Posts Tagged ‘Marion Cotillard’

Marion Cotillard...facing her coworkers

Marion Cotillard…facing her coworkers

“TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT”  My rating: A 

95 minutes  | MPAA rating: PG-13

Belgium’s Dardenne Brothers –Jean-Pierre and Luc — make small, sometimes mournful films about average individuals caught in the gears of larger institutions.

They’ve never done anything as powerful as “Two Days, One Night,” featuring Oscar-nominated Marion Cotillard in what some day may be recalled as her greatest performance (and she already has a best actress statuette for “La Vie en Rose”).

The setup is simple.

After several months of sick leave, blue-collar worker Sandra (Cotillard) is ready to get back to her job. She, her husband Manu (Fabrizio Rongione) and their two kids can’t last much longer on one income.

Then, on the Friday before she is to resume her duties, she learns that her co-workers have voted not to bring her back. The plant’s managers have proposed dividing up Sandra’s work load — and her paycheck — among the remaining employees. It is, say the bosses, the only way the staff will get a bonus this year.

A desperate Sandra pleads for and is given a second vote so that she can make her case. She has the weekend — two days and one night — to visit all 16 of her co-workers to change minds.

The bulk of “Two Days, One Night” consists of these conversations, which are as tense, angry and sad as you’d expect.

TO READ THE REST OF THIS REVIEW VISIT THE KANSAS CITY STAR WEB SITE AT http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/movies-news-reviews/article9287789.html

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Clive Owen, Billy Crudup

Clive Owen, Billy Crudup

“BLOOD TIES” My rating: C (Opening March 21 at the Leawood)

127 minutes | MPAA rating: R

The crime drama “Blood Ties” has a hell of a pedigree.

The cast boasts of Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Mina Kunis, Zoe Saldana, James Caan and Lili Taylor. Behind the camera is the French director Guillaume Canet, whose 2006 “Tell No One” was one of the most satisfying thrillers of recent years.

And yet the movie is a mutt.

Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit extreme. “Blood Ties” is  competent. It’s just totally uninspired. There’s more oomph in five minutes of, say, “Goodfellas,” than in two hours of this effort.

The setup isn’t exactly original. Two brothers. One is a cop. The other is a crook.

Chris (Clive Owen) is finally released from prison after doing time for murder. He’s greeted at the gates by his sister (Lili Taylor) and younger brother Frank (Billy Crudup), an NYPD detective. They take Chris home for a reunion with their dying father (James Caan).

Chris claims he wants to go straight, but he has lots of baggage to deal with.  His ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard) is a call girl and periodic junkie. She has managed to raise their two kids, who are now young teens and virtual strangers to Chris. But she wants money, lots of it.


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Rust 1“RUST AND BONE” My rating: B- (Opening Jan. 18 at the Glenwood Arts ????)

120 minutes | MPAA rating: R

As much as there is to enjoy in the lead performances of Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts, Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone” labors under a surfeit of overkill.

At its core it’s a down-to-earth story.  A womanizing man uncomfortable with his role as a single father befriends a young woman disfigured in a terrible accident. Little by little he pulls her out of her shell of depression, while she helps him discover his paternal instincts and his less-selfish side.

Cue the violins.

But wait. That’s too simple. Too cut and dried.

How about this:  The guy becomes a champion of illegal underground gladiatorial combats. And the woman loses her legs to a killer whale.

Yeah, that’s much more believable.

So you see what I mean about overkill. And yet Audiard (maker of the epic prison drama “A Prophet”) and his stars have almost enough skill – almost – to sell “Rust and Bone’s” hyperbole. (more…)

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Gwyneth Paltrow...not feeling so good

“CONTAGION’’ My rating: B (Opening wide on Sept. 9)

105 minutes |MPAA rating: PG-13

There’s no shortage of big names in the cast, but the real star of “Contagion” is filmmaker Stephen Soderbergh.

His latest is a hypnotic juggling act, a carefully calibrated mashup of characters and situations that proves him a master storyteller.

This time the maker of “Traffic,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Che” and “Out of Sight” (and, yes, the “Ocean’s” flicks) delivers a “what if?” thriller about a killer flu pandemic that puts mankind on the ropes.

“Contagion” paints a grim but fully-detailed picture of how we’d react in such circumstances, and it’s not pretty.


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