I found this the hardest prompt of the lot but, in the end, I couldn’t not choose Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Trois Couleurs (Three Colours) trilogy. After Hal Hartley, Kieślowski was my next favourite director and this trilogy was the first time I saw films that interconnected.
I wasn’t expecting to love this feature, by writer directors Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, so much. Their huge hit The Intouchables (2011) achieved all the right notes of feel-good, odd couple drama with a social subtext and rarely overplayed its hand. It felt like an elegant and understated Hollywood pic though and it is unsurprising that it was re-made in 2017 as The Upside (which I can’t bear to watch). I was expecting the same with The Extraordinary and so was unprepared for its social and emotional depth and understated authenticity. Continue reading →
I like the resurgence of clever whodunnits, particularly the ones that are character-driven and unpredictable. With The Translators, director Régis Roinsard takes an unlikely but compelling story and fills it with dense narrative, quirky characters and some truly unexpected plot twists. Continue reading →
The Dardenne brothers are respected auteurs for their social realist dramas but it feels like they weren’t the right ones to tackle this story of young idealism turned into fundamentalism. Continue reading →
I booked this one without knowing much about the film, enticed primarily by the live soundtrack by Sampa the Great and the story about being a young, poor, black French woman, with all its beauty and tragedy. Continue reading →
I wasn’t expecting to be charmed by Christian Petzold’s inventive rethinking of a well-worn World War II movie trope. To all intents and purposes, it is a period drama akin to Casablanca, complete with third-person narration, a mysterious dame and uniformed guards with dogs. However, the backdrop is inexplicably and unapologetically modern day France. Continue reading →