Originally, I was going to add my two cents to the horrific shootings in Newton, Connecticut, but what the hell else is left to say? Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the victims’ families and friends.
As for the gun control controversy, we’ll deal with that in another post ... or not. TK will post a tribute to a dear friend in next week’s post, but for now let’s focus on the upcoming holiday season and two films worth taking a look at before the end of this year.
Polisse ... never mind what I have to say about this film, here are some reviews:
IFC Films: Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for 13 César Awards, POLISSE follows the daily lives of a tight-knit team of men and women working in the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police. Basing her richly textured script on real child investigation cases, writer- director/actor Maïwenn has gathered an accomplished ensemble cast of French actors who convey the emotional strain of the unit's work with gritty realism. They not only deal with the stress of their jobs but the inevitable fall-out in their personal lives - breakdowns, divorce and adulterous relations within the force. In between, there are frequent flashes of humor as the team attempts to diffuse daily realities. As the cases, confessions and interrogations pile up, the squad members have only each other as support as they face an uphill battle against both criminals and bureaucracy."
ASTONISHING. What makes it such a singular experience is the convergence of fine acting, moral urgency and a willingness to linger on moments of great intensity." — Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
"WORKS LIKE GANGBUSTERS, if this were a TV series, I'd gladly return each week. Maïwenn has found a way to touch on her country's issues regarding race, gender, the vulnerability of children and how the law works (or doesn't) in a way that's entertaining and accessible. There's such a wonderful dynamic that Maïwenn sets up among these performers that you get to know them intimately in a mere two hours, yet want to spend more time with them." — David Fear, Time Out New York
"POLISSE delivers the same absorbing, sprawling narrative as a good prime-time cop drama, delving into the lives of its tough, compassionate protagonists with a bracing combination of moral outrage and breathtaking hilarity. As unthinkable as it sounds that a film about the exploitation of children could make filmgoers cry and laugh, Maïwenn has threaded that needle with surprising, altogether winning aplomb." — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
"THRILLING... I felt the movie's energy bond itself to mine. I wanted to go wherever Maïwenn wanted to take me. Her filmmaking paces and perceives the way Frederick Wiseman's does. Her transparency simulates his. It's as if she's taken one of his documentaries about systems and their discontents and added Sidney Lumet's grit, naturalism, and fireworks." — Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
Polisse cracked my top ten all time list so that’s all yous need to know from me.
Take This Waltz … an interesting movie that intrigued me from start to finish, even with some uncomfortable moments along the way. A terrific cast that includes Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan, Luke Kirby and Sarah Silverman—all wonderful. Margot (Williams) seems very happily married to Lou (Rogan). The marriage is five years old when Margot feels something is lacking. A man (Kirby) she’s met on a business trip has intrigued her ... and when it turns out he’s living very nearby, chemistry takes over. (Geraldine) Sarah Silverman, a recovering alcoholic, is Lou’s sister, and she proves a wonderful foil for everything, including the movie’s theme. The circle Margot seems to complete by the movie’s end is refreshing, although a bit uncomfortable along the way. I’d place this one above Spielberg’s Lincoln by leaps and bounds ... leaps and bounds, amici.
Happy Holidays to all a’yous!
—The Stella Famiglia ... the Principessa Ann Marie, the ugly Knuckster and Rigoletto (the wonder dog) Stella.
We’ll let Dino bring it home ...
And one more ...