Mini Reviews #15

two_days_one_nightTwo Days, One Night (2014)
Director: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée

Two Days, One Night follows protagonist Sandra for the titled amount of time while she goes door to door amongst the homes of her colleagues to try to persuade them to vote against her redundancy. The film is incredibly low key and slow paced but offers an incredibly interesting insight in to human compassion and selfishness. Cotillard gives a raw and honest performance and makes a potentially tiresome and repetitive narrative feel almost thriller-esque, effortlessly winning the audience’s compassion and forcing them to invest in the tense outcome. 7.5/10.

 

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MV5BMTcxNDQwMjY0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTgwNzE0MjE@._V1_SY209_CR00140209_AL_-140x200Maps To The Stars (2014)
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack

David Cronenberg presents a scathing, visceral critique on vapid Hollywood culture in this picture focusing on various outlandish characters operating within Californian show business. A star studded cast all bring weird and quirky creations to the screen, but the film absolutely belongs to Julianne Moore as Havana Segrand, a once sought after actress whose fortunes are fading fast. In the same year that Moore picked up the Best Actress Oscar for Still Alice, it could be argued that her real crowning performance came in Maps To The Stars. 8.5/10.

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clouds-of-sils-maria-140x200Clouds Of Sils Maria (2014)
Director: Olivier Assayas
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloe Grace Moretz

An exercise in high quality acting and meta story telling, Clouds Of Sils Maria tells the intense and quietly engrossing tale of a mature actress (Binoche) and her assitant (Stewart) whose personal and professional lives become intertwined whilst rehearsing for a particular film shoot. Exploring feminine centric themes like ageing, jealousy and blurred lines in close friendships, the film is a slow burn but a real treat for those willing to adapt to its pace. Binoche is solid but the strongest performance comes from Stewart, undoubtedly the best of her career. 8/10.

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