Les innocentes [Agnus Dei] (2016)

Les innocentes
Director: Anne Fontaine
Writer: Sabrina B. KarineAlice Vial, Anne Fontaine, Pascal Bonitzer
Cast: Lou de LaâgeAgata BuzekAgata KuleszaVincent MacaigneJoanna KuligEliza RycembelKatarzyna DabrowskaAnna PróchniakHelena SujeckaMira MaluszinskaDorota KudukKlara Bielawka
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 7.3.2017

Mathilde (Lou de Laâge) works at a doctor for the red cross just after World War 2. She finds herself dispatched to Poland to take care of the concentration camp survivors and the French soldiers stationed there. It is in the hospital there that a young nun, Maria (Agata Buzek) from a near-by convent finds Mathilde and begs her to help them at the convent as well: they were raped by Russian soldiers and many of them are pregnant as a result. And not only do these pregnancies come with the usual dangers, but should anybody find out about their state, they would risk losing the convent, their home, entirely.

Les innocentes tackels a hard topic and it does so with a lot of sensitivity, but also a couple of lenghts. But I did enjoy it and the push it makes for solidarity among women.

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Gemma Bovery (2014)

Gemma Bovery
Director: Anne Fontaine
Writer: Pascal Bonitzer, Anne Fontaine
Based on: Posy Simmondscomic and Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng, Isabelle Candelier, Niels Schneider, Edith Scob

Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) is a literature professor turned baker, living a rather quiet life with his family in a small village. But then new neighbors arrive: Gemma (Gemma Arterton) and Charlie Bovery (Jason Flemyng) who moved there from England. Martin is quickly obsessed with Gemma, believing that she is the real life Madame Bovary since he keeps finding parallels between her life and the book. Soon he starts meddling and that’s not really a good thing, even if done with good intentions.

I really enjoyed Gemma Bovery. It was funny, sweet and it had Gemma Arterton [who is a wonderful actress and one the most beautiful people on this earth, so that’s always a plus].

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Cherchez Hortense [Searching for Hortense] (2012)

Cherchez Hortense
Director: Pascal Bonitzer
Writer: Agnès de Sacy, Pascal Bonitzer
Cast: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Kristin Scott Thomas, Isabelle Carré, Marin Orcand Tourrès, Claude Rich
Part of: Viennale

Damien’s (Jean-Pierre Bacri) father Sébastien (Claude Rich) is a judge, so Damien’s wife Iva (Kristin Scott Thomas) asks Damien to ask Sébastien for help with the immigration papers of a friend of hers. Damien is reluctant, especially because he and his father don’t get along very well; and Sébastien is generally evasive. Generally there is a lot of tension between Iva and Damien and the lack of results in this matter doesn’t really help. And then Damien meets Aurore (Isabelle Carré) and things really start to get out of control.

Cherchez Hortense has all the necessary ingredients for a really strong film. But somehow it doesn’t get there. Instead it remains uneven and unsatisfying.

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36 vues du Pic Saint Loup [36 Views of Saint-Loup Peak] (2009)

36 vues du Pic Saint Loup is the newest movie by Jacques Rivette, starring Jane Birkin and Sergio Castellitto.

Kate (Jane Birkin) returns to her family’s circus after years of estrangement. On some lonely country road her car breaks down and Vittorio (Sergio Castellitto) stops his super-fancy car to help her. Afterwards, Kate invites him to the circus. Vittorio shows up and then kinda sticks around for the rest of the circus’ tour.

Beginning with the opening scene, this movie was ridiculous. Most of that was the fault of the script by Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent and Jacques Rivette himself, but the absolutely overblown performance by Jane Birkin did its part as well. When the movie wasn’t being ridiculous, it was boring. So, definitely not recommended.


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