Posts Tagged ‘Vincent Cassel’

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A Dangerous Method (2011)

Sunday, 11. December 2011

A Dangerous Method
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Christopher Hampton
Based on: Christopher Hampton’s play, which is based on John Kerr’s book
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon

Plot:
Carl Gustav Jung (Michael Fassbender) is a young psychologist much in awe of Sigmund Freud‘s (Viggo Mortensen) work. When Jung gets a new patient, the young Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), he starts a psychoanalysis with her and he also begins to correspond with Freud about the case. But Jung soon discovers his attraction to Spielrein (and vice versa) and when Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) encourages him to give in, he can’t really resist.

A Dangerous Method is an almost perfect movie, interesting, not afraid of depth, but never gets too overbearing. Additionally, it has a good cast and it’s entertaining. Chapeau once again, Mr. Cronenberg.

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Black Swan (2010)

Friday, 28. January 2011

Black Swan is the newest film by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder.

Plot:
Nina (Natalie Portman) is a dancer in a struggling ballet company. Its director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) decides to put on a version of Swan Lake where the White Swan and the Black Swan are played by the same person. Nina auditions like everybody else, but in her need to control everything, she never seems to be able to really get the sensual seduction of the Black Swan. The pressure on her rises – from Thomas, from new company member Lily (Mila Kunis) with whom Nina strikes up a competition, from Nina’s mother Erica (Barbara Hershey), but most of all from Nina herself.

My expectations for this film was way, way, way up high. Not only is it the newest film by Aronofsky and stars two of my favorite actors (Portman and Cassel) and I hadn’t heard a single bad word about it in advance. Expectations couldn’t get any higher. And how completely satisfying is it that all of them were met?

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L’ennemi public n°1 (Mesrine: Part 2 – Public Enemy #1) (2008)

Wednesday, 7. October 2009

L’ennemi public n°1 (Mesrine: Part 2 – Public Enemy #1) is part two (of two) of a biopic about Jacques Mesrine, directed by Jean-François Richet and starring Vincent Cassel, Ludivine Sagnier and Mathieu Amalric. [Review of the first movie here.]

Plot:
L’ennemi public n°1 starts with Mesrine’s (Vincent Cassel) death, then goes back for a while and unroll things until he dies (again). This time round, we see trials and prisone time for Mesrine, but also break-outs and political activism. There’s a little bit of Catch Me If You Can going on with police officer Broussard (Olivier Gourmet), and other stuff.
[If this plot summary sounds a little flighty, it is... but more on that later.]

The first part was good, though it had some problems. The second part was problem, though it had some goods. The cast is still strong, but the plot was all over the place, the pacing was off and I was more bored than anything else. Maybe that’s because they were trying to go for a light-hearted movie [at least compared to part one] with a really heavy-hearted topic. Just didn’t work.

l-ennemi-public-n-1

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L’instinct de mort (Mesrine: Part 1 – Death Instinct) (2008)

Tuesday, 21. July 2009

L’instinct de mort (Mesrine: Part 1 – Death Instinct) is part one (of two) of a biopic about Jacques Mesrine, directed by Jean-François Richet and starring Vincent Cassel, Cécile De France and Gérard Depardieu. L’instinct de mort follows Mesrine lives from the start of his criminal career to the showdown of events in Canada. [The second part starts there and continues to his death.]

Plot:
Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) was a soldier in the Algerian war where he witnessed gruesome events, which might or might not have been a trigger for his following ruthlessness. Back in France, he started working for a small gangster boss (Gérard Depardieu). He did pretty much everything from robbing banks to murdering and beating people. After getting arrested, trying to lead a normal life and going back to his criminal ways, Mesrine got into trouble with another group of gangsters and eventually fled with his mistress Jeanne (Cécile de France), first to the US, then to Canada. In Canada he met Jean-Paul Mercier (Roy Dupuis) who was part of the Front de libération du Québec. After a failed kidnapping, all three of them got arrested and Mesrine was sentenced to ten years in prison. But he escaped, robbed banks and later tried to break out some other prisoners of the same prison but failed there.  Shortly before he returnes to France, the movie ends.

Mesrine was an interesting character and Vincent Cassel is an amazing cast. But the movie is definitely not for everyone – it’s pretty frank with its sex scenes in the first half and exceptionally brutal in the second half. No, that’s not true. It’s brutal throughout the whole movie. The cutting and the directing weren’t great, but it definitely made me want to see part two.

Mesrine

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Triple Feature

Wednesday, 27. February 2008

Yesterday was very intense. I left work early (I started early as well) to be able to go to a triple movie feature. I finally saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age, There Will Be Blood and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. [You may call me crazy for doing that.]

Elizabeth: The Golden Age was amazing. I actually like it better than the first part (which was excellent as well and it had Vincent Cassel in drag).
Shekhar Kapur has a perfect feeling for the use of light and the effect of light and light in general. He could have made a little less “shots through ornaments” (he likes them, see also Elizabeth) but that’s ok.
The acting was a-fucking-mazing. I knew Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush do act really good. I also knew Clive Owen could but rarely would (this time he did). Surprises were: Rhys Ifans (I like him and I know he can act but I didn’t know he was in this movie) and Jordi Mollà (who I didn’t know before but who had the incredible ability to scream “I’m a totally fucked-up maniac and nothing can stop me” without uttering a single word). With that cast, I also have to give out a honorary mention of Abbie Cornish and Samantha Morton who were noticed :).
The dialogues were wonderful. Watching the movie I felt like I needed to take a pen out and write along. Or probably learn the screenplay (by William Nicholson and Michael Hirst) by heart.
Of course, the movie had some weak spots. I already mentioned the ornament shots. Then there was Archduke Charles, an Austrian who comes so the queen may see if he’s fit to marry. Anyway, Christian Brassington obviously doesn’t speak a word German (although he has a good German accent in English) but has to say a couple of sentences. I actually needed the subtitles to understand him because his accent was so bad. [Cate Blanchett had a better pronunciation.] That’s just embarassing.
And from the characterisation: Sir Walter Raleigh must have been one hell of a guy. First, he’s the perfect gentleman, funny, intelligent, knows how to tell a story, knows what he wants and has amazing green eyes (ok, those belong to Clive Owen). Then you might say he trips a little by sleeping with the queen’s chambermaid (or whatever you call the girls) [but I think that was only rational, not necessarily wise but rational - he knew nothing could happen with the queen]. Anyway, he gets Bess (the chambermaid) pregnant and instantly marries her and is happy with that. And after that he goes out and singlehandedly defeats the Spanish Armada.  That might be a little too much (but feeds my hope that somewhere out there might be a man who is a little bit like that).
Summarising: A wonderful film with wonderful actors and a wonderful script which has some minor faults. Plus: Clive Owen’s hotter than Joseph Fiennes.

On to There Will Be Blood:
I was actually very disappointed by this film. I mean, Daniel Day-Lewis is great, as usual, as is Paul Dano who does a very good job not disappearing beside DD-L. But the film concentrates so much on DD-L that everything else is lost.
The “deathmatch” between him and the church is actually no match at all, there never is a single shred of doubt about the outcome and I felt like laughing all the time about the “exorcisms”.
Relationships live and die with Plainview’s feelings, the other person he has the relationship with has no say in it. (And no matter how dominant one person may be, relationships don’t work that way.)
And the music was horrible. It was intrusive and didn’t fit. The beginning of the credits deserves an award for Worst Chosen Music In A Film.
I guess, if I ever had the chance to make a movie with Daniel Day-Lewis, I’d try to get him into it as much as possible. So I understand why Paul Thomas Anderson did it the way he did. But he should have cut about half an hour of the film and could have tried to incorporate some other actors in this film as well.
Without DD-L there wouldn’t have been a movie. With him, there’s great acting but not much of a film.

So we come to Sweeney Todd.
In a nutshell: Another masterpiece by Tim Burton. I loved it. I loved the story, the music, the costumes (K. [German] wrote about Johnny Depp‘s trousers, I have to point out his leather jacket) and the acting.
Let’s get the things I didn’t like out of the way: The opening credits. The blood was poorly animated, it looked much too sticky and he could have done better.
That’s it.
Of course, Tim Burton has this very distinct style and some people may call it repetitive but who cares? I love the way he uses colours, and the lack of them. As well as the way he uses the same actors to portray the same roles, gives it all a continuity. (Though I guess, Christina Ricci wasn’t available.)

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spot the five differences… I know, it’s hard…

The lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler were just wonderful.

And in the darkness
When I’m blind
With what I can’t forget
It’s always morning in my mind

And there’s another quote (this time from the script by John Logan) I loved, Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham-Carter) says: “There could be an us, you know. It may not be what I dreamed of and it may not be what you remember, but it could be an us.”
I may be overinterpreting here, but I also liked the reference to Edward Scissorhands: Mr. Todd holds up the razor and says: “Finally, my arm is complete again.”
I laughed my ass off during the dream sequence. The striped bathing suits flat did it for me ((c) Anita Blake).
I don’t know what to think of Jamie Campbell Bower yet. He knows how to sing, that’s for sure, but I don’t think him that good an actor. And he looks weird.

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Alan Rickman, of course, was great. And Sacha Baron Cohen as “Call me Davey” Pirelli had me almost falling off my chair. And Timothy Spall was the perfect cast for Beadle. (When I saw him, my first thought was “Mr. Croup!” but I mistook him for Hywel Bennett. Only my second thought was “Peter Pettigrew!“)
And Giles Anthony Stewart Head was there, if only for five seconds.

There are about a thousand more things I could write about this film, but I’ll leave it at that. I guess you know already what I’m feeling about it.

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