If you didn’t get to last month’s Festival du nouveau cinema, here are some recommendations for your November movie list.
Room (dir. Lenny Abrahamson)
Adapted from the bestseller novel by Emma Donoghue, Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack, her 5 year old son, are imprisoned in a garden shed they call Room. The mother raises her child, who has never been outside these four walls. When they manage to escape, the child discovers the outside world, and the story is told from his point of view.
Life outside Room is a story of survival and endurance. The perspective of the innocent child who discovers the world adds a touch of innocence to the film and the purity of emotions is magnified by the close-ups on the faces of the protagonists to transmit their emotions to the audience.
The relationship between the mother and her child and the love that keeps them alive until the end is transcendent and we get attached to both of them quickly. We are moved by this story of survival and the suspense during the escape attempt kept us on the edge of our seats.
The performance of Brie Larson is stunning and Jacob Tremblay, who plays Jack, is quite promising.
For a full review, click here.
Much Loved (dir. Nabil Ayouch)
The film takes place in Marrakech. Noha, Randa, Soukaina and Hlima are prostitutes. They are smart, resourceful, and they are trying to survive in a society that rejects them while at the same time, using them.
These women are victims of unprecedented violence, even from their families. And this is not just physical violence but also verbal and psychological violence.
The director wanted to put the spotlight on the hidden life of these women.
Besides prostitution, some other difficult topics are exposed: rape, pedophilia, drugs, homosexuality, transsexuality, miscarriages.
As a viewer, it is clear that all these subjects are somewhat related except we felt that by trying to cover all these subjects, some issues were left alone after only looking at the surface. The viewer remains unsatisfied, the analysis is not deep enough, and as a result the psychology of the characters is a bit shallow.
This film is a bit controversial and has been subject to an immediate and total censorship as it comes from Morocco and the main subject is taboo there.
As a reality check and for the performance of actresses in a young Moroccan movie industry, the film is daring and still is good entertainment and a successful bet.
Les deux amis (dir. Louis Garrel)
Clement, a movie extra, loves Mona, who works in a sandwich shop in a train station in Paris. But Mona holds a secret, making her elusive and mysterious. Clement is desperate to win Mona’s heart. Abel (Louis Garrel), his best and only friend, tries to help conquer the young lady.
What may seem like a love triangle will quickly transform into a beautiful lesson of friendship that is unpretentious, with great tenderness and innocence. The dialogue in the film is well-written and not superfluous.
Although the film charms the viewer, the viewer may lose interest in the middle, especially when the protagonists are separated; which is quite predictable because the chemistry between them is captivating.
The acting gives the characters an endearing authenticity. We appreciate the subtleties and nuances that Garrel put into his characters and the constant movement of construction and deconstruction of human relationships that bind them.
Les deux amis is a light film with a touch of freshness and a little melancholy, but it is certainly artistically promising, being Louis Garrel’s directorial debut.