Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 23: Isabelle Huppert

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 23 is Isabelle Huppert, and writerCaz Armstrong discusses Huppert's performance in "Elle".

Les Miserables (2019) Review

With his feature debut, “Les Miserables”, writer/director Ladj Ly creates narrative that’s boiling with tension as it displays the slow rise of rebellion and anarchy in a French city. Now, I know what you’re thinking, is this another adaptation of the iconic novel by Victor Hugo or the musical – it’s not. Ly’s film is more of a modern take on the rebellious nature of the story and is inspired by 2005 riots that took place in Paris suburbs and across France. It has viewers follow the perspective of Stephane Ruiz (Damien Bonnard), a new officer that comes from a small province and transfers to a suburb of Paris called Montfermeil.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 30: Emmanuelle Riva

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 50 actresses. Our first piece is on Emmanuelle Riva, who won a BAFTA for her performance in Michael Haneke's 2012 film "Amour".

ITOL 2019 Round-up: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

“Portrait Of A Lady On Fire” is a wonderfully subtle, minimalist film, one that trusts the audience’s ability to pick up on the slightest glance, the coyest smirk. It’s also worth nothing that the director is herself a queer woman, having known Haenel as a partner both professional and romantic, and reminding us that queer and trans folk should be taking the lead on LGBTQ+ cinema.

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.15: Raw

Horror cinema has enjoyed a real purple patch in the last decade, and arguably the most exciting, inventive and disturbing release of the 2010s is “Raw”, the debut feature for French writer-director Julie Ducournau. The film plays out as an unholy marriage between a coming-of-age tale and a cannibal horror story, in which a young vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier) takes her first steps into adulthood as she begins her studies at veterinary college.  

LFF Review: I Lost My Body (J’ai Perdu Mon Corps)

“I Lost My Body” (2019) is the first feature film by director Jérémy Clapin. It was shown as part of the “Dare” stream at London Film Festival 2019 which was described as “In-your-face, up-front and arresting: films that take you out of your comfort zone”. That certainly is a good description of this film. The Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner engages all the senses to take you on a melancholic and emotional journey towards a gruesome end.

Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This is the female gaze like you’ve never seen it before. "Portrait"--a film set in Brittany, France in the 18th century--is a showcase of how the depths of insight and poignancy in a work of art comes as a result of the artist having a deep, loving, obsessive understanding of their subject. It is a film about two women on an island with hardly anyone else around them and the painfully, yet deliciously slow romance that materializes from a connection of their minds, bodies, and souls. The film is thematically rich and daring, yet never once seeks to shove a message or agenda down your throat; it’s a love story, plain and simple. Writer/director Céline Sciamma clearly isn’t interested in subverting history in an effort to appease the needs of a contemporary audience--yet in spite of that, this is a film brimming with human truths. It is reminiscent of the underpinnings and themes found Greek and Gothic literature and poetry. Tender, yet complex and multifaceted--this is in no way a political film, but rather, a subtle social commentary on the kinds of job opportunities available to women in the 18th century.

31 Days of Horror, Day 22: Evolution

Okay, frankly I didn’t really know how to start this review other than saying: This movie’s weird. Not weird in a bad way or anything like that, but Lucile Hadzilhalilovic’s “Evolution” constantly had me scratching my head and looking away with how graphically creepy and oddly confusing it can be.

The film’s premise is actually pretty intriguing and relatively simple as we follow Nicolas (Max Brebant), a sickly young boy living in a sea-side town where young boys and women are its only residents. However, when Nicolas discovers the body of a boy in the ocean, he begins to question everything around him. He questions how why they’re actually on the island if his mother is who she claims she is, and why he and the other boys must be hospitalized. This questioning is what makes him dangerous to the women, whose motives aren’t so clear, and what makes him look for a way off of the island.

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