In Unforgivable, Francis (Andre Dussollier) awakens to the tensions in his marriage to Judith (Carole Bouquet, far left) when his daughter, Alice (Melanie Thierry, far right), and granddaughter come for a summer visit.
Credit Strand Releasing
Judith and Francis marry quickly after first meeting — but then director Andre Techine skips straight to the marital strife that arises a year and a half later.
At first glance, the latest film from French director Andre Techine boasts all the titillating trappings of a neo-noir thriller: a missing girl, a private investigator, a seedy urban-European underbelly, a rich man suspicious of his beautiful younger wife. Yet Unforgivable, adapted from Philippe Dijian's best-selling novel, only masquerades as a story about crime. Instead, the film observes its subjects in the small moments of their daily lives, meditatively exploring the casual malice with which family and lovers fracture and finally break their closest relationships.
The distance between the movie sold by a trailer and the one you end up seeing is often as wide as that between the appetizing burger in the fast-food ad and the heat-lamped puck of sadness delivered to your tray. But in the case of Steven Soderbergh's latest, that expectation mismatch works in reverse: The advertising might make this look like a flimsy excuse to put a bunch of hunky guys onscreen in equally flimsy thongs, but Magic Mike turns out to be more complicated than its slick, vapid rom-com trailers would indicate.
From two who brought us those sensitive little human dramas, Star Trek and Transformers, comes a sensitive, decent, well-crafted little drama about frailty and forgiveness.
No, really: In his first outing as a director, writer-producer Alex Kurtzman has filled in a heavily worn premise with wit, heart and — along with Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert — a lively way with ordinary speech.
Actress Sarah Polley's 2006 directorial debut, Away From Her, was a bit of a shock: an unexpectedly tonic drift into adultery and Alzheimer's that somehow found a way to move us without resorting to the maudlin. What was exciting about that film was its voice — clear, confident and emotionally complex — and many wondered if it might be a fluke.
The parents of director Benh Zeitlin are folklorists, which is as good a way as any to account for the ambitions of his first feature, Beasts of the Southern Wild. The film is a mythic odyssey laced with modern ecological anxieties, captured in a free-form, image-driven narrative that recalls Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. It's clear from the outset that Zeitlin aims to take the family folklore business to the next level.
Marcus Samuelsson owns two restaurants in New York City and two restaurants in Sweden. He's cooked for President Obama and prime ministers, served as a judge on Top Chef and Chopped, and recently competed against 21 other chefs on Top Chef Masters. (He won.) He's the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times.
When Alice's flamingo-cum-croquet mallet was translated as a "flamenco," I'd had enough.
Everybody makes mistakes, but whoever was responsible for the error-ridden subtitles nearly ruined my viewing of Alice, Jan Švankmajer's otherwise delightful adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 12:50 pm
A lot of stand-up comedians make us laugh, but only a handful, like Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen or Richard Pryor, actually change the way that comedy is done. It's too early to be sure, but another one of them may be Louis C.K., the paunchy, balding, ginger-haired comic who's something of a quiet radical. He has one of those comic talents that's at its best when it isn't worried about being funny.
Ralph Waldo Emerson tells us that poets are the beholders of ideas and the announcers of human experience's necessary and casual details. Poets sing the songs of their selves and of nations. Even Emily Dickinson tells us she sings "to use the Waiting."