Posts Tagged ‘2014’


Fidelio: Alice’s Journey (Lucie Borleteau, 2014)

October 3, 2015


Undoubtedly the sexiest film set on a freighter since Captain Phillips, Fidelio: Alice’s Journey, the French feature debut of actress-turned-writer-director Lucie Borleteau, is a riveting exploration of sexual relationships, everyday sexism, and seafaring struggles (with a touch of sex)…

Click for the full review for


Horse Money (Pedro Costa, 2014)

September 17, 2015


To offer a reductive description of Pedro Costa’s Horse Money for those unfamiliar with it or him as a filmmaker, imagine the following: Labyrinth, except Jennifer Connelly is now an elderly Cape Verde immigrant named Ventura, the labyrinthine dream world is a succession of purgatorial hospital hallways and broken streets, the Jim Henson puppets are replaced by the sorrowful ghosts of lost Portuguese souls, and the looming presence of David Bowie is instead the spectre of Portugal’s socio-political climate. That old, familiar tale…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


When Animals Dream (Jonas Alexander Arnby, 2014)

August 28, 2015


With a narrative that recalls Canadian and Mexican horrors Ginger Snaps and We Are What We Are, the feature debut of Danish director Jonas Alexander Arnby, When Animals Dream, joins the burgeoning list of contemporary coming-of-age films with a framing device rooted in the macabre…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages


Beyond the Reach (Jean-Baptiste Léonetti, 2014)

July 31, 2015


Adapted from Robb White’s novel, Deathwatch, Beyond the Reach sees a revival of that now classic conceit of The Most Dangerous Game: man hunting man.

Michael Douglas is Madec, a high-rolling corporate shark taking a hunting trip in the Mojave Desert. Jeremy Irvine is Ben, his poor, young guide from a local town, who’s going through hard times with his childhood sweetheart, now off at college elsewhere in the country. While out on the trip, Madec accidentally shoots a surprise human visitor from afar. He bribes Ben to keep mum about the incident, but Ben has a personal attachment to the deceased and wants to tell the authorities. With a big deal pending with Chinese investors, Madec naturally thinks manslaughter or murder charges might not be the best publicity. And so Ben swiftly ends up as the next target of Madec’s high-powered rifle…

Click for the full review for


Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)

July 22, 2015


Christian Petzold’s German melodrama, Phoenix, features subtle performances for a narrative stretching credibility, but the film rewards with wonders for those that can play along with a tale where a lead seems unable to see what the viewer so easily can. One of these players is Nelly (Nina Hoss), a Jewish former club singer and concentration camp survivor, who has undergone facial surgery after the war but looks largely the same thanks to the doctors’ work. The second is Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), the husband who seemingly betrayed his wife and contributed to her SS capture. The two reunite in Switzerland, except Johnny is so convinced that Nelly is dead that, upon her presentation of herself to him, he immediately sees her not as his wife, but as a potential suitable doppelganger that he can train to help him secure the “real” Nelly’s family fortune…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages


The Salt of the Earth (Wim Wenders/Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, 2014)

July 17, 2015


With The Salt of the Earth, Wim Wenders has helmed yet another strong documentary about a fellow artist (see Pina), though this time he’s on co-directing duties with Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, the son of his documentary’s subject. The film profiles Sebastião Salgado, an acclaimed Brazilian photojournalist whose life has mostly been spent chronicling the misfortunes of victims of man’s cruelty and selfishness; massacred Tutsi in Rwanda and famine victims in the Sahel region of central Africa are just two of the striking subjects of his camera’s lens…

Click for the full review for


What We Did on Our Holiday (Andy Hamilton/Guy Jenkin, 2014)

July 8, 2015


A BBC Films production from the minds behind Outnumbered, What We Did on Our Holiday often looks and feels like an extended sitcom episode rather than a film. As visually inventive as American efforts likeCommunity can be, British sitcoms have largely failed to catch up on a formal level, so this is meant as a detriment. Just about the only moment that transcends this aesthetic quality is actually something of a major plot spoiler, but let’s just say it involves Vikings and the sea. And now to get into how a film called What We Did on Our Holiday could possibly even have something like a shocking plot twist…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages