What to see in theaters
EQUALIZER 3 ★★★☆☆
By Antoine Fuqua
The Italian conclusion for Denzel Washington’s vigilant franchise: a western that swings between immobility and ultra violence
Basically, Equalizer is a western: the original 80’s series was the heir, updated and modernized, of programs like In the name of the law, these series with a solitary vigilante exercising revenge by gunpowder and cannon in the name of those who deserve it. And in conclusion, Equalizer 3 fully seizes this western heritage by cornering its injured hero in a small isolated and quiet town in southern Italy threatened by a gang of violent mobsters and which will be defended with guns blazing by its new honorary citizen.
The first part ofEqualizer 3 is wonderful: Denzel Washington, convalescent and immobilized in a postcard town, walks to the fishmonger, flirts with the owner of a café. If we quickly come to want the return of violence – it is obviously on this strange feeling that the films of vigilant work, this suspension of time and therefore of violence is remarkable, to the point that one almost forgives the Italian clichés threaded Luke from Pixar. The other remarkable thing is the way Antoine Fuqua knows so well how to take advantage of the mythological dimension of his star Denzel, who has his own way of sucking all the oxygen out of a scene, of becoming its absolute center of gravity. But seeing this center of gravity waver is just as much a beautiful moment in cinema, as during the reunion between Denzel and Dakota Fanning, his protegee from man on fire nearly 20 years ago. It’s things like that that make one Equalizerdespite its extreme violence sometimes close to the forehead, is infinitely preferable to any act fluo trying to take over from John Wick.
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BANEL & ADAMA ★★★☆☆
By Ramata Toulaye-Sy
Banel and Adama. A man and a woman in love in the heart of a Senegalese village with traditional conventions that do not tolerate this type of passion. In the sunny first part of this first feature, nothing seems to be able to deflect their desire to step aside, to build their cozy nest outside the walls of the village. And then the rain will start to fail, the herds wither away. And Adama who had said his intention not to become the chief of this village will be forced to get involved to the detriment of his fusional relationship with Adama who will fight to maintain the flame while claiming his desire not to have children. Beyond this love story and the observation of an Africa hit by global warming, Banel & Adama seduces above all for the thrilling story of female emancipation that he offers with aspirations rarely shown in works centering on heroines from black Africa. All is not perfect there. A few lengths here, dispensable affections there. But above all a desire for cinema that transcends all that.
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AMA GLORIA ★★★☆☆
By Marie Amachoukeli
Already co-director of party girl (Caméra d’or at Cannes 2014), Marie Amachoukeli signs with this first solo feature film a work full of emotions inspired by her own childhood. We follow Cléo, a six-year-old girl, very emotionally linked to her nanny Gloria. But she must return to Cape Verde for good and the two characters will spend one last summer together which takes the form of heartbreaking farewells. Citing as reference Mary Poppins or the melodies of Douglas Sirk, the filmmaker recounts from a child’s perspective the strength of this very special – even taboo – love between a hypersensitive little girl and a migrant who has become her surrogate mother. Centered on moments of happiness as fleeting as they are indelible, the film superbly makes the heart of Cape Verde feel the vertigo of sentimental sacrifices.
DAISY’S DREAM ★★★☆☆
By Ricard Cusso
Daisy, a young quokka (Go see on Google what it looks like in real life, it’s cute as hell), doesn’t want to spend her life taking selfies with tourists: she dreams of winning the Scare World Cup ! It starts off a little soft, but eventually turns into a really fun version ofThe Hunger Games. For kids, don’t worry, but adult quokkas have the right to like it too.
THE BEAUTY OF GESTURE ★★★☆☆
By Sho Miyake
On the outskirts of Tokyo, Keiko is a deaf woman who, when she’s not cleaning hotel rooms, trains in boxing at a club in jeopardy. Pushed by her mentor, she repeats the same sequences day after day, as if to drive out the routine with another. More a quest for identity than a real sports film, it is the relationship to oneself faced with such sensory isolation that is addressed here. Because why amplify the noises of everyday life, if not to remind us that it is deprived of them. Her, nothing disturbs her, if not her own inner din. Based on the autobiography of boxer Keiko Ogasawara, The beauty of the gesture observes, in a detached way but always with great simplicity, the emotional journey of a mute woman in search of serenity.
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FIRST TO MODERATELY LOVED
By Bastien Milheau
imagine Supergrave revisited by Philippe Guillard and you will have a small idea of the big difference that Bastien Milheau offers in his first feature. An American-style teen movie that unfolds in the heart of the South-West in the footsteps of two teenagers who, after having misplaced the 200 euros entrusted by the tough guy from their high school, in order to buy alcohol to celebrate the summer holidays, will improvise… home distillers and make it themselves. All this in a village in which all alcoholic beverages are banned by the mayor after the death of her drunken husband in an accident. Inevitably this clash of opposites intrigues and the result does not lack a certain charm, starting with that of the duo Pierre Gommé-Nina Poletto which takes the top billing. But once the starting situation has been posed, everything here remains a little too wise, both in the writing of the situations and the characters struggling to transcend an assumed caricature and in the trashy side approached both foot to the floor and hand on the brake. As if Bastien Milheau was struggling to choose his camp between family entertainment and divisive potashery before the home stretch made good feelings triumph. Damage.
No. 10 ★★☆☆☆
By Alex van Warmerdam
Everything seems to smile on Günter. Actor in the theater, he plays the leading role in the play he is preparing and maintains a clandestine affair with the wife of his director. Her existence changes when, on a bridge, a stranger whispers a foreign but familiar word in her ear. Behind the scenes, a funny priest tries to scuttle his sentimental, professional and family life for mysterious reasons. Relations at work are strained, his extra marital relationship is floundering. Not quite a thriller, but not quite vaudeville, Alex van Warmerdam takes the feet in this feature film with a complicated script and lackluster photography. The characters, not very endearing, do not come to save him either. The incongruity of the final twist, however, gives rise to a smile and makes it a singular cinematographic object.
By Alexander Abaturov
Filming the giant fires that ravaged northeastern Siberia in the summer of 2021, this documentary by Alexander Abaturov (director of the noticed The son, released in 2019) combines spectacular images of forest fires and denunciation of the Russian government policy which leaves the inhabitants to face these fires alone without any specific help. The gaze focuses on the village of Shologon and its endearing timeless atmosphere, an opportunity for the filmmaker to capture hectic moments of solidarity that he accompanies with music as grandiloquent as it is tetanizing. Dispersing itself somewhat between different tones, the film thus gains in sensory and visual amazement what it loses in political reflection on the ecological crisis and the responsibility of public authorities.
ALAM (THE FLAG) ★★☆☆☆
From Firas Khoury
There are good intentions in this first feature featuring young Palestinians living in Israel. Starting with the desire to make the first real racing heart of his hero rhyme with his learning of political commitment to seduce the high school student, she, ultra-concerned by the world around him, from which he fell stiff crazy. And now, on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day, this hitherto carefree young man finds himself participating in a risky operation to replace the Israeli flag that adorns the facade of his high school with Palestinian colors. Except that once these bases are laid and despite the quality of the interpretation, alam struggling to get rid of the figures imposed in the writing of his characters as situations, the need to convey messages from his director ending up stifling the rest.
PREMIERE DIDN’T LIKE
By Leah Fehner
Louise and Sofia, two young midwives recently graduated, land in a public maternity hospital on the edge of the abyss. They would like to give birth to little ones. Above all, they will learn about the lack of means, of personnel, the political or fratricidal struggle, the betrayals, the fatal errors, the crazy paces. The hospital crisis. If the intention is commendable – to describe the grueling work of midwives –, the fiction is quickly overtaken by reality. The dialogues sound hollow, the characters lack consistency, oscillating between anger and panic, without ever managing to be credible. Worse, the film is suffocating, indigestible (could that be the goal, that said?): everything goes too fast, it runs everywhere, it screams, it bawls, like The divide by Catherine Corsini, but with, as a bonus, a layer of pathos and moralism.
The wolfby Manon Decor and Michele Salimbeni
The black God and the blond devil, by Glauber Rocha