Showing posts with label Kristin Scott Thomas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kristin Scott Thomas. Show all posts

8 September 2018

DARKEST HOUR. (2017) A WEIGHTY WARTIME DRAMA REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

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30 November 2013

DVD Review - Only God Forgives

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Genre:
Drama, thriller, arthouse
Distributor:
Lionsgate Films UK
Rating:
18
BD/DVD Release Date:
2nd December 2013 (UK)
Director:
Nicholas Winding Refn
Cast:
Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam
Buy Only God Forgives: [DVD] / [Blu-ray]


After edging closer to mainstream audiences with his 2011 feature Drive, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn gives his new-found audience a square kick to the face as he returns to more ambiguous arthouse territory with Only God Forgives.

Only God Forgives, a tale of vengeance set in the Bangkok criminal underworld, follows Julian (Ryan Gosling) an American gym owner cum drug smuggler. After Julian’s brother is murdered for raping and murdering a 16 year-old Bangkok girl, Julian is ordered by his domineering mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) to avenge his brother’s death. He is soon entwined in a battle with Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm) – a corrupt retired police chief who runs the streets by his own laws.

Whilst Only God Forgives is stylistically reminiscent of Drive – seen through its neon-tinged aesthetic and dark red glows, thematically it feels closer to Refn’s brooding Norse epic, Valhalla Rising. Refn uses limited dialogue, places an emphasis on ambiguous dream-like sequences and further showcases his tendency for ultra-violence. This results in a truly striking combination of electric and mesmerising visuals with a broodingly intense yet mysteriously ambiguous narrative.

It is no surprise to see the director dedicates Only God Forgives to cult-Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky – his influence can be seen throughout the feature – as can the stylings of fellow avant-garde filmmakers David Lynch and Gaspar Noé. Walks down woosy corridors, visions of limbs being hacked off and unsettling karaoke numbers craft a surreal, nervous dreamlike atmosphere – resulting in us never truly anticipating the direction that Refn’s narrative is going to take.

Thematically Refn presents us with a lingering tale of vengeance and skewed justice – where the ‘good guys’ start and the ‘bad guys’ begin is never quite clear. Julian is a quiet type who never truly appears to commit to the vengeance that he seeks – he appears lost, drifting through this surreal hellish Bangkok underworld. Gosling brings a mesmerising intensity to the role of Julian – he showcases echoes of the troubled western hero and presents us with a dangerous unsettled quality.

The title seems most apparent in the character of Chang – the zen-like retired police chief is God – he dishes out the punishments that he sees fit and masterminds some of the most violent moments in the feature – queue one sequence involving spiked needles and ear-drums. Perhaps even more vile than Chang is Crystal, Julian’s velour track-suited, peroxide blonde mother who excuses her eldest son’s crimes (noting ‘well he must have had a reason’). Crystal’s desire for vengeance is showcased through her continual disappointment for Julian who she continually compares to his older brother (with echoes of incest coming through when Crystal even compares her son’s manhood). The usually loveable Scott Thomas is magnificent in this trashy, downright vile role.

Whilst many will be tired by the ambiguous nature of Only God Forgives, others will be mesmerised by Refn’s astounding visual style and poignant, intense, ultra-violent tale of vengeance in the Bangkok underworld.

★★★★

Andrew McArthur



This is a repost of The People's Movies cinema review

18 September 2013

The Invisible Woman - TIFF 2013

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Rating:
15
Release Date:
9,10th September (TIFF) 17th& 19th October (LIFF)
Director:
Ralph Fiennes
Cast:
Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander,

In 2011 Ralph Fiennes made his brutally impressive directorial debut with Coriolanus, a raw back-to-basics modern retelling of the lesser known Shakespeare play. Fiennes second feature is a brave departure from this, a perfect opposite to Coriolanus. Essentially a love story, The Invisible Woman follows the relationship between Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and his young lover Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), the pair had a controversial extra-marital affair that surpassed Dickens own marriage and continued on until his death at the age of 58.

Fiennes pays close attention to the roles of men and woman at the time in this, his carefully crafted essay on Victorian relationships and –more subtly- fame. The doomed role of the lover in a male writer’s life is perhaps the most heart wrenching aspect of the piece, carefully relayed in the fantastic performances of Jones and Joanna Scanlan- who personifies Victorian reserve in her often tragic portrayal of Dickens’ wife. As Nelly and Dickens draw closer and closer to the inevitable affair, the world around them sniffs scandal and forces them to take a more covert approach. Even if Dickens’ London is a man’s world, it is no place for divorce.

Fiennes is as magnetic as ever as the larger-than-life author at the height of his career. Tom Hollander deserves note for an energetic performance as the mischievous Wilkie Collins, the only grievance regarding Hollander would be his lack of screen time. The wonderful rapport between Fiennes and Hollander is electric and constitutes a large portion of the truly enjoyable scenes of the film. Bring on ‘Wilkie and Dickens: the college years’.

Here I have perhaps touched on the problem with Fiennes’ second feature: it is a period drama, and thus flirts consistently with surrendering to a certain brand of tedium. Aside from fantastic performance and Maria Djurkovic’s impressive production design-which ensures Fiennes’ Victorian London is realistic and aesthetically gorgeous, the film does lack that fine daring edge that might maintain the viewer’s absolute attention. Technicality, Fiennes is a good director, but merely good. His keen ear for diegetic sound helps pull the viewer into the world, but an as-of-yet unfound style leaves some of his frames wandering, left to be gathered by his actors. This leads us to another issue: particular scenes of magnetic performance, those between lovers and family, break the softly-spoken jib to deliver moments that surpass a large portion of the film.

The Invisible Woman is unfortunately a meandering film, beautifully realised but lacking in truly riveting subject matter. There are moments of startling clarity and splendour, a stand out performance from Felicity Jones, but by the end a point could be raised that there’s more beauty than brawn at work here.

★★★☆☆

Scott Clark

22 July 2013

In The House (Dans La Maison) DVD Review

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Rating: 15
DVD Release Date:
22nd July 2013 (UK)
Director:
François Ozon
Cast:
Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas
Buy: [Blu-ray] [DVD]

A talented pupil and a frustrated teacher. A tale as old as time and a mainstay of cinema ever since Robin Williams received a table striding declaration of support in Dead Poet’s Society. Francois Ozon’s In The House uses this well worn template to blur the lines between fantasy and reality, bringing an uneasy dynamic to the classroom drama.

Having scored his biggest UK hit to date last time out with gender role comedy Potiche, Ozon’s follow-up eschews the laughs in favour of a return to the more ambiguous tone found in his earlier works. It’s also as much a paean to the power of our imagination as it is a tale of mentor and student.

Fabrice Luchini shakes off the misogynous mindset instilled in his role of Catherine Denevue’s husband in Potiche to play literature teacher Mr Germain, returning to school for another year of uninspiring works from unenthused students. Or so it is until a routine ‘how I spent my weekend’ assignment unearths a rare nugget of promise among his apathetic class. While the majority of hand-ins recount the mundane adolescence of video games, pizza’s and wasted Sunday’s, one student, Claude (a suitably creepy Ernst Umhauer), bucks the trend by regaling a somewhat sinister account of voyeurism. Under the premise of maths tutorage, Claude talks his way into the home of fellow classmate Rapha, observing and rather disparagingly depicting the model middle-class life on show. Instantly catching the literary eye of Germain, Claude takes his attention for encouragement, returning time and again to this suburban ideal to portray the life behind those doors, in the house.

The comfortably domestic lives of Germain and wife Jeane (Kristen Scott-Thomas) are given a new distraction, evenings now spent ingesting and dissecting the latest work from the star pupil. While Germain, slightly in awe of his potential-laden student, somewhat neglects his teacher duties in overlooking the increasingly concerning tone of the passages, it is left to () to point out the glaring dangers of such obsessive voyeurism. Indeed it is she who at times understands the works on a far greater level than her book-loving husband.

Taking Claude under his wing, Germain gives Ozon the chance to go conduct a literature 101 class. Structures, rules and questions of authorship are all mulled over. This is literature with a capital L, to be discussed, debated and considered. It’s also where Ozon seems to be having most fun. Placing us within Claude’s writing as well as the world outside, Ozon toys with our (and Germain’s) perception of what is real what is fiction and what is pure teenage fantasy. It’s a theme he embellishes with a lightweight subplot for Scott-Thomas’s art curator. Her under threat gallery has it’s fate in the hands of two ill-informed and unappreciative identical twins with the varying works that pass through offering Ozon another chance to touch upon further themes of authorship and creative ownership.

It’s a film that encourages us to become the voyeurs, the ending an invitation to mimic the leads – peeking behind the curtain and imagining the lives being carried out. In these hands people watching takes on a whole new mindset, transcending into an art form from which great works can appear. It’s a notion that outshines the film itself, ultimately In The House never quite engrosses as much as one of the stories from the pen of it’s young lead.

★★★☆☆

Matthew Walsh



26 June 2013

Want A Beatdown? Well Just watch The New UK Trailer For Only God Forgives

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With his dukes at the ready Ryan Gosling is ready to fight anyone who takes a dig at his new film Only God Forgives. Don't go for the beatdown just watch the UK trailer for the film instead!

Some are calling this the unofficial sequel to Drive, the new trailer showcases Only God Forgives will be a neon lit fest of brutality and visual slickness. Its a much anticipated unholy alliance between Nicholas Winding Refn and man in demand Gosling, to many its a natural chemistry made in heaven. But the word from Cannes and the early American reviews is a mixed bag of nuts ironically it seems  the British reviews seems to be more favourable, so whatever your point of view this film has the makings to be another cult film in the making.

We do also have a rather awesome neon clad UK Quad poster that accompanies the trailer (see below), a big thanks to Lionsgate Films UK for sending us those visual delights. The question will be can Only God Forgives match the momentous levels of Drive? Find out on 2nd August(USA 19th July) when the film arrives in UK cinemas.

Only God Forgives stars Kristen Scott Thomas,  Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Vithaya Pansringarm, Tom Burke and Byron Gibson.



Synopsis

Bangkok. Julian (Ryan Gosling) runs a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. He has everything he wants for and is respected in the criminal underworld though, deep inside, he feels empty.

When Julian's brother murders a prostitute the police call on retired cop Chang - the Angel of Vengeance (Vithaya Pansringarm). Chang allows the father to kill his daughter's murderer, then 'restores order' by chopping off the man's right hand. Julian's mother Jenna (Kristin Scott Thomas) - the head of a powerful criminal organization - arrives in Bangkok to collect her son's body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and 'raise hell'.

Increasingly obsessed with the Angel of Vengeance, Julian challenges him to a boxing match, hoping that by defeating him he might find spiritual release… but Chang triumphs. A furious Jenna plots revenge and the stage is set for a bloody journey through betrayal and vengeance towards a final confrontation and the possibility of redemption.



source: Thepeoplesmovies

14 June 2013

Another Slick Trailer For Only God Forgives Slides Online

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Despite the mixed vibes from Cannes Film Festival Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives is still high on many cinephile's most anticipated films to see this year and tonight your appetite will be re-nourished with another slick trailer.


Here in UK we might be just over 2 months to go before this Neon drenched slow burning revenge thriller invades our visual palettes but over on the other side of the Atlantic it arrives next month hence the new trailer. Only God Forgives set in Thailand, Ryan Gosling plays Julian a Thai Boxing club owner in Bangkok a club that's serves a front for his families drug running. Even is Hunky dory until a ruthless bent cop murders his brother forcing Julian's acid tongued mother to appear and demand her son seek revenge for his dead brother.

Some of the footage has already been seen in previous trailers & clips but this has enough new brutal footage to make it worth your  2 minutes of your time. The dialogue is minimal the silence ferocious feels just as Savage and domineering of hat comes out of Kristen Scott Thomas lips and once again this shows she will be the film's resident scene stealer. The word from the street Only God Forgives is one of those unique experience you have to witness first hand to appreciate the visceral richness that will play in front of us. It's not perfect but it has the makings to be a cut classic in years to come.



Only God Forgives arrive in UK&Ireland on 2nd August 2013 (USA 19th July), the film also stars Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Vithaya Pansringarm, Tom Burke and Byron Gibson.

source: Yahoo! (via The Peoples Movies)

20 May 2013

Cannes 2013: Watch 3 More Clips And Sizzle Reel For Only God Forgives

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You have to be living on Mars to know Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives to be one of 2013 eagerly awaited films and this Wednesday the film will finally make it's world premier at Cannes Film Festival. After Drive it's hoping the movie will justify the hype and deliver a film that's stylish,unscrupulous, intense violently brutal but could it scupper the film winning the Palme D'Or?

Tonight 3 new clips have arrived online delivering more new footage in the stylings of the previous trailers, clips but also show more promise that the film will live up to it's hype. First 2 clips Kristin Scott Thomas is the star of the show a certain to be in the running for Awards when the season arrives again. The first clip shows the public side of her anger with the second clip her rage demanding her son julien (Ryan Gosling) be a man and avenge his brother's death with Julien in the final short clip 'let's fight' Chang  the killer of his brother.

Over at The Playlist a sizzle reel apparently shown by Weinstein Company previewing the film. The Reel shows more new footage delivering a sense of family dynamic as Crystal (Scott Thomas) firing a a verbal assault on Julien's girlfriend, showing whose boss in their family.

Only God Forgives will make its world premier at Cannes Wednesday 22nd May with the UK release date 2nd August.

Clips (NSFW):








Sizzle Reel:


Only God Forgives (Solo Dio perdona) - Estratto... by SpaggyPalermo

source: Ropesofsilicon

29 April 2013

Give People What They Want In New Only God Forgives Clips

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Here comes the pain in the shape of Ryan Gosling in 3 new clips for Cannes bound Only God Forgives. The new clips continue the momentum of what we've seen before, that Nicholas Winding Refn's new film will emulate Drive, likely to outdo it. Neon clad striking visuals, hyper violent, intense to the core Only God Forgive looks like it'll provide us with that substance with the expected Solid Gosling performance thing look extra spicy with Kristin Scott Thomas performance who looks like she'll the scene a few time. In these clips we do see her shine in her moment, acid tongued, intimidating, menacing urging her boy (Gosling) to seek revenge of his dead brother.

Only God Forgives has no confirmed UK release date just yet but in a few weeks at Cannes Film Festival (22nd May) things may change. USA  release date is 19th July 2013.


Only God Forgives (Solo Dio perdona) - Estratto... by SpaggyPalermo


Only God Forgives (Solo Dio perdona) - Estratto... by SpaggyPalermo


Only God Forgives (Solo Dio perdona) - Estratto... by SpaggyPalermo

source:Collider






18 April 2013

2 New Only God Forgives Trailers Show Why This Is A Must See Film

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Just as news broke that Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives is officially heading To 66th Cannes International Film Festival hot on the heels is not one but two very intense New Trailers for your visual pleasure!

Both are international trailers with the latter we believe is the Festival if not a general French trailer  which delivers a little more of the plot which showcases Kristin Scott Thomas is one bitch of a matriarch domineering powerhouse. Whilst the brilliant first (red band) trailer captured the visual beauty and brutality of the film this trailer delivers more dialogue most of all new footage including more of 'the Devil' aka The Angel of Vengeance, played by Vithaya Pansringarm. If you are looking for a little more the stylization the Scandinavian trailer will provide a bit more substance and you'll probably want to sing more than pick a fight!

Ryan Gosling stars as Julian a owner of a Thai Boxing club in Bangkok which also happens to be the centre of his family's drugs smuggling operation. Things get complicated when his mother (Thomas) arrives in town demanding he avenges his brother's death killed by a legendary cop known locally as The Angel of Vengeance (Pansringarm), a move that will cost Julian dearly.

Did someone say this will be most anticipated film of 2013? If you adored Drive hell Yeah! No UK date yet to be confirmed but the French will see it first 22nd May whilst 19th July USA, Only God Forgives also stars Tom Burke, Byron Gibson.

French Trailer



Scandinavian Trailer



Poster

only_god_forgives_poster

source: Thefilmstage via Thepeoplesmovies

Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives To Screen At Cannes Film Festival

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Nicolas Winding Refn’s hotly-anticipated ONLY GOD FORGIVES, confirmed to screen in Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will open across the UK and Ireland in summer 2013, through Icon Film Distribution and Lionsgate.

Bangkok. Julian (Ryan Gosling) runs a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. He has everything he wants for and is respected in the criminal underworld though, deep inside, he feels empty.
When Julian’s brother murders a prostitute the police call on retired cop Chang - the Angel of Vengeance (Vithaya Pansringarm). Chang allows the father to kill his daughter’s murderer, then ‘restores order’ by chopping off the man’s right hand. Julian’s mother Jenna (Kristin Scott Thomas) - the head of a powerful criminal organization - arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and ‘raise hell’.
Increasingly obsessed with the Angel of Vengeance, Julian challenges him to a boxing match, hoping that by defeating him he might find spiritual release… but Chang triumphs. A furious Jenna plots revenge and the stage is set for a bloody journey through betrayal and vengeance towards a final confrontation and the possibility of redemption.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who won Best Director at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for the international box office smash Drive. The film reunites Refn with Drive star Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond The Pines, Gangster Squad) and also features Kristin Scott Thomas (In The House, The English Patient), Vithaya Pansringarm (The Hangover Part II), Tom Burke (Donkey Punch) and Thai pop star Yayaying. The film’s score is by award-winning Drive composer Cliff Martinez (Spring Breakers, Contagion).

Stay tuned we'll bring you news on the line up today when we get it. Whilst we wait have another look at the Red Band Trailer For Only God Forgives here.






16 April 2013

Love Crime (Crime d’amour) DVD Review

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The final film of late French filmmaker, Alain Corneau receives a posthumous British cinematic release this month. Love Crime (Crime D'amour) remains a testament to the high quality of Corneau's work.

Christine, a controlling business executive (Kristin Scott Thomas), leads a young associate, Isabelle, (Ludvine Sagnier) into a controlling game of manipulation and domination. After embarrassing her at a staff function, Isabelle vows deadly revenge on Christine.

Love Crime boasts a near Hitchcockian narrative, proving to be a completely unpredictable ride. Corneau's film opens with a meeting between Christine and Isabelle,  which verges on seduction - we see the young associate drawn to magnetic persona of Christine.  As this character dynamic builds we gradually see this idolisation turn into a passionate contempt between both women, as Christine continually toys with Isabelle's emotions - this cat and mouse relationship makes Love Crime a truly absorbing watch. We see the tension build between the pair until Isabelle  reaches breaking point in a twist that completely overturns the narrative of the whole film. This twist creates dozens of questions and mysteries throughout the remainder of the film, which gradually get unravelled in Corneau and Nathalie Carter's sharp script. The pair pay a strong attention to detail, with meticulous answers to any plot-hole or inconsistency, a viewer may attempt to pick. However, one small flaw lies in Love Crime's ending which feels too outlandish and contrived to be wholly satisfying, yet is unlikely to spoil your enjoyment of Cournea's film.

Corneau is a master of crafting intrigue and suspense, allowing us to empathise with Isabelle but keeping us distanced from her motivations, gradually unravelling them by the conclusion of Love Crime.  This allows for a magnificent performance from Sagnier as we see the character turn from vulnerable underdog to a more-than-fitting opponent of Christine.  The actress is equally convincing as both victim and challenger, boasting her finest performance since Francois Ozon's Swimming Pool.  Kristin Scott-Thomas brings a cold, self-satisfying presence to the role of Christine, truly commanding the screen.

Love Crime may not cover any new ground to a traditional euro-thriller, but proves engaging, sharp and fast paced enough to  prove completely enjoyable, particularly thanks to performances from Sagnier and Scott Thomas.

★★★★

Andrew McArthur

Stars: Ludvine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas,;Patrick Mille
Director: Alain Corneau
Release: 22nd April  2013 (UK)
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Buy: Love Crime On DVD

3 April 2013

Wanna Fight? Watch First Red Band Trailer For Only God Forgives

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When you ask anyone what film they are really looking forward too, you'd expect to say one of expensive blockbusters? No! Only God Forgives the follow up film to the cult hit Drive from Nicholas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling, watch the first red band trailer if not Ryan wants a fight!

Only God Forgives tells the tale of Julian (Gosling) a man living in exile in Thailand, running a Thai boxing club as cover for his family's drugs operation. When his mother is killed he seeks revenge and his trailer guides him to the one man ho knows everything, ex-cop better known as the Angel of Vengeance an act the will cost Julian very dearly.

Only God Forgives is a reunion cinephiles especially fans of their previous effort have been waiting for. The trailer shows this film does possess the visual style of Drive even the brutality, sexual tension too and with Gosling saying very few words apart for 'Want A Fight' delivers a cold atmosphere to the affray too and our answer is Yes Ryan. What more can you ask for in a film?

Only God Forgives doesn't have a confirmed UK&Irish release date, with the film to make its world premier at Cannes Film Festival , so hopefully then we can expect a release date. The film also co-stars Kristin Scott-Thomas,Tom BurkeRathar Phongam and Vithaya Pansringarm


Synopsis

Julian (Gosling) lives in exile in Bangkok where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family’s drugs smuggling operation. When Julian’s brother Billy is killed their mother, Jenna (Kristen Scott Thomas), arrives in the city. She wants revenge and forces Julian to find the killer. Julian’s contacts in the criminal underworld lead him directly to The Angel of Vengeance, a retired police officer who knows everything and who is both Judge and Punisher. Jenna demands that Julian kill The Angel of Vengeance, an act that will cost him dearly.

source:  Yahoo




24 February 2013

GFF 2013: In The House (Dans La Maison) Review

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In the House, François Ozon's first directorial feature since the magnificent, Potiche, sees him once again team-up with Fabrice Luchini for equally strong results.

Germain (Luchini), a literature teacher receives essays from student, Claude Garcia (Ernst Umhauer), confessing his desire to visit the perfect family home of one of his classmates. As these essays grow more troubling, Germaine is unable to distinguish between fiction and reality, suspecting the motivations of the manipulative Claude.

Part of the pleasure of Ozon's feature comes from the ever-shifting tones, with In the House blurring the lines between psychological thriller, drama and comedy seamlessly. Every genre that the director delves into is handled with the utmost confidence, making the many twists and turns that Ozon's rich screenplay (based on Juan Mayorga's stage play) takes us on, all the more thrilling.

Using the dual narrative of Claude's stories and real life allows for Ozon to have a lot of fun. Watching Germain's paranoia as he grows continually more infatuated with Garcia's stories, so much so that he begins to lose his grip on reality, makes for thrilling viewing. The audience eventually becomes like Germain and Claude, voyeurs looking into the Artole Family home, where we discover that despite Claude's first thoughts, they are very far from the perfect family. There's a sinister energy generated by this voyeurism, mainly sourcing from Claude's fantasies surrounding the Artole Matriarch, Esther (Emmanuelle Seigner), culminating in an almost Gothic sequence where Claude stays over night at the family home. These dark psychological thrills strike parallels with Ozon's earlier feature, the masterfully unsettling Swimming Pool.

In the House is not a completely dark watch, Ozon gives occasional moments of playful humour. These mainly stem from Fabrice Luchini's staggeringly brilliant performance - Luchini is truly an actor gifted with a great versatility, being equally convincing at both light comic elements and heavier dramatic material. Many of these laughs come from Luchini's scenes with on-screen wife, Kristin Scott Thomas who runs an exhibit at a local art gallery, which Germain dubs "Art for perverts." The actress heads a stellar supporting cast which also includes Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet and a wonderfully sinister turn from newcomer, Ernst Umhauer.

In the House is a truly absorbing watch, thanks to an inventive screenplay providing us with a mix of mysterious psychological thrills, well-paced drama and some light comic flourishes. Ozon handles these elements with his ingenuity, wit and competence, allowing for some standout performances from Luchini, Umhauer &Thomas.

Andrew McArthur

★★★★

Stars: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas , Emmanuelle Seigner
Director: François Ozon
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Release: 21st February 2013 (Glasgow Film Festival)29th March 2013 (UK)

13 December 2012

Love Crime (Crime d'amour) Review

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The final film of late French filmmaker, Alain Corneau receives a posthumous British cinematic release this month. Love Crime (Crime D'amour) remains a testament to the high quality of Corneau's work.

Christine, a controlling business executive (Kristin Scott Thomas), leads a young associate, Isabelle, (Ludvine Sagnier) into a controlling game of manipulation and domination. After embarrassing her at a staff function, Isabelle vows deadly revenge on Christine.

Love Crime boasts a near Hitchcockian narrative, proving to be a completely unpredictable ride. Corneau's film opens with a meeting between Christine and Isabelle,  which verges on seduction - we see the young associate drawn to magnetic persona of Christine.  As this character dynamic builds we gradually see this idolisation turn into a passionate contempt between both women, as Christine continually toys with Isabelle's emotions - this cat and mouse relationship makes Love Crime a truly absorbing watch. We see the tension build between the pair until Isabelle  reaches breaking point in a twist that completely overturns the narrative of the whole film. This twist creates dozens of questions and mysteries throughout the remainder of the film, which gradually get unravelled in Corneau and Nathalie Carter's sharp script. The pair pay a strong attention to detail, with meticulous answers to any plot-hole or inconsistency, a viewer may attempt to pick. However, one small flaw lies in Love Crime's ending which feels too outlandish and contrived to be wholly satisfying, yet is unlikely to spoil your enjoyment of Cournea's film.

Corneau is a master of crafting intrigue and suspense, allowing us to empathise with Isabelle but keeping us distanced from her motivations, gradually unravelling them by the conclusion of Love Crime.  This allows for a magnificent performance from Sagnier as we see the character turn from vulnerable underdog to a more-than-fitting opponent of Christine.  The actress is equally convincing as both victim and challenger, boasting her finest performance since Francois Ozon's Swimming Pool.  Kristin Scott-Thomas brings a cold, self-satisfying presence to the role of Christine, truly commanding the screen.

Love Crime may not cover any new ground to a traditional euro-thriller, but proves engaging, sharp and fast paced enough to  prove completely enjoyable, particularly thanks to performances from Sagnier and Scott Thomas.

Andrew McArthur

★★★★

Stars: Ludvine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas,;Patrick Mille
Director: Alain Corneau
Release: 14th December 2012
Certificate: 15 (UK)