Monday, January 31, 2011

BIUTIFUL

Mexico/Spain
2009
145 minutes

A Barcelona single dad who makes his living on the wrong side of the law finds he has only a few months to live. An extraordinary performance and the occasional flash of visual style are lost in a needlessly overwrought combination of three-handkerchief melodrama and earnest problem picture that throws in everything but the kitchen sink until it all but collapses underneath, made all the more bewildering by the obvious amount of talent involved.

Starring Javier Bardem; Maricel Álvarez, Eduard Fernández.
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu; produced by mr. González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Fernando Bovaira; screenplay by mr. González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone, based on a story by mr. González Iñárritu; music by Gustavo Santaolalla; director of photography (Image Film, Panavision widescreen), Rodrigo Prieto; art director, Brigitte Broch; costume designer, Paco Delgado; film editor, Stephen Mirrione.
A Menage Atroz/Mod Producciones production, in association with Focus Features International; with the participation of Televisón Española; with the collaboration of ICAA; with the participation of Televisió de Catalunya; in co-production with Ikiru Films. (World sales, Focus Features International.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), January 21st 2011. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

THE NEXT THREE DAYS

USA
2010
133 minutes

A literature teacher whose wife has been accused of murder devises a risky plan to bust her out of jail. Nervous but ploddingly paced star thriller that builds up to a fine action climax but takes far too long to get there.

Starring Russell Crowe; Elizabeth Banks, Brian Dennehy, Lennie James, Olivia Wilde, Ty Simpkins, Helen Carey; and Liam Neeson.
Directed by Paul Haggis; produced by Michael Nozik, mr. Haggis, Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier; screenplay by mr. Haggis, based on the film directed by Fred Cavayé and written by mr. Cavayé and Guillaume Lemans, Pour elle; music by Danny Elfman; director of photography (Deluxe prints, widescreen), Stéphane Fontaine; production designer, Laurence Bennett; costume designer, Abigail Murray; film editor, Jo Francis.
A Lionsgate presentation of a Highway 61 Films/Lionsgate production. (US distributor, Lionsgate. World sales, Mandate International.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), January 20th 2011. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

ANOTHER YEAR

Great Britain
2010
130 minutes

Over the course of one year, a happily married couple hosts family and friends, most of which go through life feeling lonely and miserable, at their London home. Bleak but involving study on love and loneliness, wonderfully handled and acted by a stellar cast.

Starring Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley; and Imelda Staunton.
Directed and written by Mike Leigh; produced by Georgina Lowe; music by Gary Yershon; director of photography (Deluxe prints, widescreen), Dick Pope; production designer, Simon Beresford; costume designer, Jacqueline Durran; film editor, Jon Gregory.
A Focus Features International/UK Film Council/Filmfour presentation of a Thin Man Films/Simon Channing Williams production. (World sales, Focus Features International.) 
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 10 (Lisbon), January 19th 2011. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

LOVE & OTHER DRUGS

USA
2010
111 minutes

A womanizing pharmaceutical salesman in it for the money meets a jaded young artist suffering from early symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and they fall head over heels in love. Smart, old-fashioned comedy that twists and updates its standard-issue plot with healthy dollops of sex and wisecracking dialogue, adeptly performed by an excellent cast.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway; Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Gabriel Macht, Judy Greer, Jill Clayburgh, George Segal.
Directed by Edward Zwick; produced by Scott Stuber, mr. Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Charles Randolph, Pieter Jan Brugge; screenplay by mr. Randolph, mr. Zwick and mr. Herskovitz, based on the book by Jamie Reidy, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman; music by James Newton Howard; director of photography (DeLuxe), Steven Fierberg; production designer, Patti Podesta; costume designer, Deborah L. Scott; film editor, Steven Rosenblum.
A Fox 2000 Pictures/Regency Enterprises presentation of a New Regency/Stuber Pictures/Bedford Falls Company production; made in association with Dune Entertainment. (US distributor and world sales, Twentieth Century-Fox.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), January 11th 2011.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

ALAIN OULMAN - COM QUE VOZ

Portugal/Israel
2009
109 minutes

A documentary on Franco-Portuguese composer Alain Oulman, author of innumerable classic recordings by Fado singer Amália Rodrigues but also a successful literary editor and agent and theatre director. And an interesting character he is too, though, unless the viewer is familiar with Ms Rodrigues or aware that the film's director is Mr Oulman's son, the motives for this well-made if slightly talking-headish biographical sketch might well be inscrutable.

Directed and written by Nicholas Oulman; produced by Paulo de Sousa, Beth Calabro Oulman, Leon Edery, Moshe Edery; director of photography (colour, digital video), Miguel Sales Lopes; film editor, Patrícia Saramago.
A Paulo de Sousa/Beth Calabro Oulman/Leon Edery/Moshe Edery presentation of a Glimpse/Dragocom production. (Portuguese distributor, NLC.)
Screened: DocLisboa 2009 advance DVD screener, Lisbon, December 25th 2010. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER

Spain/USA
2010
97 minutes

A London family breaks apart when the patriarch divorces his wife of 40 years in search of a second youth and she finds solace in a psychic. Bitter, one-note comedy of human frailties that pursues Allen's recent cruel streak with a surprising vengeance, but wastes a good cast in lazy underscripting and directing.

Starring Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Freida Pinto, Lucy Punch, Naomi Watts.
Directed and written by Woody Allen; produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Jaume Roures; director of photography (Deluxe), Vilmos Zsigmond; production designer, Jim Clay; costume designer, Beatrix Aruna Pasztor; film editor, Alisa Lepselter.
A Mediapro/Versátil Cinema/Gravier Productions presentation, in association with Antena 3 Films and Antena 3 Televisión, of a Dippermouth production; made with the support of ICAA, ICIC. (US distributor, Sony Pictures Classics. World sales, Imagina International Sales.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room (Lisbon), January 13th 2011. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

HEREAFTER

USA
2010
125 minutes

After she barely survives a tsunami, a French journalist embarks on an investigation of the herafter at the same time a London schoolboy who lost his twin brother does the same, while in San Francisco a psychic with the gift of seeing the dead refuses to use it and seeks a normal life. Intriguing but ultimately rambling melodrama, classily filmed and performed from a script that seems tantalizingly unfinished.

Starring Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, George McLaren, Frankie McLaren, Thierry Neuvic, Marthe Keller, Derek Jacobi.
Directed by Clint Eastwood; produced by mr. Eastwood, Kathleen Kennedy, Robert Lorenz; written by Peter Morgan; music by mr. Eastwood; director of photography (Technicolor, Panavision), Tom Stern; production designer, James J. Murakami; costume designer, Deborah Hopper; film editors, Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach; visual effects supervisor, Michael Owens.
A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of a Malpaso/Kennedy-Marshall production. (US distribution and world sales, Warner Bros. Pictures.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), January 10th 2011. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

SCHASTYE MOIE

My Joy


Germany/Ukraine/The Netherlands
2010
128 minutes

A trucker gets drawn into the heart of darkness of the Russian heartland. Bleak, moody drama whose narrative resolves itself into a series of loosely arranged tableaux on the Russian psyche, betraying its writer/director's documentary background; formally dazzling, but probably far too oblique for general viewers.

Starring Viktor Nemets, Vladimir Golovin, Alexei Vertkov, Dmitri Gotsdiner, Olga Shuvalova, Maria Varsami, Boris Kamorzin, Vlad Ivanov, Olga Kogut.
Directed and written by Sergei Loznitsa; produced by Heino Deckert, Oleg Kokhan; director of photography (ARRI Kopierwerk prints, widescreen), Oleg Mutu; production designer, Kirill Shuvalov; costume designer, Mare Radima; film editor, Danielus Kokanauskis.
A Ma.ja.de Fiction/SOTA Cinema Group/Lemming Film/ZDF—ARTE presentation/production, supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, with financing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Nederlands Fonds voor de Film. (World sales, Fortissimo Films.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 4 (Lisbon), December 16th 2010.

Monday, January 17, 2011

CHANTRAPAS

France/Ukraine/Georgia
2010
122 minutes

A young Georgian filmmaker is stumped by obstacles at every step of the way in his native country, but finds out first hand it's not that different abroad. Gentle but overly belaboured satire very typical of its author's usual work, given here an added autobiographical dimension and marred by a dismayingly unconvincing lead performance; for fans only.

Starring Dato Tarielashvili; Tamuna Karumidze, Fanny Gonin, Givi Sarchimelidze, Pierre Étaix, Bulle Ogier, Bogdan Stupka, Lasha Shevardnadze, Nika Endeladze, Nino Tchkhedze.
Directed and written by Otar Iosseliani; produced by Maurice Tinchant, Martine Marignac, Oleg Kohan, Guka Rcheulishvili; music by Djardji Balantchivadze; directors of photography (LTC), Lionel Cousin, Julie Grünebaum; production designer, Emmanuel de Chauvigny; costume designers, Anna Kalatozishvili, Maïra Ramedhan-Levi; film editors, mr. Iosseliani, Emmanuelle Legendre.
A Pierre Grise Productions/SOTA Cinema Group/Sanguko Films/Georgian Culture Ministry/Georgian National Centre for Cinema presentation/production; with the participation of Sberbank, Orange Cinema Séries and Centre National de la Cinématographie; in association with Cinémage 4, Cofinova 6 and the MEDIA Plus Programme of the European Community. (French distributor and world sales, Les Films du Losange.)
Screened: distributor advance DVD screener, January 9th 2011.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

TRON: LEGACY

USA
2010
125 minutes

Twenty years after his father, a successful computer programmer, disappeared, his son is summoned to his old office... and finds himself transported into the digital universe his father built and is trapped inside. Glossy, high-tech sequel to Tron, a film that failed to ignite the box office on first release but became a huge cult among sci-fi and technology fans in the intervening years; this updates the visuals and recycles the original plot in a streamlined, fleshed-out fashion, but while it is an intriguing, obviously well-crafted standalone effort, it does lack the striking vision the original had.

Starring Jeff Bridges; Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Beau Garrett; and Michael Sheen.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski; produced by Sean Bailey, Jeffrey Silver, Steven Lisberger; screenplay by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, based on a story by mr. Kitsis, mr. Horowitz, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal and on the original Tron characters created by mr. Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird; music by Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo); director of photography (DeLuxe, widescreen, 3D), Claudio Miranda; production designer, Darren Gilford; costume designers, Michael Wilkinson and Christine Biedelin Clark; film editor, James Haygood; visual effects supervisor, Eric Barba.
A Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Sean Bailey production. (US distributor and world sales, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 9 (Lisbon), January 5th 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

COMPLEXO - UNIVERSO PARALELO

Portugal/Brazil
2010
80 minutes

A documentary on the inhabitants of Complexo do Alemão, one of Rio de Janeiro's biggest problem shantytowns. And one that basically restates all that has been said before about the favelas without bringing anything much new to the table, despite the flashy, stylized visuals and sound mix.

Directed by Mário Patrocínio; produced by Mário Patrocínio, Pedro Patrocínio, Henrique Salgado, Tiago Duque; music by Chico Neves, Pedro Carneiro; director of photography (Light Film), Pedro Patrocínio; film editors, Cláudia Silvestre, João Monge, Sérgio Pedro.
A Valentim de Carvalho Multimedia presentation, with the support of SIC, of a Complex Films production; associate producers, Quioto.com, Abaetê Filmes. (Portuguese distributor and world sales, Valentim de Carvalho Multimedia.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), January 4th 2011.

Friday, January 14, 2011

JOUEUSE

Queen to Play


France/Germany
2008
100 minutes

A Corsican chambermaid accidentally discovers the game of chess and, practising in secret so his uncomprehending husband won't know, finds it opening her worldview. Elegant if predictable emancipation-through-sport story confirming that it's the way you handle these things that makes all the difference; in this case, it's the wonderfully layered lead performance and the lightness of touch of the storytelling that make it work.

Starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Kevin Kline, Francis Renaud; with the special participation of Jennifer Beals.
Directed by Caroline Bottaro; produced by Dominique Besnehard and Michel Feller; screenplay by ms. Bottaro, with the collaboration of Caroline Maly, based on the novel by Bertina Henrichs, Die Schachspielerin; music by Nicola Piovani; director of photography (LTC), Jean-Claude Larrieu; production designer, Emmanuel de Chauvigny; costume designer, Dorothée Guiraud; film editor, Tina Baz-Le Gal.
A Mon Voisin Productions/Blueprint Film presentation/production, in co-production with Studiocanal and France 2 Cinéma; with the participation of Canal Plus, France 2, Canal Plus Horizons, Cinécinéma, Tele-München; with the support of the Eurimages programme, Ministère de la Culture et Communication, Centre National de la Cinématographie and Filmförderungsanstalt. (French distributor and world sales, Studiocanal.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room, Lisbon, January 3rd 2011. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DU LEVANDE

You, the Living


Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark/Norway/Japan
2007
89 minutes

The inhabitants of a Scandinavian city go about their daily joys and disappointments – mostly the latter. Another series of exquisitely framed, blackly humorous, slow-burn existentialist tableaux by a unique, cult film-maker that eschews the mainstream and works at his own pace and leisure; his formal, painterly qualities remain much in evidence throughout.

Starring Elisabeth Helander, Jugge Nohall, Jan Wikblad, Björn Englund, Birgitta Persson, Lennart Eriksson, Jessika Lundberg, Eric Bäckman, Rolf Engström, Jessica Nilsson, Pår Fredriksson, Leif Larsson, Patrik Edgren, Gunnar Ivarsson, Waldemar Nowak, Håkan Angser, Ollie Olsen, Kemal Sener, Bengt C. W. Carlsson.
Directed and written by Roy Andersson; produced by Pernilla Sandström; director of photography (Nordisk Film Postproduction, Cinepostproduction Geyer), Gustav Danielsson; art directors, Magnus Renfors, Elin Segerstedt; costume designer, Sophia Frykstarn; film editor, Anna Märta Waern.
A Studio 24 presentation of a Roy Andersson Filmproduktion production, in association with Thermidor Filmproduktion, Parisienne de Production, Posthus Teatret, 4 1/2, Sveriges Television, ARTE France Cinéma, WDR/ARTE, Stylejam; with the support of Svenska Filminstitutet, Eurimages programmes, Nordisk Film och TV Fond, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Danska Filminstitutet, Norsk Filmfond; with the participation of Canal Plus. (World sales, The Coproduction Office.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Cinema City Classic Alvalade 1 (Lisbon), December 23rd 2010.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

COSA VOGLIO DI PIÙ

Come Undone


Italy/Switzerland
2010
120 minutes

An accountant in a long-term relationship and a caterer married with children embark on a steamy love affair, but real life starts barging in on their idyll. Realist, sensible look at adultery that is smartly handled and sensibly performed even though it brings nothing new to the table.

Starring Pierfrancesco Favino, Alba Rohrwacher, Giuseppe Battiston, Teresa Saponangelo; Gisella Burinato, Gigio Alberti; and Fabio Troiano. 
Directed by Silvio Soldini; produced by Lionello Cerri; screenplay by Doriana Leondeff, Angelo Carbone, mr. Soldini, based on a story by ms. Leondeff and mr. Soldini; music by Giovanni Venosta; director of photography (processing by Cinecittà Digital Factory, widescreen), Ramiro Civita; production designer, Paola Bizzardi; costume designer, Silvia Nebiolo; film editor, Carlotta Cristiani. 
A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of a Lionello Cerri production; a Lumière & Co./Vega Film/RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera co-production with the support of Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali DGC Italia and Eurimages. (Italian distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures. World sales, Pyramide International.)
Screened: distributor advance DVD screener, Lisbon, December 31st 2010.

Friday, January 07, 2011

THE TOURIST

USA/France
2010
100 minutes

A holidaying teacher is seduced on a train by a mysterious woman and suddenly finds himself involved in some sort of dangerous international espionage plot. Frothy, zippy throwback to 1950s/1960s caper movies, hampered by a miscast male lead and a sense of screenwriting-by-committee; a bigger-budget, all-star remake of Anthony Zimmer that required a lighter, more experienced directing hand but remains an enjoyably time-passing bit of Hollywood confectionery.

Starring Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp; Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell, Christian de Sica.
Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck; produced by Graham King, Tim Headington, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Jonathan Glickman; screenplay by mr. Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes, based on the film written and directed by Jérôme Salle, Anthony Zimmer; music by James Newton Howard; director of photography (Technicolor, widescreen), John Seale; production designer, Jon Hutman; costume designer, Colleen Atwood; film editors, Joe Hutshing, Patricia Rommel.
A Columbia Pictures/GK Films presentation, in association with Spyglass Entertainment, of a GK Films/Birnbaum-Barber production in association with Studiocanal. (US distributor and world sales, Sony Pictures Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Columbia Tristar Warner screening room (Lisbon), December 30th 2010.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

CHLOE

USA/France
2009
95 minutes

Suspicious that her husband may be having an affair, an insecure gynecologist hires a high end prostitute to seduce him and report back to her. What starts as an elegant sex drama aiming at an oblique metaphor of storytelling and manipulation, with a superb lead performance, collapses in the third act through a sharp turn towards hackneyed thriller tropes.

Starring Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried; Max Thieriot.
Directed by Atom Egoyan; produced by Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck, Jeffrey Clifford; screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on the film Nathalie... directed by Anne Fontaine and written by Philippe Blasband, Jacques Fieschi, ms. Fontaine and François-Olivier Rousseau; music by Mychael Danna; director of photography (Deluxe), Paul Sarossy; production designer, Phillip Barker; costume designer, Debra Hanson; film editor, Susan Shipton. 
A Studiocanal presentation of a Montecito Picture Company production. (US distributor, Sony Pictures Classics. World sales, Studiocanal.)
Screened: distruibutor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room, Lisbon, December 28th 2010. 

Monday, January 03, 2011

TRON

USA
1982
96 minutes

While searching for evidence of corporate theft, a brilliant programmer is digitized and transported inside the computer. Visually and conceptually groundbreaking for its time, this ambitious if naïve sci-fi adventure has ironically dated far too much but remains both visionary and intriguingly offbeat.

Starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan; and Barnard Hughes.
Directed by Steven Lisberger; produced by Donald Kushner; screenplay by mr. Lisberger, based on a story by mr. Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird; music by Wendy Carlos; director of photography (Technicolor, Super Panavision 70), Bruce Logan; production designer, Dean Edward Mitzner; costume designers, Elois Jenssen, Rosanna Norton; film editor, Jeff Gourson; visual effects supervisors, Richard Taylor, Harrison Ellenshaw; conceptual artists, Syd Mead, Jean "Moebius" Giraud, Peter Lloyd; visual effects concepts by mr. Lisberger; computer effects supervisor, mr. Taylor. 
A Walt Disney Productions presentation of a Lisberger/Kushner production. (US distributor, Buena Vista Distribution Company. World sales, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.) 
Screened: VHS, Lisbon, January 2nd 2011. 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

TULPAN

Germany/Switzerland/Kazakhstan/Russia/Poland/Italy
2008
99 minutes

A young Kazakh newly discharged from military service and living with his sister in the steppes dreams of founding his own family – but the object of his affection refuses to marry him and he feels he is not made for the nomadic open-air life. Sweet, quirky coming-of-age comedy-drama with a strong documentary feel, using non-professional talent cast on location.

Starring Askhat Kuchinchirekov, Samal Eslyamova, Ondas Besikbasov, Tolepbergen Baisakalov.
Directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy; produced by Karl Baumgartner, Valery Fisher, Gulnara Sarsenova, Bulat Galimgereev, Sergei Melkumov, Yelena Yatsura, Sergei Selyanov, Henryk Romanowski, Thanassis Karatanos, Raimond Goebel; written by mr. Dvortsevoy, Gennadi Ostrovsky; director of photography (Schwarz Film), Jula Dylewska; art director, Roger Martin; costume designer, Gaziza Korshieva; film editors, Isabel Meier, Petar Markovic, mr. Dvortsevoy. 
A Pandora Film/Cobra Film/Eurasia Film/Slovo Film Company/CTB Film Company/Filmcontract/Pallas Film production, in association with ZDF das kleine Fernsehspiel/ARTE, Schweizer Fernsehen, BIM Distribuzione; with the support of Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Polish Film Institute, Bundesamt für Kultur, Russian Federal Agency for Culture and Cinema, MEDIA Programme of the European Community. (World sales, The Match Factory.)
Screened: distributor advance DVD screener, Lisbon, December 27th 2010.