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read my lips

Review: Rust and Bone, A Lady in Paris and Jack the Giant Slayer

By Cinema, Reviews

It’s no dis­grace to come second at Cannes to Michael Haneke’s Amour, espe­cially so when your film is Rust and Bone. Writer-director Jacques Audiard has a track record of unset­tling and con­front­ing dra­mas, start­ing (for New Zealand audi­ences) with Read My Lips in 2001 and – most recently – pris­on drama A Prophet in 2009. Rust and Bone is equally rugged but with some beauty to bal­ance the viol­ence and despair.

Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard is the big name on the mar­quee but the film really belongs to Matthias Schoenaerts who lays down a por­trait of wounded mas­culin­ity as riv­et­ing as any of De Niro’s clas­sic per­form­ances. He’s Alain, a drift­er and waster who lands in pic­tur­esque Antibes with his young son. He’s use­ful in a scrap but use­less as a par­ent and some of the most dif­fi­cult scenes in the film are of him fail­ing to look after the boy.

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Review: Un prophète, I Am Love, Centurion and The Runaways

By Cinema, Reviews

In a week when film fans are mourn­ing the passing of the French great Claude Chabrol (80 year old co-pioneer of the French New Wave) it’s pleas­ing to report that there’s still someone in France mak­ing watch­able movies. In fact, Jacques Audiard’s last two films have been abso­lute crack­ers (Read My Lips, The Beat My Heart Skipped) and his latest is eas­ily one of the best you will see this or any year.

In Un prophète (A Prophet), Audiard has man­aged to make an intim­ate epic, a film about grand themes while (for the most part) nev­er leav­ing the con­fines of the French pris­on where our hero is incar­cer­ated. He is Malik El Djabena (new­comer Tahar Rahim) and he’s a nine­teen year old petty crim­in­al inside for assault­ing a cop. In exchange for the pro­tec­tion of the Corsican mob lead­er who runs the joint (Niels Arestrup) he murders an Arab inform­er, an incid­ent that will lit­er­ally haunt him through­out the film.

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