Sunday, April 28, 2019

White As Snow (Blanche Comme Neige)

Writer/Director Anne Fontaine’s Pure As Snow (Blanche Comme Neige), being wrongly translated as White As Snow, is a wonderful twist on the Snow White tale as only a French person could do it.

After the death of her mogul father, Claire (Lou de Laâge) is kidnapped and taken to the woods near the French Alps to be killed, when a local hunter (Damien Bonnard) rescues her and takes her to his home.
Claire decides to hide out in the country and work in the nearby town, where she is emotionally transformed, until tracked by her stepmother (Isabelle Huppert). 

The film succeeds not only because of Fontaine and Co-Writers Claire Barré and Pascal Bonitzer, but due to the charm and energy of de Laâge, who, I predict, will become an international star. 

And, of course, Huppert  is diabolically wonderful, as always.

I expect this film will be picked up for U.S. distribution and, if so, recommend it, highly.
I give it a 4 out of 5.

(Seen at The Tribeca Film Festival)

The Place of No Words

I usually don't review a film, if I walk out of it.  But on the weird chance The Place of No Words, gets a distributor, I wouldn't want anyone to waste their money on seeing it.

Thus, The Place of No Words shall be the film with no rating. It's amazing that this boring, nonsensical piece of crap gets invited to a Film Festival.

(Mistakenly seen at The Tribeca Film Festival)

Friday, April 26, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

Co-Directors Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame is the best epic action picture since Black Panther, but beats even that experience with scenes of tenderness that draws tears from all but the most juvenile audience members.

Every Marvel action star, including, of course, Stan Lee, shows up in this expertly crafted thriller by Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

It’s such a treat to be immersed in a sold-out audience that cheers the entry of their favorite action heroes as they battle their Trumpian villain, who is trying to destroy humankind.

If you’ve enjoyed any Marvel-character film, you’ll be absolutely delighted with Avengers:Endgame.  It’s 3 hour running time breezes by with surprise after surprise.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Writer/Producer/Director Robert Budreau’s Stockholm is a funny, absurd, sometimes poignant drama based on the origins of the “Stockholm Syndrome” wherein captives/hostages bond with their abductors.
Here, dressed Easy Rider-style, Lars (Ethan Hawke) breaks into Stockholm’s Kreditbanken in 1973, not to rob it, but to get the release of his brother Gunnar (Mark Strong) from jail. 

In order to make his demands, he takes 3 people hostage, Bianca (Noomi Repace) and Klara (Bea Santos), who work at the bank, plus Elov (Mark Rendall), a bank customer.

The initially stoic police chief (Thorbjǿrn Harr) gives in by freeing Gunnar to join the others in the bank, secretly offering the convict freedom, if he gets his brother to surrender.

What happens is bizarre, sometimes goofy, and often hilarious.

It’s heartwarming to see what great actors can do with a well-written/well directed story produced on a reasonable budget.

I give Stockholm a 4 out of 5.