ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – L – La Vie en Rose (2007)

Director: Olivier Dahan

Writer: Isabelle Sobelman, Olivier Dahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Emmanuelle, Gerard Depardieu, Jean-Pierre Martins

 

Plot: Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf’s life was filled with tragedy.


Tagline – The passionate life of Edith Piaf

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cotillard is Outstanding

 

Story: La Vie en Rose starts when young Edith is left in her grandmother’s care in her brothel where prostitute Titine (Seigner) becomes her best friend, she suffers here after becoming sick and newly losing her sight. Taken to the circus by her father, it isn’t long before the two find themselves alone with Edith showing signs of her singing ability.

At the age of 20 Edith (Cotillard) is singing on the street corners with her friend Momone (Testud) before she gets noticed by Louise Leplee (Depardieu) who offers her a chance to sing in his clubs, this is just the beginning of her career as a performer. Edith’s life never went a smoothly as many others because behind the scenes we had plenty of problems.

 

Thoughts on La Vie en Rose

 

Characters – Edith Piaf is the famous French singer, she didn’t start on the top, we learn the struggles she faced, with her upbringing in a brothel and circus, before turning to the streets as a singer. Given the chance to perform on stage she never looked back when it came to performing, but she did enjoy partying which catches up with her as people try to control her rise to the top. Through the film we meet people that are important in Edith’s life, though one thing becomes clear, she doesn’t seem to stay around many people for too long.

PerformancesMarion Cotillard won an Oscar for this performance, you can see why, she is fantastic cover multiply different years of the singer making each age seem realistic for the audience to understand the struggles she is facing next. Everyone else in the film is great, though most struggle to reach the complete level Cotillard achieves in this film.

StoryThe story follows the life and career of performer Edith Piaf one of the most famous French singers of all time, we see how her life started with the battles to get out of the brothel and off the streets, to be where she belonged, on the stage, however many tragic events came her way. The story is told with plenty of time jumps between different ages which at times can be frustrating because this style of movie is often better to watch in the linear process, even if it is somebody looking back on life. Away from that little nit-pick, we see how amazing the story of Edith was with her final performance being the most iconic of all her songs.

Biopic/RomanceWe get to see most of the important moments in Edith’s life with this story, the performances and the tragic moments.

SettingsEach setting used in the film shows us just how the film was able to recreate the location that would have been used for the real moments in the life of the singer, with the performances feeling like they would be where they would really have taken place.


Scene of the Movie –
The final performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The time jumps are off putting at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows just how talents Cotillard is and teaches us about a brilliant singer that will never be forgotten.

 

Overall: Brilliant Biopic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – A – Allied (2016)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris

 

Plot: In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.


Tagline – Deception is an art. Truth is a test. Is love a lie?

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks the Suspense

 

Story: Allied starts as Canadian Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Pitt) lands in Morocco to work with French Resistance Fighter Marianna Beausejour (Cotillard) as they pretend to be married as they complete their mission. The two fall in love for real and return to London to get married against the his superior Frank Heslop (Harris) opinion.

After a year of marriage Heslop comes to Max believing Marianna is indeed a spy, this leaves Max questioning, which side of the story to believe and what is the truth.

 

Thoughts on Allied

 

Characters – Max Vatan is Canadian intelligence working in Africa, highly skilled he can blend into his environment, but he does fall in love with his undercover wife. When he gets informed she could well be a spy, his life is turned upside down with doubts about what is the truth. Marianna is the French resistance fighter working with the Canadian Max as his fake wife, but she also falls in love with Max and returns to start a family with him. We don’t learn too much apart from that she is a loving wife and mother though.

PerformancesBrad Pitt is good for the opening mission, you believe his every decision, but when he becomes the family man, he just doesn’t reach the levels you know he can. Marion Cotillard is good without being her breath-taking best in this role.

StoryThe story here follows love and spies during World War II, we see how two people from different sides of the war fall in love and they must decide which side of the war they are supporting. This film doesn’t become as intense as it could be because seeing it from both sides could have heighted the experience and by the end it just doesn’t feel like it reaches the levels it should.

Action/Romance/WarThe action during the film is tame with very little being used or looking overly real. The romance doesn’t feel whirlwind like you think it should be either, but the war side comes off strong as we see how the tension between the sides cause most of the issues in the lives.

SettingsThe settings look authentic for the time, which does work well for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just fizzles out in the second half of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a war romance film that just never reaches the levels it should do, it just seems to go on and becomes one of the average films that you forget by the end.

 

Overall: Average and disappointing.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – T – Two Days One Night (2014)

Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salee, Baptiste Sornin, Pili Groyne

 

Plot: Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Performance Piece

 

Story: Two Days One Night starts As Sandra (Cotillard) a wife and mother gets informed by one of her close workmates Juliette (Salee) that her work colleagues were forced to vote on either their 1000 Euro bonus or keeping Sandra employed and all bar two picked the bonus.  

Sandra has just the weekend to try and convince other members of the staff to switch their votes in a hope to keep her much needed job to keep the house her and her husband Manu (Rongione) have worked so hard for.

 

Thoughts on Two Days One Night

 

Characters – Sandra is a wife and mother that works in a factory, her life is changed when she learns her boss has given the staff a choice, have their bonus or keep her employed, suffering from stress and depression from this she is forced to into convincing the rest of the staff to vote for her, making her feel like a beggar something she never thought she would be put through. Manu is Sandra’s husband, he supports her through this difficult time, knowing she has fought hard to be in the job even with the added stress this will add to their relationship. We do get to meet the rest of the staff who have their own struggles when it comes to needing the bonus or not too.

PerformancesMarion Cotillard is fantastic in this leading role, carrying the movie with her performance in every single scene. Fabrizio Rongione is wonderful too because his performance helps guide Sandra in the direction she needs while looking strong through the difficult time. The whole cast are brilliant here, giving a real feeling about everything that goes on through the film.

StoryThe story follows one woman who is about to lose her job thanks to a vote, she has one weekend to try and convince the rest of the staff to support her in the vote as she battles her own stress and depression about this decision going on. This is a very interesting story, it could play out in any language, any country and in any career field which is why it makes it such a captivating story to watch unfold, because it asks you the question ‘how would you vote?’. This is yet again a wonderful but hard to watch drama that shows the importance of thinking about more than just yourself.

SettingsThe film shows us the suburbs of Belgium where people work and struggle to make ends meet in an everyday situation.


Scene of the Movie –
The Vote

That Moment That Annoyed Me The idea feels illegal.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful drama that does test the audience to look at themselves, the performances are fantastic throughout and this is a must watch for anyone who sees themselves as cinema fans.

 

Overall: Must watch for all.

Rating

 

 

Marion Cotillard Weekend – Rust and Bone (2012)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain (Screenplay) Craig Davidson (Story)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Celine Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners

 

Plot: Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: Rust and Bone starts Alain (Schoenaraerts) moves to start a new life with his son Sam (Verdure), he moves in with his sister Anna (Masiero) until he can put enough money together. Working as a bouncer he meets Stephanie (Cotillard) after a brawl at his club. The two become friends after Stephanie a worker with killer whales suffers a tragic accident losing both her legs leaving her in deep depression. As Alain finds a way to bring the life back into Stephanie he looks to improve his financial situation by entering a kick boxing tournament which could help himself and Sam find their own place. The closer the two get the happier Stephanie finds herself with her new chance at life showing you can get anything out of a tragic event.

 

Thoughts on Rust and Bone

 

Characters/PerformanceStephanie works in an ocean tour park with killer whales but when she is involved in an accident she finds herself needing to start her life again. She dives into depression but a new friendship offers her a new look on life. Alain is a single parent not having much luck on the job front and ends up getting involved in underground fighter for quick money. He befriends Stephanie as he gets to see another way of life where he could settle down giving his son a stable future.

Marion continues to show her ability as an actress with this brilliant performance showing all the emotional levels need for her character. Matthias also goes a fantastic job here showing he is just as capable as Marion.

StoryThe story shows how two people can overcome problems in their lives, be it Stephanie’s life changing injuries or Alain needing to make a life for his young son. With this we get to see how a relationship between these two can motivate the two to make more of their lives and still enjoy the rest of their lives. It shows how you can’t let anything stop you doing what you want in your life.

Romance The romantic side of the film comes from the potential relationship the two could find themselves in, Stephanie wants something serious while Alain is happy sleeping around but can they put this aside and fall in love.

SettingsWhen you look at the settings most of this film is considered normal for the most part, they all have simple and do what they need without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully shot drama that gives us two heavyweight performances and a story that shows you can overcome any injury suffered.

 

Overall: Wonderful film for all the drama fans out there to go and watch.

Rating

 

 

Marion Cotillard Weekend – Macbeth (2015)

macbethDirector: Justin Kurzel

Writer: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso (Screenplay) William Shakespeare (Play)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Mario Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor, David Hayman

 

Plot: Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: How Did This Become Boring?

 

Story: Macbeth starts as we learn that Macbeth (Fassbender) is leading his army in a war for the King of Scotland Duncan (Thewlis). Being a loyal soldier Macbeth is reward by the king after his latest victory but when Macbeth gets a visit from three witches he learns that he will one day be king. Being consumed with the idea of becoming king and along with his wife Lady Macbeth (Cotillard) they plan to kill the king.

Once the king is dead Macbeth is placed into the roll as king but his paranoia about who knows the truth takes over him when he simply doesn’t know who to trust from his closest friends and his enemies.

Macbeth is one of my favourite Shakespeare stories which instantly made me want to see this film but wow I was disappointed with this telling of the story. This story continues to show very little happening in a story that should be filled with tension, revenge and bloodshed but all we seem to get is talking, talking and talking. I am really annoyed how dull this story is that might as well just have been the stage version because nothing gets offered to make this film unique.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Fassbender: Macbeth is the loyal soldier in a war for Scotland’s king Duncan, when he gets visited by three witches he gets the new that he will one day become king of Scotland. This leads to him to kill the king taking his crown but becoming paranoid that he will be a victim just like he made Duncan. Michael does a good job in a performance that could easily be the stage performance.macbeth hcaracter

Marion Cotillard: Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth who pushes him into killing the eking so that he could become king, she stays calm even though she is guilt ridden trying to bring her husband back to the great man he once was. Marion gives us a good performance that would be great on the stage.lady

Paddy Considine: Banquo is the loyal first person Macbeth turns to during battle but once Macbeth becomes king everything changes between the two loyal friends. Paddy is good but doesn’t get enough screen time to make the impact required.

David Thewlis: Duncan is the king of Scotland, he trusts Macbeth to lead his army but once the war is over the very man he trusts is the one that turns on him. David does a good job in this role which we know is only for a supporting member of the cast.

Support Cast: Macbeth has all the character from the play without making many of them making a big impact.

Director Review: Justin KurzelJustin does well directing a glorified play.

 

Drama: Macbeth is a slow moving story that should be a lot more intense.

War: Macbeth uses the war story as the backdrop to the story being told.

Settings: Macbeth uses the Scotland highlands for the settings throughout.
Suggestion
: Macbeth is one to save your money as go to the theatre to see. (Theatre Trip)

 

Best Part: Looks pretty.

Worst Part: Dull throughout

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: All hail

 

Overall: Dull, boring adaptation of a Shakespeare classic

Ratingcard