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Entries in Dardenne Brothers (10)

Sunday
May262019

Cannes Winners 2019

With the 72nd Cannes Film Festival wrapped up in the beautiful south of France, it's time to see what the jury selected. Their winners were as such...

PALME D'OR

Bong Joon-ho receiving his Palme from Catherine Deneuve

PARASITE (Bong Joon-Ho, South Korea)
Bong Joon-Ho already has major fans all over the world given the success of his Korean pictures like Memories of a Murder, The Host, and his internationally minded films Okja and Snowpiercer. Our favourite by him is definitely the mesmerizing Mother (2009). Can't wait to see this one! More on Parasite...

GRAND PRIX

ATLANTIQUE (Mati Diop, France/Senegal)
Diop, is as we've noted, the first black female director ever selected for the Cannes competition and her film walks away with the Grand Prix. That's quite a debut film experience...

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Friday
May242019

Cannes winds down. What's winning the Palme?

by Nathaniel R

Margot Robbie at Cannes for "Once Upon a Time in..."There are 21 titles competing for the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year. We've already talked about seven titles. Pedro Almodovar's Pain & Glory (Spain) is a potential prize winner (and a legit Oscar hopeful) and Mati Diop's Atlantique (France/Senegal), and Celine Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France) could be the key films in ensuring prizes to female directors (something Cannes has historically been bad at) since they were both extremely well-received.

In addition to those three potential Palme d'Or or Best Director winners (Cannes most important prizes), Ladj Ly's contemporary French drama Les Misérables and Kleber Mendonça Filho's Brazilian oddity Bacurau are also threats for jury love.  Diao Yinan's The Wild Goose Lake and Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die got decent notices but we don't expect prizes there.  

With Cannes ending this weekend we've run out of time so here are quick notes on responses to the other 14 Competition titles and our predictions after the jump...

COMPETITION TITLES

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Thursday
Apr182019

Cannes Competition Lineup

by Nathaniel R

This year's poster features Agnes Varda climbing on an assistant for a shot.The lineup for the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled. 19 films will compete for the Palme d'Or and 16 films will compete in the secondary lineup Un Certain Regard (we'll get to those in a bit) though those numbers might expand should they add a couple more entries to either program. They usually do that after the official unveiling. Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman) and Lebanon's Nadine Labaki (Capernaum) will preside over the Competition and Un Certain Regard juries, respectively. 

COMPETITION

These films are the ones gunning for the Palme d'Or. There are four female directors in the competition lineup and two black directors both of which are way more than usual at Cannes... 

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Tuesday
Sep272016

NYFF - The Unknown Girl

Here's Manuel reporting from the New York Film Festival with the latest from the Dardenne brothers.

The nameless girl at the center of the Dardenne brothers’ latest film is a black girl who, one Friday night near an expressway in Seraing, Belgium, rings the buzzer of a medical clinic. Doctor Jenny Davin (Adèle Haenel) is both too tired to see yet another patient and too riled up from a disagreement with her intern Julien (Olivier Bonnaud) to let either of them respond to see why anyone would be buzzing at such a late hour. Neither thinks twice of it. “If it’d been an emergency they’d have rung twice,” she rationalizes. But the next day a police officer informs Dr. Davin that the girl has been found dead not too far from the clinic with no ID on her—her image on the clinic’s surveillance system the only clue they have to figure out what may have happened with her...

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Monday
Oct062014

FYC: Marion Cotillard in 'Two Days One Night'

Jose here. You know how sometimes a performer will win a gazillion awards for their breakthrough performance and then never be recognized again, even as they deliver much more complex, superior work? It’s the “been there done that” syndrome, which has sadly made most awards groups forget all about Marion Cotillard, who is once again Best Actress material in Two Days, One Night (Michael reviewed it here)


As the recently laid-off Sandra, Cotillard is unforgettable. We follow her as she visits her co-workers’ homes asking them to help her win her job back. As some show support, others display contempt and pity, making for a harrowing moviegoing experience. The Dardenne brothers, who in the past have been reluctant to work with movie stars, put their trust in Cotillard and the payoff is evident. The actress sheds all her glamour and star presence to play someone so fragile it seems as if being filmed is causing her pain. Sandra doesn’t talk much, but her face says everything. In one of the film’s most devastating moments, the Dardenne’s give Sandra some inner peace through a song in the radio, not only do they allow Cotillard’s smile to finally shine, but they also highlight the actress’ ability to reshape herself according to the emotions of her character. All throughout the film, Cotillard seems to be physically smaller, something she did in her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf. The trick is more powerful here because Sandra is a “regular human being”.

Throughout the film we feel her pain and at times it’s so unbearable that it made me wonder what someone like Lars Von Trier would do with such a vulnerable character. The Dardenne’s are much more sensitive than the mad Dane and give Sandra her dignity, but not without pointing out how willingly she submits herself to humiliation in the name of survival. During most of the film Sandra wears a coral t-shirt with a ribbon pattern, which I feel Cotillard chose for the character. It makes her plea even more heartbreaking, as she knocks on doors trying to be festive and optimistic, when inside she’s completely destroyed.

Many cinephiles thought this turn would finally bring her the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival but it became the first Dardenne brothers’ film not to win a single award at Cannes. It was Marion's third straight loss at the festival (2012 Rust and Bone, 2013 The Immigrant) which is a head-scratcher considering who won in those respective years. As Two Days One Night gears up for its Oscar-qualifying release later this year, I can’t help but wonder, does Marion have to knock on every AMPAS’ member’s door to finally get nominated again?

Why do you think Oscar keeps ignoring Marion? Where do her recent performances rank among your favorites for each year? 

Friday
Oct032014

NYFF: Two Days, One Night

Our NYFF coverage continues with Michael Cusumano on Belgium's "Two Days, One Night" starring Marion Cotillard 

The experience of watching the Dardenne brothers latest critically adored Cannes hit, Two Days, One Night, brings home just how conditioned we are to expect our protagonists to be active and fearless. We are not used to heroes that need to be pushed and prodded to stand up for themselves. Our heroes tend to plunge into conflict with nary a second thought. Marion Cotillard’s Sandra is not one of those characters. When Sandra awakes one morning to a phone call informing her that she has lost her job at a company that makes solar panels, her first impulse is to take it lying down. Literally. On an upswing after what we gather is a nasty struggle with depression, Sandra crawls back into bed resigned to let her sickness swallow her whole this time.

It becomes clear that management, in a move brilliant in its craven cowardice, had given Sandra’s coworkers the choice of keeping Sandra or keeping their bonuses. On top of which, whispers were spread that Sandra was going to be let go no matter what, so it’s no surprise when the vote is a lopsided 14 to 2 in favor of firing Sandra and keeping bonuses. When Sandra’s husband and friends compel her to protest the underhanded way this was carried out, her boss allows for a second vote after the weekend, comfortable in the expectation that convincing people to sacrifice their bonuses is a fool's errand.

more...

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