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Grave injustice has been done to this film - with (mostly male) critics talking about nothing but the sex. Well, this film has sex, yes, get over it. Because it also is a masterpiece of cinema.
Yes, the word "masterpiece" is a big one. But I can't think of another one, with such a tour de force of emotion. In 179 minutes, "La Vie d'Adèle" tells a compelling coming of age and love story, taking is us so close to Adèle and her emotional rollercoaster that we feel what she feels. We fall in love with Adèle and we suffer with Adèle. Her passions, her sadness, her mistakes, her insecurities - the intimate direction and Adèle Exarchopoulos absolutely astonishing performance make the audience feel everything with her. And after 3 hours of sitting in a cinema, you will wish that you could just keep on watching Adèle's life. Forever.
This film is flawless, powerful, enticing, thought-provoking, inspirational - and yes, it's also sexy. Just to mention the inevitable again.
This films robs you of gravity and security for 90 minutes and then re-releases you into the real world. Gravity is a visual masterpiece and all-in cinema that takes some enormous risks to give you an experience unlike you've ever had before. The cinematography and visual effects can't be lauded enough, this is new territory in terms of visual storytelling. But Cuarón also doesn't neglect conventional storytelling, giving us likeable characters with solid backstories and a well-constructed script. Sandra Bullock gives the best performance I've ever seen by her, making herself a strong early contender for yet another Academy Award. The best film 2013 had to offer so far. Maybe even one of the best films I have ever seen.
One piece of advise: Don't read too much about this film before you see it. Just go to the cinema and let yourself get sucked in. It's worth it.
What an unexpected gem! Really, I picked this largely because of the trailer and what I got (besides some very lasting scares) was much more than I bargained for. It is very difficult to review this without spoiling, so please stop reading here if you haven't seen this!
Curtis' descent into mental illness is so vividly and claustrophobically portrayed that I constantly alternated between wanting to help him and wanting to rescue his family from him. The film masterfully jungles the ambiguity right until the very end - is he a visionary or is he simply mad? And what is simply mad, can't we all connect to the pressure he is under, the financial strain, the personal issues, his child's medical condition? Michael Shannon does a superb job at slowly cracking and falling apart, his performance is nuanced and moving. Jessica Chastain manages to show the other side, the wife, being scared of her husband, worried for him, supportive of him, Chastain pulls of a lot with very little actual material to draw from. Take Shelter is scary (his dreams! You really see why he would be paranoid!), claustrophic (the Shelter scene!), moving and provides no easy answers. Take your time to read some analysis online afterwards, as the entire film has multiple layers touching on the financial crisis and even pollution. Absolutely worth revisiting some scenes to detect those deeper implications. A marvellous film.
Lovely, inspiring, tear-jerking documentary about Wright's well-planned coming out, showing her extreme fear and vulnerability and courage. A great film about why coming out is so important and also so hard for some people, especially those from religious backgrounds. Wonderful, graceful, sincere.
The Great Gatsby looks and sounds (!) incredibly good and yet feels like nothing. In a marvel of lush images, a truly astounding soundtrack (rap and the 20s, what a perfect mix! Really, that soundtrack kills it. Superb.) and gimme-an-Oscar performances, the emotions somehow completely fall through. A bit unexpected from Baz Luhrmann, who jerked more than one tear with equally opulent Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge. Yet The Great Gatsby, a novel than lives off great prose, proves much more difficult to adapt than Shakespearian classics. The elusive quality of the novel simply does not translate onto the screen, no matter how hard Luhrmann tries, even by rather ham-handedly writing the words on screen.
The film ends up being a beautiful shell, albeit worth watching, with great performances by DiCaprio and Mulligan and a not-so-great one, as usual, by Maguire. It is entertaining, it is decadent, exquisite, pretty - but at no point does it manage to tell a story the audience would actually care about. Let's blame Fitzgerald for writing an unadaptable novel, shall we?