Monday, February 28, 2011

Santa Sangre (1989)

Santa Sangre (1989)
Santa Sangre (1989)

Genre: Fantasy / Horror
Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Starring: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, Thelma Tixou
Duration: 123 min.
Rating: 8.3/10

Fenix is the son of a circus strongman and an aerialist. One night, the mother sees from her high perspective that her husband is fooling around with the tattooed lady. She later confronts him and throws acid on him in retaliation. He saws off her arms in return and kills himself. Years later, Fenix is released from an insane asylum by his armless mother. She wants to go on a murderous revenge spree, and maybe play a little piano, and she needs Fenix to be her arms for both tasks.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

83rd Academy Awards (2011)

Oscar night is here, watch it live starting at 5pm PST/8pm EST at

Just for fun, I will try and make some predictions:

Who I Think Should Win

Who I Think Will Win


Actor in a Leading Role

  • Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
  • Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
  • Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
  • Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” *WINNER
  • James Franco in “127 Hours”


Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christian Bale in “The Fighter” *WINNER
  • John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”


Actress in a Leading Role

  • Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
  • Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” *WINNER
  • Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”


Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
  • Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
  • Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” *WINNER
  • Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”


Animated Feature Film

  • “How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
  • “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
  • “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich *WINNER


Art Direction

  • “Alice in Wonderland” *WINNER
    Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Inception”
    Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
  • “The King's Speech”
    Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
  • “True Grit”
    Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh



  • “Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
  • “Inception” Wally Pfister *WINNER
  • “The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
  • “The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “True Grit” Roger Deakins


Costume Design

  • “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood *WINNER
  • “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
  • “The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
  • “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
  • “True Grit” Mary Zophres



  • “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
  • “The Fighter” David O. Russell
  • “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper *WINNER
  • “The Social Network” David Fincher
  • “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen


Documentary (Feature)

  • “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
  • “Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
  • “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs *WINNER
  • “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
  • “Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley


Documentary (Short Subject)

  • “Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
  • “Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
  • “Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon *WINNER
  • “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
  • “The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon


Film Editing

  • “Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
  • “The Fighter” Pamela Martin
  • “The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
  • “127 Hours” Jon Harris
  • “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter *WINNER


Foreign Language Film

  • “Biutiful” Mexico
  • “Dogtooth” Greece
  • In a Better World Denmark *WINNER
  • “Incendies” Canada
  • “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria



  • “Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
  • “The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
  • “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey *WINNER


Music (Original Score)

  • “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
  • “Inception” Hans Zimmer
  • “The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
  • “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
  • “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross *WINNER


Music (Original Song)

  • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
  • “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
  • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
  • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman *WINNER


Best Picture

  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers *WINNER
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers


Short Film (Animated)

  • “Day & Night” Teddy Newton
  • “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
  • “Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
  • “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann *WINNER
  • “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois


Short Film (Live Action)

  • “The Confession” Tanel Toom
  • “The Crush” Michael Creagh
  • “God of Love” Luke Matheny *WINNER
  • “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
  • “Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite


Sound Editing

  • “Inception” Richard King *WINNER
  • “Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
  • “Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
  • “Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger


Sound Mixing

  • “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick *WINNER
  • “The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
  • “Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
  • “The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland


Visual Effects

  • “Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
  • “Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
  • “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb *WINNER
  • “Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
  • “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin *WINNER
  • “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
  • “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini


Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
  • “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
    Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
  • “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
  • “The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler *WINNER  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Little White Lies (2010)

Little White Lies / Les petits mouchoirs (2010)
Little White Lies / Les petits mouchoirs (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Guillaume Canet
Starring: Francois Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Jean Dujardin, Laurent Lafitte, Valerie Bonneton, Pascale Arbillot
Duration: 154 min.
Rating: 7.8/10

Despite a traumatic event, a group of friends decide to go ahead with their annual beach vacation. Their relationships, convictions, sense of guilt and friendship are sorely tested. They are finally forced to own up to the little white lies they've been telling each other. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

36th Cesar Awards (2011)

Today, the 36th Annual Cesar Awards will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. American actress Jodie Foster is presiding over this year's ceremony and Quentin Tarantino will be receiving an honorary award for his work.  

French speakers can watch it televised online at starting at 10AM PST/1PM EST.

Leading the pack is Cannes Grand Prix winner, Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men with 10 nominations, followed by Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, and Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) each with 8 nominations.

See the full list of nominees and winners after the jump.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

20 Cigarettes (2010)

20 Cigarettes / 20 sigarette (2010)
20 Cigarettes / 20 sigarette (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Aureliano Amadei
Starring: Vinicio Marchioni, Carolina Crescentini, Giorgio Colangeli
Duration: 94 min.
Rating: 7.2/10

An assistant director working in Iraq finds himself caught up in the attack on the Nassiriya army barracks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Catfish (2010)

Catfish (2010)

Genre: Documentary
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Starring: Yaniv Schulman
Duration: 87 min.
Rating: 7.0/10

In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel's brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Certified Copy (2010)

Certified Copy / Copie conforme (2010)
Certified Copy / Copie conforme (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
Duration: 106 min.
Rating: 7.8/10

In Tuscany to promote his latest book, a middle-aged English writer meets a French woman who leads him to the village of Lucignano.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Amer (2009)

Amer (2009)
Amer (2009)

Genre: ???
Director: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Starring: Cassandra Foret, Charlotte Eugene Guibeaud, Marie Bos
Duration: 90 min.
Rating: 8.7/10

Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive. A black laced hand prevents her from screaming. The wind lifts her dress and caresses her thighs. A razor blade brushes her skin, where will this chaotic and carnivorous journey leave her? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Chaser (2008)

The Chaser / Chugyeogja (2008)
The Chaser / Chugyeogja / 추격자 (2008)
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Director: Na Hong-jin
Starring: Kim Yoon-seok, Ha Jeong-woo
Duration: 123 min.
Rating: 8.2/10

Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts.  While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

61st Berlin International Film Festival (2011)

Today the International Jury presided by Isabella Rossellini awarded the main prizes of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival in the Berlinale Palast.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vengeance (2009)

Vengeance / Fuk Sau (2009)
Vengeance / Fuk Sau / 復仇 (2009)

Genre: Drama / Action
Director: Johnny To
Starring: Johnny Hallyday, Anthony Wong, Lam Ka-Tung, Lam Suet, Simon Yam, Sylvie Testud
Duration: 109 min.
Rating: 7.1/10

A retired assassin working as a French chef swears revenge after a violent attack on his daughter's family in Hong Kong, during which her husband and her two children are murdered. To help him find the killers, he hires three local hit-men working for the mafia.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Accident (2009)

Accident / Yi Ngoi (2009)
Accident / Yi Ngoi / 意外 (2009)

Genre: Drama / Thriller
Director: Soi Cheang
Starring: Louis Koo, Richie Ren, Michelle Ye
Duration: 86 min.
Rating: 7.3/10

A self-styled accident choreographer, the Brain is a professional hitman who kills his victims by trapping them in well crafted accidents that look like unfortunate mishaps but are in fact perfectly staged acts of crime.

After one mission accidentally goes wrong, the Brain is convinced that someone is out there plotting to terminate him and his team. He becomes increasingly paranoid, walking on the thin line between reality and delusion.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Better Tomorrow (1986)

A Better Tomorrow / Ying hung boon sik (1986)
A Better Tomorrow / Ying hung boon sik / 英雄本色 (1986)

Genre: Action / Drama
Director: John Woo
Starring: Chow Yun Fat, Leslie Cheung, Ti Yung
Duration: 95 min
Rating: 8.4/10

An ex-con just released from prison is forced to choose between his loyal best friend and join a life of crime once again, or turn himself and his former crew in and make amends with his angry, betrayed policeman brother.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2046 (2004)

2046 (2004)

Genre: Drama
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Starring: Tony Leung, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura, Zhang Ziyi
Duration: 129 min.
Rating: 8.4/10

He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same recapture their lost memories.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Crime (2010)

Love Crime / Crime d'amour (2010)
Love Crime / Crime d'amour (2010)

Genre: Drama / Mystery
Director: Alain Corneau
Starring: Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Mille
Duration: 104 min.
Rating: 6.7/10

Two women compete in the sterile offices of a powerful multinational corporation.  Young Isabelle is working under Christine, a woman of power whom use admires completely.  Convinced that her protegee is a threat to her position, Christine leads Isabelle in a terrible game of foul play, perverse seduction, and domination.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Restrepo (2010)

Restrepo (2010)

Genre: Documentary
Director: Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington
Duration: 93 min.
Rating: 8.2/10

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan's most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Illusionist (2010)

The Illusionist / L'illusionniste (2010)
The Illusionist / L'illusionniste (2010)

Genre: Animated
Director: Sylvain Chomet
Starring: Jean-Claude Donda, Eilidh Rankin
Duration: 80 min.
Rating: 7.9/10

A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

London River (2009)

London River (2009)
London River (2009)

Genre: Drama
Director: Rachid Bouchareb
Starring: Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate
Duration: 87 min.
Rating: 6.9/10

After traveling to London to check on their missing children in the wake of the 7/7/2005 terror attack on the city, two strangers come to discover their respective children had been living together at the time of the attacks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Saw the Devil (2010)

I Saw The Devil / Akmareul boatda (2010)
I Saw The Devil / Akmareul boatda / 악마를 보았다 (2010)

Genre: Drama / Thriller
Director: Kim Ji-woon
Starring: Choi Min-sik, Lee Byung-hun
Duration: 144 min.
Rating: 8.3/10

When his young wife is murdered by a serial killer, a secret agent instigates a campaign of torture and revenge against the man with the ultimate goal of making the killer finally discover what it truly means to be someone’s victim. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All That I Love (2009)

All That I Love / Wszystko, co kocham (2009)
All That I Love / Wszystko, co kocham (2009)

Genre: Drama
Director: Jacek Borcuch
Starring: Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Olga Frycz, Jakub Gierszal
Duration: 95 min.
Rating: 6.8/10

Follows four friends in their quest to form a punk band. As worker's protests sweep across the country, Janek and Staszek, the sons of a navy man, the rebellious Kazik, and the affluent Diabel gel as a band, but their disparate lives are touched by social turmoil and outside perceptions.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Waiting For Superman (2010)

Waiting For Superman (2010)

Genre: Documentary
Director: Davis Guggenheim

Duration: 102 min.
Rating: 6.7/10

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily.  As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Room in Rome (2010)

Room in Rome / Habitación en Roma (2010)
Room in Rome / Habitación en Roma (2010) 

Genre: Drama
Director: Julio Medem
Starring: Elena Anaya, Natasha Yarovenko
Duration: 109 min.
Rating: 6.8/10

In a hotel room in the centre of Rome, two young women who have just met go on a physical journey which will touch their souls.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Misfortunates (2009)

The Misfortunates / De helaasheid der dingen (2009)

Genre: Comedy / Drama
Director: Felix Van Groeningen
Starring: Kenneth Vanbaeden, Valentijn Dhaenens, Koen De Graeve, Johan Heldenbergh, Wouter Hendrickx, Bert Haelvoet, Gilda De Bal.   
Duration: 108 min.
Rating: 7.3/10

13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he's being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Four Lions (2010)

Four Lions (2010)
Four Lions (2010)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Chris Morris
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak
Duration: 97 min.
Rating: 7.8/10

The story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point.  As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce.  In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that-while terrorism is about ideology-it can also be about idiots.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Splice (2009)

Splice (2009)
Splice (2009)

Genre: Sci-Fi
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Starring:Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody, Delphine Chanéac
Duration: 104 min.
Rating: 7.4  

Two young rebellious scientists are told by their employers to halt groundbreaking work that has seen them produce new creatures with medical benefits by splicing together multiple organisms' DNA. They decide to secretly continue their work, but this time splicing in human DNA

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Tree (2010)

The Tree (2010)
The Tree (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Julie Bertuccelli
Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas, Morgan Davies, Aden Young
Duration: 100 min.
Rating: 6.2/10

After the sudden death of her father, 8-year-old Simone shares a secret with her mother Dawn. She's convinced her father speaks to her through the leaves of her favourite tree and he's come back to protect them.  But the new bond between mother and daughter is threatened when Dawn starts a relationship with George, the plumber, called in to remove the tree's troublesome roots.  As the branches of the tree start to infiltrate the house, the family is forced to make an agonising decision. But have they left it too late?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heartbeats (2010)

Heartbeats / Les amours imaginaires (2010)
Heartbeats / Les amours imaginaires (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Xavier Dolan
Starring: Xavier Dolan, Niels Schneider, Monia Chokri
Duration: 95 min.
Rating: 7.2/10

Francis and Marie are close friends. One day, during lunch, they meet Nicolas, a young man from the country who just arrived in town.  As one rendez-vous leads to another, whether real or imagined, all signs are bad.  Each of the two friends slides deeper into obsessive fantasies around the same object of desire.  The deeper they slide, the more their once cast-iron friendship begins to crack under the pressure of competing for the new kid on the block.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confessions (2010)

Confessions / Kokuhaku (2010)
Confessions / Kokuhaku / 告白 (2010)

Genre: Drama / Thriller
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Starring: Takako Matsu, Yukito Nishii, Kaoru Fujiwara
Duration: 106 min.
Rating: 8.1/10

Middle school teacher Yoko Moriguchi's life comes crashing down after the death of her 4 year old daughter.  Eventually she discovers that some of her own students are responsible for her daughter's death.  What follows is a twisted and elaborate plan for cold-blooded revenge...