tells an interesting story, but keeps to its surface only, nicely flowing along but never really getting to the bottom of it, ultimately complicit in the racism it tries to denounce.

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Burnt (2015)

Burnt
Director: John Wells
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Henry Goodman, Matthew Rhys, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Lily James
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Adam (Bradley Cooper) was the rising star in the cooking world before alcohol and drugs got the better of him. When his career was completely destroyed (plus the career of some of his friends for good measure), he set himself  the penance of shucking a million oysters. Three years later he is sober and as he reaches the final oyster, he is ready to give his career a new start. Activating all his old connections and bullying himself into a restaurant kitchen, he is ready to get that third Michelin star.

Burnt is a film about an asshole that for some reason is be believed the coolest person on the planet. The best that I can say about it is that it’s watchable and the cast is good. Other than that, though, I was mostly annoyed by it.

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Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Based on: Michael Crichton‘s book (plus sequel)
Sequel to: Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake JohnsonLauren Lapkus, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Judy Greer, Katie McGrath
Seen on: 21.6.2015

Plot:
Years after the events at Jurassic Park, Jurassic World has opened – a theme park with actual dinosaurs. And things are going very well. A lot of that success is due to Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who manages the park, is looking after investors and generally is always looking for ways to expand and to ameliorate. This weekend, she is visited by her two nephews Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson), but she also has to make sure that the park’s anticipated newest attraction – a new crossbreed of dinosaur – gets ready to be marketable. But then everything goes wrong and Claire has to team up with Owen (Chris Pratt) to avoid an even bigger disaster. Oh, and save her nephews.

I love the old movies and have loved them ever since I was a kid. So I was really looking forward to Jurassic World. But it manages the absolutely unthinkable: it makes dinosaurs boring. I am still unsure how they managed that particular feat, but it happened.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men: First Class
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas HoultHugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Shawn AshmoreEllen PagePeter DinklageOmar SyEvan Peters, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, James Marsden

Plot:
Scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) created an adaptive superroboter to hunt and kill mutants that eradicated mutants almost entirely in just a few short years. The only way to stop their complete extinction is by stopping Trask building the robots in the first place. So Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) sends Logan (Hugh Jackman) back into the past to find Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) from stopping Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) to inadvertently set everything in motion. But neither Charles nor Erik are at a particularly good place in their lives and its up to Logan to make everything happen.

I really, really enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past (I even saw it twice in the cinema), even if I do have certain qualms about it. But the fun pretty much outweigs everything.

x-men_dofp[SPOILERS]

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De l’autre côté du périph [On the Other Side of the Tracks] (2012)

De l’autre côté du périph
Director: David Charhon
Writer: David Charhon, Alexis Dolivet, Remy Four, Laurent Lafitte, Julien War
Cast: Omar Sy, Laurent Lafitte, Sabrina Ouazani, Lionel Abelanski, Youssef Hajdi

Plot:
Ousmane (Omar Sy) is a cop in Bobigny, a rather poor suburb of Paris. He is trying to bust an illegal gaming ring which is attended by some pretty high up people. And then he stumbles on the body of the wife of one of Paris’ political leaders. The case actually belongs to François (Laurent Lafitte), a narcissistic careerist. But Ousmane doesn’t let go easily and talks himself into a partnership with François. And they both discover that things are way bigger than expected.

De l’autre côté du périph follows the trusted buddy cop movie formula pretty much to the letter, with the only difference being that it’s a French movie, so it’s a little more lax with nudity and there are people on strike.

De-l_autre-cote-du-periph

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Intouchables [Untouchable] (2011)

Intouchables
Director: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Writer: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Cast: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet

Plot:
Driss (Omar Sy) was just released from prison and is now looking for enough job refusals so he can get his unemployment checks. But much to his surprise the rich and quadriplegic Philippe (François Cluzet) decides to hire him as his caretaker – despite or just because of Driss’ lacking attitude. Driss applies himself fully to the job, completely turns  everything in Philippe’s life upside down and becomes Philippe’s best friend. But Driss’ family as much as Philippe’s have their own demands.

Intouchables is a wonderful little movie. Beautifully made and with a good sense of humor, it manages to pull off to be deep and light at the same time. Plus, the two leads are really great.

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