Closing Out 2015

This has been an interesting year to say the least. While it might not have been reflected in my blog posts, I have in fact seen a lot of films. And that is what I want this, my last blog post for 2015 (New York Time) to be dedicated to … giving a shout out to a couple of films I saw (and enjoyed) but for whatever reason, failed to give just due to here on iluvcinema.

Miles Ahead. Saw this on Closing Night of 2015’s New York Film Festival. Written, directed (his debut) by and starring Don Cheadle, this Miles Davis story was definitely a passion project. In recounting the film, I refrain from using the term biopic because Miles Ahead takes a rather atypical look at the artist’s life. It is an entertaining combination of a “day in the life” narrative, mixed with expositional flashbacks, all delivered with humor, drama, imagination and, music (of course). Do not worry if you think you missed it, because you haven’t; you will get a chance to see this one in 2016 as it is scheduled for release on April 1st in the United States – no foolin’.

Image credit: New York Film Festival

Image credit: New York Film Festival

 

Macbeth. Directed by Australian director Justin Kurzel (who also is also at the helm of star Michael Fassbender’s forthcoming project Assassin’s Creed), Macbeth was an inventive and engaging take on the Shakespearean tragedy. The accents from the non-Scottish talent may have been amiss at times, but maybe it was my overly sensitive ears. In the end, it mattered little really. After I readjusted myself to the sounds and construction of Shakespeare’s English, I was totally taken in by the stunning performances of Macbeth (Fassbender) and his Lady (Marion Cotillard). This presentation of the time-honored tale of “bloody ambition run amuck” felt fresh and inspired – the quiet unraveling in the midst the chaos of murder, etc. was an interesting thing to watch unfold. Also, for various reasons of late, I have become a great admirer of the rugged, beautiful Scottish landscape. And this film only deepened that appreciation (in other words it was beautifully shot).

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That’s all folks! Hope you had fun at the cinema in 2015. And here is hoping for more good times in 2016!

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Rendez-Vous, Part Une: 3 Cœurs

Well, my “Rendezvous with French Cinema, 2015” is now over and done. So for the next few days, I will be regaling you all with a few reviews of the films I saw (unfortunately, time constraints prevented me from attending any panels or Q&As.

Let’s start things off with the opening night feature, 3 Coeurs (Three Hearts), directed by Benoît Jacquot (co-written with co-written with Julien Boivent); the notable all star cast includes Benoît Poelvoorde, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve.

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Tax inspector Marc (Poelvoorde) and antiques dealer Sylvie (Gainsbourg) meet by chance one night when Marc misses his train to Paris. It turns out to be a magical night indeed (on the eve of his 47th birthday no less), over the course of which, the two form a connection. Determined not to let this moment pass, they schedule a second meeting, at the Tuileries Gardens in central Paris; really, it is the perfect meeting place.

With echoes of Leo McCarey classic Love Affair (and its more popular remake, An Affair to Remember), our lovers’ stars are not aligned, leading to a missed encounter.

What follows is the aftermath of this lost opportunity. In fact, fate is not finished playing with our “coulda-shoulda-woulda” lovers. There is more in store – albeit rather unfortunate (for them), meaning their lives will be intertwined in the most inconvenient of ways.

Sure, this description is vague, but I am afraid any greater detail will take away from your potential enjoyment of the story. For some, the twists and turns will feel a little too predictable; I guess that is generally how I felt. But this film is worth the price of admission if for no other reason than to see the performances of the above-listed talent on display. In addition, the locations are a sight to behold. As much as I love seeing Paris on the big screen, I equally appreciate when we are taken outside of the city center and given a flavor for locales that are a bit more provincial.

Check out the trailer:

Is this something that you would be interested in seeing? Hit me up in the Comments section below.

Three Hearts was released in the United States last Friday (March 15th); check listings for theaters and showtimes.

 

Photo credit: Cohen Media Group