What to see in theaters
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE DEAD RECKONING- PART 1 ★★★★☆
By Christopher McQuarrie
Virtuoso, playful, theoretical and romantic: the seventh episode of the adventures of Ethan Hunt brilliantly deepens the motives of the franchise.
Different criteria can be taken into account to judge the success of a new Impossible mission. Tom Cruise’s stunts and daredevil choreography, for example – they are extraordinary in this new installment. The way the film interrogates the “mythology” of Ethan Hunt’s character – thrilling here. Or even the game with the codes of the saga and of spy cinema in general – absolutely terrific in this Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning, part 1. But the thing we always forget to look at is the MacGuffin, the reason why people sweat profusely and travel the world in all directions. For this seventh Assignment, McQuarrie imagined that the object of Hunt’s pursuit would be a superpowered artificial intelligence threatening to engulf our world in a terrifying digital fog, where the contours of reality would be definitively abolished. See Tom Cruise, the absolute embodiment of the old-school movie star, and his sidekick Christopher McQuarrie, champion of screenplay sophistication old school, battling the new nemesis of screenwriters and moviegoers – soulless algorithms – is quite the exhilarating meta fun. And this until a breathtaking last straight line ending with an appointment for the part 2 that we are already eager to discover.
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From Soi Cheang
A film like an existential terror, characters like lost souls gnawed by guilt and pain. We find severed hands in the dumpsters, we must investigate the killer who gets rid of them. So we investigate. It’s raining like in Se7en or in a Korean thriller but strangely, it does not look like anything known. We are elsewhere, lost, disoriented, hallucinated. Here, a secondary character of a little short-haired junkie… For some unknown reason, the cop who has been presented to us as the hero so far, throws himself on her and starts beating her, shoving her, chasing her relentlessly , like a maniac. And the film shifts, leaving us no longer a moment of respite. Because, without being prepared for it, the young girl becomes the receptacle of the violence of which this tortured filmmaker is capable. One could see in it a form of complacency, it is rather an attempt at exorcism, a way for Soi Cheang to transcend his own system, his own nihilism. Grand Prize and Critics’ Prize at the Reims Polar festival, Limbo grabs its spectator and pursues him, until burying him under the power of his vision.
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FIRST TO MANY LOVED
DRIED HERBS ★★★★☆
By Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Semet, a young drawing teacher joins his school lost in the depths of Anatolia. He has only one desire: to get his transfer to leave this remote region. In the village, he lives with his colleague Kenan, a real nice guy, looking for a lover. And then, a little later, will emerge Nuray (fantastic Merve Dizdar, award-winning at Cannes), a young woman with severe beauty, whose secret we discover as we go along. Between boredom and frustration, under the Anatolian snow, Ceylan sets in motion its machine to dismantle pretenses and disillusions. And draws the deflagrating portrait of this trio. Or rather of Samet. At the heart of the device, we see this young man withering away who keeps repeating: “ What am I doing here ? “. Subtext: what can an art teacher teach, pass on, to the sons of peasants? In this place where there is no season, Samet has no future. And the way – in compositions worthy of the greatest classical painters – in which Ceylan captures his nervousness, his shame, his ruminations and his pride, quickly takes you by the throat. We think of the telluric power of the great Russians in front of this melancholic portrait and we can never repeat enough that Ceylon is today at the top of its game.
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By Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s name shouldn’t mean much to you, and that’s normal. Yet for a few years now, his films (A Dark Dark Man…) triumph in all the festivals they go to. Assault tells a story of a country plagued by corruption and abuse of power, undermined by poverty and populated by good-natured types who are incapable, even dangerous…. But, to talk about all this, Yerzhanov here prefers satire to indictment and describes with nonsense humor the taking of hostages in a school by masked men. Stylish, sad, confusing and exotic, the film moves forward in balance. Between western (we think of Hawks and Carpenter), slapstick (scents of Tati) and film noir (the filmmaker has clearly studied the crazy films of the Coens). But behind this tightrope walking there is above all the powerful sense of the frame, a jubilant mania as well as the surrealist approach of the genre. Promised: after seeing Assaultyou will not forget the name of Yerzhanov again.
THE EDUCATION OF ADEMOKA ★★★☆☆
By Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Yerzhanov is decidedly elusive. One day he signs a crazy thriller (Assault see above), the next day it’s a burlesque fable about education and the dysfunctions of his country. Ademoka’s Education follows the journey of a gypsy teenager in an irregular situation. Ademoka is brilliant, dreams of writing and drawing, but is forced to beg to survive. His encounter with an enigmatic alcoholic will change his life. A surreal comedy with a twist of crazy poetry (everything takes place in abstract and ramshackle exteriors), the actors’ overplay… the film is an ode to freedom, eccentricity and mutual aid that strikes the right chord. The masterful interpretation of his two losers and the very stylized staging (which evokes in bulk Kusturica or Roy Andersson) reminds us that this Yerzhanov has a totally unique gift for cinema.
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FIRST TO MODERATELY LOVED
THE RETURN ★★☆☆☆
By Catherine Corsini
In her new film returned empty-handed from Cannes, Catherine Corsini portrays a black forties hired by a wealthy Parisian family to take care of children for a summer in Corsica. An island where she has not returned for 15 years and the death of the father of her two daughters Farah who accompany her. Several films cohabit within this narrative. The most successful is coming of age story, the time of the first romantic experiences of his two young heroines. The energy of Suzy Bemba and Esther Gohourou crosses the screen. But if the actresses amaze so much, it is also because they manage to transcend the archetypal side of their characters. And this concern for writing weighs down the other two dimensions of the film. The family chronicle with the past resurfacing around the circumstances of the father’s death. And the societal chronicle where it is a question of class shame, of a satire of the bourgeoisie “left caviar” cruelly lacking in finesse.
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GREEN ALGAE ★★☆☆☆
By Pierre Jolivet
The green algae scandal has been polluting – in every sense of the word – life in Brittany for years. An ecological disaster which, to be eradicated, requires radical changes in the region’s agriculture and its use of pesticides, at the risk of forcing certain farms already over-indebted to go out of business. Halfway between The Girl from Brest And dark waters, Pierre Jolivet seizes on this subject with a great sense of pedagogy by bringing to the screen the investigation of the journalist Inès Léraud (Céline Sallette, remarkable) to bring to light the truth. But all in his desire to transmit messages, he signs a film that is unfortunately too academic both in its cinematographic form and in the exchanges between its various protagonists, with often artificial dialogues. And makes you wonder if a documentary wouldn’t have been a more appropriate form.
LITTLE JESUS ★★☆☆☆
By Julien Rigoulot
When the galleys start, they tend to fly in squadrons. And Jean, a recently separated dad, has the bitter experience of it as if everything he undertakes was now doomed to failure. Except that on the edge of the precipice, he nevertheless thinks he has a major ace up his sleeve. His 10 year old son whom he is convinced is a miracle worker, why not even the new Messiah and whom he intends to try to prove it to the eyes of the whole world! On this promising starting point, this first feature film unfortunately always seems to advance with the handbrake, never daring to really go to the end of the sweet madness that it seems to be aiming for. Because there is above all here a desire to move people, to be as unifying as possible, even if it means sometimes flirting with sentimentality when all the elements come together to go exactly the opposite. Conclusion: the film has a certain charm – and the always brilliant Antoine Bertrand has something to do with it – but too drowned under a tap of lukewarm water.
PREMIERE DIDN’T LIKE
BETWEEN US ★☆☆☆☆
By Jude Bauman
It all starts as a nice TV movie. Élodie and Laetitia are in their thirties, are in a relationship and curl up on a sofa, low voice and honeyed caresses. They would like one child per PMA. But their finances are not looking good. They decide to take a roommate, Simon, a magician artist, dark or dandy type. Backfire. The man turns out to be a first-rate sorcerer. The couple falters. One tends towards the smooth talker, the other rebels. Unfortunately, the plot never rings true. The actors sing their text, their characters lack flesh, and the scenario seems sewn with white thread, stereotyped, ultra pedagogical – lesbianism, desire for a prevented child, deception, toxic male. The film remains telefilm. Wanting too much to stick to the era of time, he misses his subject, caricatures clichés and ends up melodic. Or moralist.
Ollie & company, by Anton Setola
Francisco, by Manoel de Oliveira
Little Nemo, by Masami Hata and William Hurz
Memento, by Christopher Nolan
virgin suicides, by Sofia Coppola