Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bandito Express

Author(s): Daniel Crooke
Location: Ohio

"Bandito Express"

Produced, Directed, and Written by: Quentin Tarantino

Main Cast

Michael Madsen as Mike Masterson
Samuel L. Jackson as Lee McGraw
Nick Nolte as Luke "The Duke" Willit
Gary Busey as Harrison "The Rifleman" Willit
Uma Thurman as Louisa "Lady Liberty" Willit
Steve Buscemi as William Kingston/The White Lightning
Tim Roth as Johnny Tassock
Johnny Crawford as Sky Larkin

Tagline: "Mike Masterson. Dangerous. Deadly. Chained to a Stagecoach"

Synopsis: Prologue: The words "Mike Masterson" make even the toughest cowboy's skin crawl. He is a brutal gunslinger with a heart of steel. Lee McGraw is Masterson's sidekick. McGraw is a Jack of all Trades and a master of disguise who uses his talents with speech to get himself and Mike to anywhere and everywhere they have to go. The two wreck havoc all over the West, rob banks, get women, and kill men.

Chapter One: Mike Masterson is alone. He is in the desert. The hot, blazing sun is turning his back the color of a tomato. He is naked and has bruises all over his body fresh from a beating. He is dehydrated and hungry. He wakes up. He is chained to a stagecoach.

Chapter Two: Masterson needs to get out of his vulnerable situation. Once he stands up, he looks at the stagecoach. Coming out of both side windows is Blondie, his horse for ten years. Stunned and angry, he pulls the stagecoach to the nearest town where Lee has been waiting in the saloon for five days waiting for Mike. They take the night at a room above the saloon where they proceeded to drink and play cards for the remainder of the night. The next morning, the two ship out to find out who tried to kill Masterson. They make stops all over the West and take no prisoners as they try and find the man responsible for Masterson's sufferings.

Chapter Three: Luke "The Duke", Harrison "The Rifleman", and Louisa "Lady Liberty" are The Willits. Luke and Harrison are twins, Louisa is their baby sister. They are bounty hunters. They are professionals. They will stop at nothing to collect their money. They've been on the hunt for Mike Masterson for two months. They usually do their job for the money but this time it's personal: Masterson and Lee killed their father. They are right on his tail and are showing no signs of stopping.

Chapter Four: William Kingston is an ultraviolent up and coming sheriff. He watches over the town of Rattler's Garden. Kingston is disappearing two nights a week and no one knows but his two deputies, Johnny Tassock and Sky Larkin. Tassock and Larkin, however, are trying to find Masterson to warn him that Kingston is actually "The White Lightning", Masterson's rival sharpshooter, and that he has been killing off everyone who knows what Kingston did: Dress up in women's clothing and mask, kidnap Masterson, kill his horse, beat him up, and chain him to a stagecoach.

What the Press would say:

"Bandito Express" is Quentin Tarantino's latest film and ranks high alongside his other brilliant and iconic works. This is QT's first journey into the western and it is the best of its genre to come out since "Unforgiven". As always, he pays homage to many sources including Spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Dollars series, Hang em High, Once Upon a Time in the West), classic Western television series' (The Rifleman, Bat Masterson), and various other sources whether they be Western or not (look for the Psycho reference in Steve Buscemi's character). This time Tarantino weaves a story involving gunslingers craving revenge, bounty hunters trying to collect a few bucks, angry sheriffs, saloon scenes that are oozing with Tarantino dialogue, and (most of all) Western showdowns. The story is told in four different "chapters" and a "prologue". The chapters are told in order and this proves to be very interesting as characters are introduced to the plot before we even know who they are. As each chapter goes by, more and more characters are introduced even if they have already had significant screentime.

As always, Quentin hits up his favorite subjects including revenge, violence, and betrayal as well as his favorite players including Samuel L, Jackson, Michael Madsen, and Uma Thurman. Michael Madsen is the protagonist whose name is Mike Masterson, a dangerous gunslinger, who wakes up to be beaten up and chained to a stagecoach that has his dead horse, Blondie (an obvious homage to both The Godfather and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) inside. Wait, what? Yes, beaten and chained to a stagecoach with a dead horse inside (classic Tarantino). Although Madsen has no big scenes of finding himself or meeting God or anything of the sort, he displays amazing physical talent and excellent delivery. The real standouts, however, are the supporting cast. Samuel L. Jackson is Madsen's sidekick, Lee. Think of him as Jules meets Clint Eastwood. He is hilarious and delivers his lines just like we want him to. It's his best role since "Pulp Fiction". Nick Nolte and Gary Busey are given a classic Quentin Tarantino comeback as a pair of bounty hunter twins. The two of them are absolutely fantastic and they get their chance to utter Quentin Tarantino's infamous dialogue and do it brilliantly. Uma Thurman plays their little sister and Uma is excellent especially in her one on one shootout with Michael Madsen. In this scene Uma utters the soon to be famous words, "You know, I've been waiting for this moment for ten years and now that it's here I can't think of a single way to kill you that isn't half of the pain that you deserve.". Standing out more than anyone else in the whole cast is Steve Buscemi as the murderous sheriff William Kingston who moonlights as the grim reaper. This is Buscemi's best role to date as he shows his dramatic, comedic, and Tarantino-y badass range. Buscemi should do what Gene Hackman did in "Unforgiven" and ride the sheriff character all the way to Oscar. If you are smart, you'll know to put your money on Buscemi in Supporting Actor.

"Bandito Express" is a clever and original work by the master of clever and original, Quentin Tarantino. With an excellent compiled score, well done Western story, fantastic QT screenplay, and an ensemble for the ages, "Bandito Express" should rack up multiple Academy Awards.

Possible Nominations
Best Picture- Quentin Tarantino
Best Director- Quentin Tarantino
Best Actor- Michael Madsen
Best Supporting Actor- Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Nolte, Gary Busey, Steve Buscemi
Best Supporting Actress- Uma Thurman
Best Original Screenplay- Quentin Tarantino
Best Film Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design

Blood and Oil

Author(s): Quinn Reid
Location: Houston, TX

"Blood and Oil"

Directed by: Sam Mendes
Written by: Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis
Produced by: Jon Kilik, Steve Golin, Scott Rudin, & Sam Mendes
Cinematography by: Robert Elswit
Edited by: Jay Rabinowitz
Original Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla

Main Cast

Ryan Gosling as Scott
Paul Dano as Ethan
Matthew Fox as Michael
Amy Adams as Katy
Jill Hennessy as Laura
Rob Brown as Jackson
Gretchen Mol as Cindy
Jenna Fischer as Melanie Harris
Brian Cox as J.J. O'Connell
Michael Douglas as David Sullivan

Tagline: "You never know what you’re capable of until it comes apart"

Synopsis: Academy Award Winning Director Sam Mendes helms this ensemble drama interweaving several stories centered around Houston based oil giant Flagler Andrews. A gas station attendant going to school part time (Amy Adams), two recent hires learning the corporate ropes and dealing with prejudices (Paul Dano & Rob Brown), two traders (Ryan Gosling & Ryan Phillipe) and their wives (Gretchen Mol & Jenna Fischer) struggling in their marriages, the lone female on the executive board (Jill Hennessy), a disgruntled former employee (Michael Douglas) and the CEO (Brian Cox) all cross paths on a fateful day. The present day story unfolds when David Sullivan is let go as the fall guy in an accounting scandal that could have hurt stock prices. He decides to strike back with frightful consequences. Throughout the present day story we see intermittent flashbacks of all the main characters in high school, and see how those experiences helped shape who they are today.

What the Press would say:

The buzz is flying high after “Blood and Oil” took home the Golden Palm at Cannes. Oscar winning American Beauty director Sam Mendes is receiving rave reviews for his handling of this brilliant script by “Lost” writers Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis. The all-star cast works together well but the word is Michael Douglas steals the show with his most memorable performance since Wall Street. Jill Hennessy is also superb as Laura, the oil company's CFO and only female executive. Throw in Robert Elswit’s beautiful camera work and Gustavo Santaolalla’s thrilling score and this is an Oscar heavy-weight that you don’t want to miss.

Possible Nominations include…

Best Picture
Best Director – Sam MendesBest Supporting Actor – Michael DouglasBest Supporting Actress – Jill HennessyBest Original Screenplay - Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis
Best Music, Original Score - Gustavo Santaolalla
Best Cinematography - Robert Elswit

The Blue Max

Author(s): Josh P.
Location: Chicago, IL

"The Blue Max"

Directed by Michael Mann
Screenplay by John Logan and Michael Mann
Produced by Michael Mann, Brian Grazer and Graham King
Executive Producers: Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Brad Grey
Art Direction by Wolf Kroger and Jim Erickson
Costume Designed by Sandy Powell
Cinematography by Dante Spinotti
Edited by Paul Rubell and William Goldberg

Main Cast

Ryan Gosling (Bruno Statchel)
Angelina Jolie (Countess Kaeti von Klugermann)
Geoffrey Rush (General Count von Klugermann)
David Strathairn (Otto Heidemann)
Vincent Cassell (Willi von Klugermann)
Max Von Sydow (Field Marshall)
Wes Bently (Red Baron-special appearance)

Tagline: "A soldier’s ultimate downfall doesn’t come from the enemy, but from within"

Synopsis: Two years ago, Bruno Statchel (Gosling) looked up at the dim grey sky that hung above his muddy trench. A single airplane flew across the horizon and reminded him of his inspiration to one day abandon the bloody ground warfare and reach for the only limit he felt could be put upon him: the sky.

Now the year is 1918, Germany is still in the heated battles with France and Britain during World War I, and Bruno has just graduated from the flying program. When he arrives with his new regiment, his only ambition is to earn the coveted “Blue Max”: the highest honor German fighter pilots can receive which honors twenty confirmed kills. While Bruno tries to fit in, his ambitions to attain the medal, as well as his lower class status, take its toll. His partner in the sky (Cassell) is a Blue-Max-honoree and thinks Bruno is an arrogant man. Bruno’s commanding officer (Strathairn) thinks the same. Someone who doesn’t is the General (Rush). The General sees Bruno as a national icon, a hero to boost the morale of the German people, and also uses his blessing to persuade the Field Marshall (Von Sydow) to push the release date of an experimental monoplane up even though it may cause the machine to be unsafe. He caters to him in every way, even showcasing his wife (Jolie) with whom Bruno begins to have a sultry affair with.

However, Bruno’s ego and ambition soon become problems. The Blue Max is all he can think about, and he will attempt to get it anyway possible, such as shooting down surrendered enemy planes in midair and claiming two kills that Willi had just before his own plane was shot down. People want to see him stopped, but the General persists. Finally, Bruno gets his twenty kills and at his ceremony to receive the medal, he is also going to be the first to test fly the new plane. However, news get out of his unfaithful two kills and his is scheduled to be court-martialed. The General sees this as terrible sign: if Bruno is disgraced, so will the entire German military, and the people will lose hope. The General orders Bruno to fly the plane, and when he does, the plane crashes, as the General expected, killing Bruno instantly. In the end, Bruno still got everything he wanted: the Blue Max, respect from the people, the honor of always being remembered as a national hero, and of course, the chance the fly.

What the Press would say:

Director Michael Mann’s enticing and exhilarating remake of the 1966 film is a marvelous triumph. Mann creates great emotional scenes with his actors in the quiet moments of the film and dazzles the eyes when we see the fantastic aerial fights. Mann’s stylish direction makes the film work. While many might think that the choice of Ryan Gosling to play a German pilot might not be the best, he puts all those thoughts aside. Gosling infuses Bruno with a great sense of wit and humor, while at the same time showcasing his arrogance and ambition which will make him so despised later on. It takes great acting to create such a hateful character, and Gosling pulls it off. As for the supporting players, Geoffrey Rush does a good job as a stern old man whose only wish is to see Germany succeed, and he will almost result to “Bruno” measures to see it through. Angelina Jolie is also all charm and sophistication as she seduces Bruno with her amazement, then uses her vibrant eyes to express her repulsion towards his new attitude. The screenplay by Mann and “The Aviator” writer John Logan touches on all the characters and their central emotions as well, and really enlightens the piece. The technical aspects are also amazing as well, with luscious sets and costumes along with magnificent cinematography, editing and sound designs in the fight scenes. The campaign consideration:

Best Picture
Best Director: Michael Mann
Best Actor: Ryan Gosling
Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush
Best Supporting Actress: Angelina Jolie
Best Adapted Screenplay: Michael Mann and John Logan
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Sound

The Business of Pain

Author(s): Marcus Dennis
Location: Ohio

"The Business of Pain"

Directed by Michael Mann
Written by Eric Roth and Michael Mann

Main Cast

Eric Bana – Jack Cranor
Uma Thurman – LeeAnn Cranor
Kevin Spacey – Dick Simpson
James Woods – Commissioner Walther Adams
Omar Epps - Leon Whitfield
Michael Madsen – Rex Washington
Brendan Fraser – Jake Norton

Tagline: "Would you apologize for doing your job?"

Synopsis: Jack Cranor (Bana) is a family man. He spends time with his wife, LeeAnn and kids (Diane Venora) and hangs out with friends. But on the football field, he is a menace. The most-feared linebacker in the league. One commentator calls him “Love” because once he hits you; you’ll never feel the same again. Despite his tough on-the-field presence, he is carefree off-the-field and maintains a good rapport with his teammates, especially Star Running Back Leon Whitfield (Epps) and fellow linebacker Rex Washington (Madsen).

In the season opener, a devastating tackle to Quarterback Jake Norton (Fraser) puts Norton in a coma. After the game, it is revealed that Norton is paralyzed. When asked if he feels sorry for Norton, Cranor’s response of “No, it’s part of the game” evokes a media frenzy”. Cranor is criticized by some, praised by others, and suspended by Commissioner Walther Adams (Woods) after refusing to apologize.

This suspension takes a toll on more people than just Jack. The situation drives his wife LeeAnn, into depression and alcoholism, which Jack tries to shield from his kids. His coach Dick Simpson (Spacey) would love for him to return, but wouldn’t want Jack to infringe on his pride. Commission Adams loves the media attention that the league is receiving, even if it is negative. His friends Leon and Rex support him so much, that they quit playing football, until Jack is allowed back into the league.

A nation of supporters and detractors are on Jack’s back, but he doesn’t care. His determination to earn his respect and reinstatement, along with putting his relationships with his family and teammates back together, is so strong that he takes his fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

What the Press would say:

Michael Mann’s latest film “Business of Pain” tackles mature issues with mature direction and acting. There are no cheesy Hollywoodized scenes with a rising score and teary eyes. It is real and never tries to be anything but. Eric Bana, one of the underrated performers gives a tremendous performance, ranging from charismatic father and husband, to savage player, to proud defender of his rights to do his job. Uma Thurman is a brilliant counterpart to Bana. Her drunken tirades are some of the best scenes in the movie and chemistry with Bana is electric. Kevin Spacey adds a veteran presence and shows the conflicting emotions of his character perfectly. James Woods brings his usual arrogance to the role of the sleezy commissioner. Omar Epps and Michael Madsen are solid supporters, but the real surprise here is Brendan Fraser. Usually known for goofball comedies and the occasionally drama, Fraser turns a brief, but powerful performance. His speech from his deathbed to Bana’s character is emotional and touching without being pretentious and cheesy. This is not a football movie. It’s a movie about standing up for what you believe in and not backing down from a fight.

Original Screenplay
Supporting Actor (Spacey and Fraser)
Supporting Actress (Thurman)

Cherry Blossom

Author(s): D.W. Dillon
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

"Cherry Blossom"

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Written by Mark Peploe & Bernardo Bertolucci
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography by Vittoria Storaro
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Art Direction by Domenico Sica
Produced by Dino & Giada DeLaurentiis

Main Cast

Robert De Niro - Chef Richard James
Milo Ventimiglia - Nick James
Eva Green - Rachel
Famke Janssen - Vera Rivers
Stanley Tucci - Stephon Lamacq
Tony Roberts - Eugene Yves

Tagline: "Dying at the height of beauty"

Synopsis: The secret to the cherry blossom truffle is not the cocoa powder or succulent cherry filling, but rather a touch of a fine Pinot noir wine and a pinch of saffron. Renowned New York Chef, Richard James (Robert De Niro) always gave his son, Nick (Milo Ventimiglia), the secrets to his success. He knew someday Nick would take over the reigns of an empire he built; from restaurants, pubs, to local Brooklyn candy shops, the Richard James dining experience was one to behold by all.

As an often timid sous chef in his father's fine-dining restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel, Nick would not only watch his father's brilliance at running a kitchen, but see the deterioration and dark side of a man. His abusive shouting frightened everyone in the kitchen. The public fights with his aged supermodel girlfriend, Vera Rivers (Famke Janssen), were tabloid gold. His father lived with high standards and when the world around him could not live up to them, he would lash out, or crumble inside a dark closet where he would abuse his body by raiding his million dollar wine collection. It wouldn't be long for the unthinkable to happen. His father was to embark on yet another massive project. To open up a highly rated restaurant in the heart of Florence, Italy, which would give him the world-wide recognition. He even invited feared Michelin Food Critic and personal nemesis, Stephon Lamacq (Stanley Tucci) to the grand opening. But the chef's plane took off from New York without him, leaving his son, Nick, to be lambasted by the unpleased critic. Chef Richard James had gone missing. His shiny Porsche was abandoned a block away from the Hell Gate Bridge, a notorious suicide spot. No body was found or evidence of foul play. He was simply gone.

Seven years later, family friend and private investigator, Eugene Yves (Tony Roberts), strongly suggested Nick close the file on his father's missing person's case. Nick was lost and couldn't commit to anything, even his girlfriend, Rachel (Eva Green). He had to move on and step out of his father's shadow, and by closing the case, he could; topping his father's successes and recognition in the restaurant world, even touring third world countries to help feed the starving. On a trip to Uganda, he thought he had seen a ghost. An elderly American man working a soup kitchen outside a small village. This man though, remained just a familiar blur, as Nick was swept out of town by his military escort, when tribal warfare had erupted nearby. This will not be the last time he sees this person. And with that heavy heart and his father haunting his thoughts again, Nick sets out to do what his father couldn't. An engagement ring awaits the finger of Rachel, while the people of Florence await the re-opening of a top-rated restaurant. The grand re-opening promises not just to surprise skeptical food critics, but Nick himself, for he will finally get a chance to bring closure to his past and please the only critic that ever mattered to him.

What the Press would say:

Oscar-winning director, Bernardo Bertolucci presents his most personal and cerebral film since "The Last Emperor" with, "Cherry Blossom". On the surface, "Cherry Blossom" is about a father who disappears leaving his fortune, fame and family. While seemingly a selfish act, the father's abandonment, whether it be death or personal exile from a life he once had, is really a sacrifice. He can only leave that life behind to battle his own personal demons, in turn creating a legacy and life for his son that he truly wanted. Robert De Niro dives deep into a role that challenges his internal and external emotions. Meticulous in his performance as an actual chef, shows in the opening five minute one shot take of him preparing a fine cuisine from furious knife skills of chopping vegatables to the presentation of a barrage of delicious entrees. He takes on cooking as he takes on his roles, and that is with the perfection we love him for. But with an admired character, Bertolucci isn't afraid to show the dark side of every human, including his main lead character. De Niro's Chef Richard James is too passionate for his own good and he is left with an uncontrollable temper that always gets this best of him. Famke Janssen takes the brunt of this anger in the role of De Niro's hard-to-please celebrity girlfriend, Vera Rivers. As she more or less asks for a fight, pushing De Niro's chef into deeper madness, along with the oddity performance that is brought out in Stanley Tucci as food critic Stephon Lamacq who presents a constant irritation to Chef James. His only salvation is his son, played by Milo Ventimiglia in a defining role.

Bertolucci and co-writer Mark Peploe's cherry blossom metaphor of heightened beauty that dies at it's peak, sacrificing itself for eternal greatness, is a beautiful theme of life and death at it's truest form. Within the heartbreaking final scene, where a stranger speaks only these words in a toast to the couple at the wedding reception of the new Italian resturant, "...the Japanese Samurai believed the cherry blossom tree represented great sacrifice. As soon as they blossomed, the petals would fall retaining it's beauty forever. So God bless you two, forever." And in that instance, through those words, Nick is reunited with his father forever, maybe not physically but in his heart. This is a film that will tug at the father and son relationship in a way not yet brought to screen. A film that sets itself apart by dazzling us with it's developed characters, their actions and ultimately their consequences. An inspiring original masterpiece on all fronts that cannot be missed.

Best Picture
Best Director - Bernardo Bertolucci
Best Actor - Robert De Niro
Best Supporting Actor - Stanley Tucci
Best Supporting Actress - Famke Janssen
Best Original Screenplay - Mark Peploe & Bernardo Bertolucci
Best Cinematography - Vittorio Storaro
Best Editing - Pietro Scalia
Best Score - Ennio Morricone
Best Original Song - "Requiem for the Cherry Blossom" by Ryuichi Sakamato
Best Art Direction - Domenico Sica


Author(s): Alex S.
Location: Mexico


Directed by Joe Wright
Written by Christopher Hampton & Gillaume Laurant
Produced by Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner
Executive Producers Richard Eyre & Francis Boespflug
Edited By Paul Tothill, A.C.E.
Cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel, A.S.C.
Music by Dario Marianelli
Costume Design by Jaqueline Durran
Production Design by Sarah Greenwood
Art Direction by Aline Bonetto
Set Decoration by Katie Spencer

Main Cast

Daniel Auteuil – Henri Langlois
Gaspard Ulliel – Young Henri Langlois
Cyril Descours – Georges Franju
Louis Garrel – Jean Mitry
Eva Green – Young Mary Meerson
Catherine Deneuve – Mary Meerson
Julie Delpy – Célestin Poux

Tagline: "To love cinema is to love life. His legacy was his life. This is how modern cinema was born"

Synopsis: In other times, movies ended up in the trash bin or left to rot in a basement. A man had the dream of saving, conserving and showing them to the new generations. His name was Henri Langlois.

Paris, 1968, filmmakers and students from all over the world are stationed outside the cinémathèque française protesting against the dismissal of Henri Langlois (Auteuil) as chairman of the cinémathèque. While this happens outside, Langlois stares at the protest from his window, next to him is his secretary Celestin Poux (Delpy), he pulls out of picture from his drawer, it shows him as young man with two other men and a woman, they’re outside that same building, Celestin looks at the back of the photo and it’s marked, 1936.

As a camera takes a picture we see 4 persons in front of a building in a way, celebrating. Henri Langlois (Ulliel), his girlfriend Mary (Green) and his two friends Georges (Descours) and Jean (Garrel), have just inaugurated the cinémathèque in order to preserve all the films lost in time. It would work as a museum of cinema and as a showcase of human expression. During those years Langlois collection went from 10 to 30,000 films.

1968, Celestin asks him about those years, he looks at her and tells her to follow him. During those hours traveling around Paris, Henri would tell her his story, from the beginning of the cinémathèque to the Nazi occupation when the Germans practically wiped out his collection, and how he, with the help of his friends, had to smuggle documents and films in order to protect them. How he watched all the new wave directors nurturing from the past, in order to create a future in cinema. The film follows the story of a man with an unbreakable passion, told through his own eyes during a walk in Paris to his secretary, going back and forward we learn more about this man and how his story determined the future of modern cinema forever.

What the Press would say:

“Cinémathèque”, the new film by British director Joe Wright, achieves greatness in telling the story of legendary film icon, Henri Langlois. “Cinémathèque” does not cover unfamiliar territory, but it manages to find its own romantic voice and like the classic films it celebrates, becomes an enchanting movie that should happily spirit away even the toughest cynics.

The movie begins with an emotional scene, involving Henri Langlois walking down the streets of Paris late at night alone with his thoughts, when he reaches that iconic building called the Cinémathèque Française he crumbles as a small child, this few minutes are so powerful and beautiful, that it transports you to another place in history, setting the story perfectly for what is to come.

The rest of the story narrates all the struggles he went through as a young man as he protected and collected films from all over the world; but the real charm of this movie it’s the way its told, Auteuil in a magnificent performance, takes us on trip through the streets of Paris (dressed up to fit the image of the voluminous Langlois) and it allows us to feel the passion and love Langlois felt for the movies, working as a sort of narrator, we learn more about his past and how it has forged his present. The story goes back and forth in time and covers the main parts of Langlois’ life in a span of 30 years, to offer an outstanding character study. We witness the creation of the cinémathèque and the inner fall of his founder. The film takes you through an emotional trip of ups and downs, of struggle and achievement, to a heartwarming ending that leaves you emotionally exhausted.

Director Joe Wright coordinates a delightfully cohesive acting ensemble and he orchestrates every scene as a work of art, with the help of the impeccable production design and the flawless cinematography that progressively changes tones and colors through the years the movie tells. Wright takes a bow to all the new wave directors and mixes their styles in a canvas of directorial mastery to create a unique view. He and screenwriters Christopher Hampton and Gillaume Laurant add a sense of pragmatism to the magic and idealism of the time; they take us on a delightful trip through the streets of Paris and the heart and psyche of Henri Langlois.

The ensemble offer magnificent performances. Auteuil is heartbreaking and delightful as a chubby Langlois; he immerses himself into his character with outstanding humanity and control over his emotions and strong character, he portrays him as a tough and even arrogant man who faces his demons and eventually finds redemption in himself. Delpy is the true heart of the movie; she offers such a heartfelt performance, that eventually her character breaks Langlois iron armor and helps him reach his soul and remember how it felt to feel that amount of passion for something. Ulliel, Auteuil’s counterpart in playing Langlois, succeeds in every possible way; he exemplifies the eternal romantic and idealist, a charismatic and passionate man with hopes and aspirations and an incredible sense of humanity, he takes the lead in this with a breathtaking performance. Both Auteuil and Ulliel create a complex character, allowing him to evolve and change in front of our eyes; you forget that there are two people playing the same character. Green as the feisty and free spirited Meerson creates a cynical and powerful character that eventually falls for the romantic ideals of Langlois, and Deneuve as an older version of her offers us in just a couple of minutes on screen all the things she saw in Langlois when she fell in love with him.

In the final scene, there’s one of the most powerful moments of the movie, a simple scene where a man and a woman dance in a park at night with no music and suddenly everything makes sense, love and passion are the driving forces in life that will allow you to achieve all your dreams.

Everyone who loves movies is likely to love “Cinémathèque”; it captures and conveys the enchantments, escapes, and enslavements of those mesmerized by movies. Inspiring, emotive and exhilarating, but perhaps more importantly, a generous portrait of a brave man, an artist who we all owe so much.

For Your Consideration:

Best Picture
Best Director – Joe Wright
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Gaspard Ulliel
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Daniel Auteuil
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Julie Delpy
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Eva Green
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Catherine Deneuve
Best Original Screenplay – Christopher Hampton & Guillaume Laurant
And in all categories.

Complete Cycles of One Day

Author(s): Sergio
Location: Spain

"Complete Cycles of One Day"

Directed by Atom Egoyam
Written and Produced by Allan Ball
Music by Mychael Danna
Cinematography by Paul Sarossy

Main Cast

Gaspard Ulliel as Daniel
Sarah Polley as Camille
Elaine Cassidy as Erika
Max Minghella as Adrian
Elias Koteas as Officer Jonas Garner
Rachel Griffiths as Madeleine Garner
Arsineé Khanjian as Daniel’s mother

Tagline: "It’s impossible to understand an unknown feeling"

Synopsis: Four young strangers are found dead in an old cabin in Lake Cood, a small and quiet town where nothing happens. Police’s first theory was the accident, because the four were lying on their beds, without signs of violence but with signs of asphyxiation produced by four kerosene stoves. But something change completely the investigation when Officer Garner finds one of the corpses chained to the bed with handcuffs. Garner will try to research all the clues but the strangers don’t have an ID and they are not from the area. FBI looks for a nexus between them but is almost impossible. Finally, all the corpses are claimed except one, they can’t find any member of Daniel’s family. When the parents arrive to the town they are interrogated but apparently the four have nothing in common, they came from different places, from very different circles, but with a similar profile, according to the psychologist report. The media treat this case as another fanatic group, members of a sect but FBI considers all this as an unusual case of collective suicide. But, why do they choose this small town? All the villagers are very affected. There are not many young people in the town and they can’t understand the reasons for a suicide. The winter trade is suspended and the major declares a week of official mourning.

The day before, four strangers arrived by car. Camille has rent an old cabin besides the iced lake. They do a normal life, going shopping, walking and having long conversations. They are no friends, they don’t know much about the others but they talk about almost everything and they spend a great day together. Adrian has just finished his studies in physics and astronomy and he realized, long time ago, about his own insignificant existence in the vast universe. Erika has been suffering all her life and she can’t remember the last time she laughed. Camille fights the reality through her camera, she has a strange illness and she can’t retain people’s faces in her mind so she can’t recognize the face of the people she loves or hates. Daniel, introvert and silent, has a permanent trauma that prevents him to enjoy in any situation.

The morning after, Garner finds the final clue to resolve the case. He finds a notebook where Daniel describes his last day. Garner finds a reference to a web site called “complete cycles of one day”, where a group of people, including Camille, Erika and Adrian, talks about their day by day, their unliked life, and their heavy monotony. It is a collective diary started as a place to share vain experiences. Daniel created the site when he started to transcribe all his notebooks and diaries, when he felt the necessity to share all his vain thoughts. Jonas Garner reads the complete days of all of them and he starts making himself questions he has never thought before, changing his way to see the life and affecting to the relation with his wife Madeleine, family and friends.

The last night, Daniel leaves his notebook in Garner’s mailbox. He feels curiosity and an unusual illusion about meeting Jonas Garner, his father. But it is too late and he is in the point of not return, so he comes back with the others and he decides to chain himself to the bed, because he has doubts about his important decision.

Daniel is seven years old and his homework for the weekend is to do a narration describing a complete day in his life. On Friday evening he prepares all for the next day, it has to be perfect. He will wake up early to make the breakfast and to watch TV. Then he will go to the zoo with his mother. He feels a great illusion but when he carries the breakfast to bed he discovers his mother’s corpse with an empty bottle of pills, turning the day in the worst of all his life.

What the Press would say:

Like a bittersweet poem about the sense of life, a delicate screenplay arises connected and polished with great mastery by Alan Ball. - It’s about the important questions of the life, that’s all. The questions that we don’t dare to make in loud voice. Everyone thinks about if there is any sense in our day by day and the answer is in the wind – Allan ball says.

Many people have accused this screenplay of being too melodramatic, pessimist and encouraging to the suicide but that is not true. The film never justify their decision and never judge them, it just accompanies along the internal trip. – That is not what we pretend. We don’t judge the fact instead, we show and undercover a reality - Atom Egoyan says. Egoyan doesn’t want this film to be a melodramatic mushy cliché, full of morality, about four misunderstood teenagers and their unreal problems. He directed the actors as if they really love life over everything, as if they love every single moment and act they do. That creates a great confusion in the observer because we already know that they are going to suicide. The spectator doesn’t understand the real motivations about why they decide to die but that is what the writer and the director pretends. – We can’t understand them because it would be like to simplify their entire lives. Egoyan wanted an atmospheric film, full of tension and covered emotions.

The story is developed in three different times and all the cast support the charge of the film but at the end of the edition process they realized about the great potential and emotional powerful scenes of some of the actors. This is the case of Elias Koteas – He is a simple man that has never thought about the transcendental questions that the four strangers make in their binnacles. He starts asking for the meaning of life and he suffers an existential crisis that will affect to his marriage and the rest of his relations. Rachel Griffiths character suffers the transformation of her husband and she can’t understand him. She has a quiet life, with two little girls… She has everything she was supposed to, and she is what she wanted to be, but her life starts to crash. The four young actors got a great complicity and they transmit the importance of their decision. Gaspard Ulliel was the last one to get in the cast and the director wasn’t convinced to cast him. But he made a great proof with Sarah Polley and he got the paper easily, he was Daniel. Sarah Polley is the soul of the film, its eyes and through her illness we understand her impossibility to transmit all she has inside. She is a great actress even without speaking and both actors make a heartbreaking performance.


Best Picture
Best Director: Atom Egoyan
Best Original Screenplay: Allan Ball
Best Leading Actor: Gaspar Ulliel
Best Supporting Actress: Sarah Polley
Best Supporting Actor: Elias Koteas
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Griffiths