What to see in theaters
NINJA TURTLES TEENAGE YEARS ★★★☆☆
By Jeff Rowe and Kyker Spears
By happily reinventing the Ninja Turtles, the director Jeff Rowe signs a modern film, nervous and very comfortable in its time. Cowabunga
In about thirty years, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have known about ten transpositions on the small and big screen, with a few rare vintages and a lot of filmic objects that we would prefer to forget. Big project with big budget, Ninja Turtle Teenage Years intends to open a new era for the franchise, and is immediately distinguished by its scriptwriting bias – telling the adolescence of the Turtles in the form of an action comedy – as well as its inimitable look – one would swear that the drawings were made in pen. Very anchored in its time (the smartphone obviously holds an essential place), Ninja Turtles Teenage Years bears the humorous imprint of its producer, Seth Rogen. Fun, funny and ultra-paced, the story goes at full speed, sometimes at the risk of forgetting a little to characterize the Turtles. But if we accept to let ourselves be carried away and put aside the incessant – and perfectly clumsy – pop culture quotes, Ninja Turtles Teenage Years turns out to be a supercharged adventure on the troubles of adolescence.
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By Sofia Alaoui
Discovery in 2020 with his short film It doesn’t matter if the beasts die (awarded a Grand Prix at Sundance and then a César), Sofia Alaoui confirms in long format her talent for surveying the terrain of the genre. It features Itto (impressive Oumaïma Barid), a young Moroccan woman of modest origin who is pregnant and married to the son of a wealthy family, whose members – starting with the mother of the future groom – look down on her. Itto who, while all her in-laws leave for the day, finds herself alone at the heart of a sudden surge of supernatural events plunging the country into a state of emergency and creating panic among the animals. Sofia Alaoui has the nice idea here of not trying to explain everything, of leaving the mystery unsolved. And while offering a look at Moroccan society and its relationship to religion through the prism of mysticism, its Animalia is situated at the antipodes of a film about the subject: a film of sensations inside which we take immense pleasure in abandoning ourselves to the sumptuous beauty of the images and frames of Noé Bach (the cinematographer of Spectateurs!, the next Desplechin). A director to follow closely.
24 HOURS IN NEW YORK ★★★☆☆
By Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
There is undeniably a desire for education in this first feature film, with a high autobiographical content, directed by the American trans director Vik Lungulov-Klotz. That of telling frontally the questions that are both very practical (a blockage to cash a simple check…) and in his relationship to his relatives of a transition. And it follows for that 24 hours in the life of Feña, a young trans man of Chilean origin, anxious at the idea of the imminent arrival in New York where he has settled, of his father whom he has not seen since his transition. A night and a day when his past won’t stop catching up with him, falling by chance at a party on his former boyfriend, with whom he hadn’t had any contact either since. But pedagogue does not mean school and these 24 hours are rich in breaks in rhythm and tone (from the muted violence of a moment of humiliation in a pharmacy for the purchase of sanitary protection to a disturbing scene of sensuality between the two former lovers in a laundromat) but without ever lapsing into misery and casting a spell over all archetypes. A moving film of modesty.
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FIRST TO MODERATELY LOVED
A MASTER STRIKE ★★☆☆☆
By Rémi Bezançon
The films of the Argentinian duo Mariano Cohn-Gastón Duprat definitely inspire French cinema. Shortly after the remake of their honorary citizen by Mohammed Hamidi, it’s Rémi Bezançon’s turn to take over their Stroke of genius, released in 2018. A rather smart choice because it is one of the weakest films of the duettists and that going upmarket turned out to be easier on paper. And after several feature lengths that are also unremarkable (Our futures, The Henry Pick Mystery…), the director of First day of the rest of your life achieves it. The plot remains the same – a story of friendship between a gallery owner and a painter he presents – and the big flaws too: the very thick line of the caricature of the middle of the painting, characters bending by ricochet under archetypes . But by making this painter no longer the victim of a loss of memory after an accident but a provocateur on the decline who refuses to play the social game to get out of it, Bezançon energizes the story, makes it more fluid. And above all had the brilliant idea of entrusting the two roles to Vincent Macaigne and Bouli Lanners, whose complicity works wonders.
THE ROYAL WAY ★★☆☆☆
By Frederic Marmoud
The royal road which gives its title to the third feature by Frédéric Mermoud (accomplices, Mocha) it is these preparatory classes that lead to the Grandes Ecoles at the cost of one or two years of hard work and intense competition. The director makes them live for us through the journey of a farmer’s daughter, a brilliant high school student, who tries her luck in a universe opening up the possibility of social ascent. Interpreted by a solid cast (Suzanne Jouannet and Marie Colomb in the lead), The Royal Way just touches in the description of the daily life of these schools as in the writing of its central character and its complex friendly or romantic relationships with pupils of his age, from a higher social class. But in wanting to address many subjects (from the agricultural crisis to the Yellow Vests through class contempt), he unfortunately overlooks some of them a little too much.
THE PROMISES ★★☆☆☆
By Amanda Sthers
A love that never lived is a love that can never die… Such could be the subtitle of this adaptation of her own novel by Amanda Sthers who here assumes her love of melody, her desire to push emotions to their paroxysm, without fear of overdoing it. This unfinished love story because always prevented by the vagaries of existence, that of Alexander and Laura between Great Britain and Italy, the director makes us live it over several decades over the course of flashbacks and flashforwards which would have won to be lightened. But the charm works at regular intervals thanks to its two main performers Pierfrancesco Favino (in a role close to that of the recent Humming-bird) and Kelly Reilly, whose alchemy, accuracy and finesse precisely in this tumultuous journey on the Carte du Tendre make it possible to erase some of its faults.
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GRAN TURISMO ★☆☆☆☆
By Neill Blomkamp
Production made to promote one of the flagship video games of the PlayStation catalog, Gran Turismo intends to stage a “true story”, that of Jann, a young Welsh expert in this hyper realistic car racing simulation who will become a real racing car driver by integrating a program created by Nissan to advertise their cars. Gran Turismo is therefore a matter of promotion at all levels. Directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9) brings an undeniable physicality to this film of crumpled metal sheets for real, via dizzying drone movements that evoke the splendid Ambulance by Michael Bay. Except that where the latter made it a necessary cinematographic process (playing the real against the false), Blomkamp only makes it a simple amusement – a publicity copy, perhaps. In this year 2023 when the greatest planetary successes are basically only vast advertising companies at their peak (Barbie, Mario), Gran Turismo does not clash, basically, absolutely not.
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TURBULENCE ZONE(S) ★☆☆☆☆
By Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson
The starting point is rather clever: a London businesswoman who, to save her new relationship as a couple and go to the end of the world with her lover, wants to cure her phobic fear of flying and carries out, for her therapy, a flight with other anxious people of the same kind (organized by… “Les Voyageurs intrépides”). Flight obviously rich in strong emotions but at the end of which they will especially find themselves stuck in Iceland without the possibility of returning as quickly as planned. And after a successful start, this comedy runs out of steam quickly. The fault of misunderstandings and imbroglios quickly tiresome between her heroine and her companion with whom, having never spoken of this therapeutic flight, she must chain lie after lie. But also to characters struggling to get out of archetypes and drowning in facilities: an nth Instagram character, target of nth same mockery. And while obsessed with creating a collection of delusional situations, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson compiles very uneven sketches while forgetting to tell a story.
THE ADVANTAGES OF TRAVELING BY TRAIN ★☆☆☆☆
By Aritz Moreno
On a train taking her back from the psychiatric hospital where she has had her husband committed, a publisher meets a doctor who tells her about clinical cases, each more sordid than the next. The beginning of a story like Russian dolls where it will be about pedophilia, snuff movies, humiliations inflicted on women… We perceive the desire for cruel and incorrect black comedy. But by highlighting all its effects, Aritz Moreno misses his film. It is not Marco Ferreri who wants.
We apologize for the inconvenienceby Olivier von Hoofstadt
Summer on a gentle slope, by Gerard Krawczyck
punch-drunk-loveby Paul Thomas Anderson