TIFF 2017 Movie Review: CATCH THE WIND (PRENDRE LE LARGE) (France 2017)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Catch the Wind Poster
A middle-aged factory worker’s life is upended when she follows her employer to Morocco.

Director:

Gaël Morel

Writer:

Gaël Morel

Stars:

Sandrine BonnaireLubna AzabalIlian Bergala

CATCH THE WIND is a personal look at what happens when companies second source to a cheaper country. The story concerns Edith (Sandrine Bonnaire) informed that the job she’s held for her entire adult life is being relocated to Morocco. She refuses to accept a healthy severance package.

Against the advice of her colleagues, her self-absorbed son, and even the consultant hired to fire her, Edith instead opts to follow her job to Tangier.

Arriving with the naïve energy of a teenager on their first overseas trip, Edith realizes before long what she’s up against: the expected subpar working conditions and subpar pay, but also an adjustment to new social and cultural realities — nuances that her failure to grasp would mean her job and, more importantly, her dignity.

The film works for two factors. One is the detailed account by director Morel on what living is like in Tangier – the factory corruption, the poverty, the strife to support families and the danger on the streets.

The second is Bonnaire’s calculated and worthy performance. Brutal yet sensitive, PRENDE LE LARGE finally gets Morel’s characters a happy ending but not without sheer determination and strong will.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsfAPoCk5AA

CATCH THE WIND

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TIFF 2017 Movie Review: LAISSEZ BRONZER LES CADAVRES (Let the Corpses Tan)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Let the Corpses Tan Poster
The Mediterranean summer: blue sea, blazing sun….and 250 kg of gold stolen by Rhino and his gang! They had found the perfect hideout: an abandoned and remote hamlet now taken over by a …See full summary »

Writers:

Jean-Pierre Bastid (novel), Hélène Cattet 

Stars:

Marc BarbéBernie BonvoisinDorylia Calmel

The film credit sequence begins with the title splattered on the screen one word at a time sets up the stage for what audiences are to expect in the upcoming 92 minutes gore fest.

An extreme close up of events and we are talking seeing a screen of a close up of a close up like a the teeth in a mouth. This effect can be terribly annoying if one is sitting up close to the screen, so best be at least in the middle to thee back of the theatre when viewing this one. The story is simple enough. A gang of thieves absconding with 250kg of stolen gold arrives at the abode of a listless artist caught in a bohemian love triangle.

The scenario quickly escalates into a desperate day-long firefight between cops and robbers throughout the remote ruins of a Mediterranean hamlet — and genre and art-house tropes collide in a relentless reverie of action spectacle. It should be noted that as bloody as this film is, it is not as bloody as the other Midnight Madness, nor is it as inventive.

Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are also fond of using colour saturated silhouettes as in the spaghetti westerns.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cx48AN5_y8
 

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: THE THIRD MURDER (Japan 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Third Murder Poster
Mikuma has a criminal record dating back many years and is now under the spotlight again. It looks like and open and shut case for Mikuma has confessed to the new charge. Enter prominent …See full summary »

Director:

Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer:

Hirokazu Koreeda (screenplay)

Stars:

Masaharu FukuyamaKôji YakushoIsao Hashizume

THE THIRD MURDER is director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s (AFTER LIFE, AFTER THE STORM LIKE FATEHR LIKE SON) first murder mystery/courtroom drama and one that encompasses deep thoughts on morality. From the first scene, Misumi (Kôji Yakusho) robs and kills an industrialist. Misumi freely confesses to the cops, claiming he was desperate to settle a gambling debt.

But defence attorney Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) isn’t entirely satisfied with his mild-mannered client’s testimony. As Shigemori and his team go about their research, secret histories are brought to light, inconsistencies surface and unlikely alliances point to a more complicated set of circumstances.

One flaw of the film is the point is that it is brought up later Misumi might not have killed the industrialist and someone else could have done it. But showing the killing at the start of the film, dismisses the fact that someone else could have done it.

It is the film’s classic case where a director should never lie in a flashback scene. (Hitchcock did it once in STAGE FRIGHT and was never forgiven for it.) Kore-eda’s shot of Misumi’s reflection in the glass in the film’s final scene when he finally concludes his case with his attorney demands mention. The image in the reflection is different from his actual face reflecting the two sides of the man.

Brilliantly thought of and executed THE THIRD MURDER marks Kore-eda as his continuous best.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plr3V4TYBQE

THE THIRD MURDER

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: THE DAY AFTER (South Korea 2017) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

The Day After Poster
The married Bongwan leaves home in the dark morning and sets off to work. The memories of the woman who left weigh down on him. That day Bongwan’s wife finds a love note, bursts into the office, and mistakes Areum for the woman who left.

Director:

Sang-soo Hong

Writer:

Sang-soo Hong

Stars:

Yunhee ChoKi JoabangMin-hee Kim

Hong Sangsoo is a Korean director that makes small films on a little budget. Films like his, will never get seen aside outside festivals. Like HILL OF FREEDOM that was also screened a few years back at TIFF, Hong’s THE DAY AFTER is a comedy of errors with lots of dialogue, confused identities and missed meetings.

The protagonist of the story is Kim Bongwan (Kwon Haehyo), the manager of a small, independent publishing company, recovering from his recent affair with Lee Changsook (Kim Saebyuk), his young, attractive, and now former, employee. All the said information is revealed over conversations of the characters.

Song Areum (Kim Minhee) takes over Changsook’s position, unaware of what has transpired and unprepared for the misguided wrath of Bongwan’s furious wife (Cho Yunhee) who suddenly appears at her husband’s office and accuses her of being his lover.

While Kim is initially on display as a deceiver with no redeeming qualities, director Hong reverses that notion by the end of the film. Hong also composed the original music for his film – a quiet entertaining piece.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv0QPchaINk
 

THE DAY AFTER

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: EUPHORIA (Sweden/Germany 2017)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Euphoria Poster
Sisters in conflict travelling through Europe toward a mystery destination.

Director:

Lisa Langseth

Writer:

Lisa Langseth

Stars:

Alicia VikanderEva GreenCharles Dance

When sisters Ines (Alicia Vikander) and Emile (Eva Green) are greeted at an institution (for the dying) with the standing figure of Charlotte Rampling wearing an overall, one can immediately tell what will happen is not going to be good. Ines is about to die of cancer and she wants to find closure with her sister as to the past.

EUPHORIA marks the English-language debut of Sweden’s Lisa Langseth and it is simply terrible. This is new age stuff that many will just gawk at.

The written dialogue is also plain awful. The kind of words Emile uses, the swearing and all is also used by Ines’ character. The words or ideas of different characters should be distinct. The film could do with a bit of humour – as dealing with death is a topic ripe for some black humour. Whenever Ines coerces Emile to talk about an incident in the past, she will later use that against her and lose it.

If Emile could not see this coming, the audience certainly can, for the script is too predictably cliched. Charles Dance puts a bit of life into the film as a dying man who organizes his own farewell party. The film turns out to be a muddled look on death mortality.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMX3Dw-GjIA

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: APRIL’S DAUGHTER (LAS HIJAS DE ABRIL)(Mexico 2017) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

April's Daughter Poster
Valeria is 17 and pregnant. She lives in Puerto Vallarta with Clara, her half sister. Valeria has not wanted her long-absent mother, April, to find out about her pregnancy.

Director:

Michel Franco

Writer:

Michel Franco

Stars:

Emma SuárezAna Valeria BecerrilEnrique Arrizon

Emma Suarez (Almodovar’s JULIETA) plays a crazy mother, one that appears warm and caring at first glance but turns out to be calculating and ruthless. April, mother of a pregnant teen re-enters her daughter’s, Valeria (Ana Valeria Becerril) life, her energetic, take-charge attitude taking on considerably more disturbing hues once the child is born.

She eventually kidnaps the baby and horrors, as if that is not enough, sleeps with Valeria’s boyfriend, the child’s father, Mateo (Enrique Arrizon).

Mateo is good-looking enough to temp both mother and daughter but is a character with no backbone. Director Franco shows what happens when maternal instincts are taken to the extreme – and it is not nice!

The rest go the film follows Valeria as she searches for her kidnapped daughter. One wishes for a more upbeat ending given the film’s theme as the ending is a bit of a letdown. Excellent performance by Emma Suarez! A good female film from a male director.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEVp4rvpD7I
 

aprils_daughter

TIFF 2017 Movie Review: DOWNRANGE (USA 2017)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Downrange Poster
Stranded at the side of the road after a tire blowout, a group of friends become targets for an enigmatic sniper.

Director:

Ryûhei Kitamura

Stars:

Kelly ConnaireStephanie PearsonRod Hernandez

DOWNRANGE is a horror Midnight Madness movie with all the gore, blood and violence expected from any film in the series. The simple plot involves a van with assorted male and female youth stranded on an unknown highway, after an unseen sniper shoots out one of the tires. They become the sniper’s targets one after another.

If blood and gore is all that is needed to satisfy, then a complicated plot is not really needed, but a film with a plot this simple runs into trouble soon. For one, there is hardly any opportunity for new horror set-ups, and the film grows tiresome soon, despite different bloodied body parts getting shot up.

The lazy script does not even offer a hint of explanation who the sniper is or what his reason for doing all the damage might be. A welcome diversion involved another car that comes along the highway after an hour or so, with some spectacular blow ups.

Director Kitamura (VERSUS) appears over-confident when he introduced his movie at the festival.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBf0xLj7FhU
 

DOWNRANGE