Gaspar Noé’s French vanguard thriller Irreversible (2002) has long been characterized by its intense violence and visceral sexuality, pigeonholed by the general public and film critics alike as so extreme in its depiction of the brutality and mania of humanity, that it is almost unwatchable. The film’s confounding non-linear narrative structure following a young woman, […]

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Movie review: Graduation by Cristian Mungui

Français  After winning the Palme d’Or for 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days in 2007, as well as the award for Best Screenplay with Beyond the Hills in 2012, Cristian Mungiu comes back to Cannes this year with Graduation. He invites us once again in his home country Romania, and this time, he puts […]

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The Sea of Trees

Français Sometimes we have to wonder if parabolas in an actor’s urges for creativity accounts for their project selections. A-listers have the luxury of yay or naying their way out of high stakes contracts to give their creative energy an insistent whirl. Box office smashers are out of the way of their repertoire; after all, […]

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Suffocation exists on all kinds of mediums. Sam Mendes’ Jarhead gives us a glimpse of it on the wavelength of the army medium. The time is circa late 1980s. Iraq invades Kuwait and troops are sent into the Arabian Peninsula as a part of Operation Desert Shield. Anthony Swofford is one of such marine recruits. […]

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Jerry Maguire

Let’s give it up for the good guys capable of keeping their heads above water in the ugliness of the corporate rat race. If everyone had a dollar for each time a decent person got lost in the hustle that is corporate life, we’d all be rich by now. Jerry Maguire of the eponymous film […]

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Rio, I Love You

Behind Paris, Je T’aime and New York, I Love You comes Rio, I Love You – the third installment in the Cities of Love series. This series is intended to pay homage to a particular place, telling stories that diffuse stereotypes by making way for short vignettes of alternative stories from the city’s various neighborhoods. […]

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Tina Fey is outside her rom-com element in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. So much so that she finds herself uncomfortably outside her skillset; I’d rather have her stick to her self-effacing, whip smart funny and cute girl roles. But developing her career past the comedy grooves she’s carved, Fey plays Kim Baker in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, […]

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Français The tagline for The Royal Tenenbaums reads: “Get ready for a remarkable family gathering.” With that said, it should be noted that one should also get ready for a very strange family gathering, and an annoying one, at that – one with entitled spoiled rich folk so submerged in their own self-importance that lack […]

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Français Before trilogy director Richard Linklater brought pillow talk back with a healthy dose of nostalgia and the feels in Boyhood. The film’s intrigue factor is its long running cast and filming, famously spanning its storyline over twelve years and using the same actors in their aging element. But this happens to be the cherry on top of a […]

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Français There’s something about coming of age in this generation that feels like a perpetual pejorative. Obsessively calculated personal imagery spikes debilitating narcissism. Self-worth is literally quantifiable. Relationships and their upkeep are not established worthy without background checks through cyber space. Are people even really friends anymore? All this to say that the friendship portrayed […]

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Let’s talk about dysfunctional families for a second. Let’s talk about the ones that embarrass you – the non-charming variety of humiliation. The ones you blame consistently for the mishaps in your own psyche. The ones for whom – ultimately – you’d punch a baby unicorn should harm come even close. The ambient theme of family in the […]

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TWO FRIENDS (Louis Garrel)

Français This week, the ÉCU Movie Review is dedicated to Frenchies with the movie Two Friends, a feature directed by the french protégé Louis Garrel. For those who have never heard about the bushy-eyebrowed actor-director, Louis Garrel was born thirty-two years ago with a silver reel in mouth (70mm, of course). Ever since, he has […]

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MUCH LOVED (Nabil Ayouch)

 Français We promised ourselves to keep the ÉCU Movie Review light and breezy, nonchalant and fun. But then, we sometimes stumble upon movies like MUCH LOVED. Movies that are astounding, that make you double over, gasping for breath, that make you clench your fists with outrage and make your nose run and your eyes leak. […]

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LA VANITÉ (Lionel Baier)

Français La Vanité tells the incredible story of a sick man who is on a quest for death and the many peculiar characters that he meets on this morbid yet tender journey. Suffering from cancer, at a more or less terminal stage, David (Patrick Lapp), a retired architect, is determined to end things. Repulsed by […]

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Français As you may have noticed by now, ÉCU is all about indie cinema. And although we are deeply committed to our official selection, we must confess having sometimes been unfaithful to our competitors. Well, sometimes… Until now we’ve been very cautious about our dirty little secret; only going to the movie theater late at […]

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