The Extraordinary (Hors Normes) (2019)




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

Transit (2018)



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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