Something’s not quite right with Brave. It looks wonderful, is acted expertly by its voice cast and has moments of catch-your-breath drama, but the tone is all wrong. After the inspired storytelling of Up, Finding Nemo and Ratatouille, Pixar’s latest adventure is a serious letdown.
Peace, Love & Misunderstandingis
so bad that it’s a small miracle the picture was made at all. Even the
premise is bad: Divorcing 40-ish mother of two takes the kids to see
their grandmother, Grace, whom the kids have never met. Grandma is a
hippie. And Jane Fonda.
A fabulously wealthy quadriplegic (François Cluzet of Tell No One) hires an ex-con from the projects (Omar Sy) to take care of him in The Intouchables, which in March became the top-grossing non-English-language film of all time.
Polisse won the Grand Jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and was nominated for 13 César Awards, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards. The film won two—Best Editing and Most Promising Actress for Naidra Ayadi, who’s on screen for maybe 12 minutes.
I find it frustrating that human beings perpetuate destructive behaviors until they’re faced with death or worse fates. We don’t floss until we’ve had cavities; we don’t eat healthy or exercise until we’ve been diagnosed with cancer or heart disease; and we don’t curb our gas emissions…until what, the seas melt and bury us? If we all lived on small islands like the Maldives, we might be facing that very question right now.
Writer-director Whit Stillman is back. We could debate over whether he was missed, but rest assured, after his 13-year break following the underwhelming The Last Days of Disco, he remains singularly Stillmanesque.
The Raven is in trouble before the first thinly drawn character appears on screen. The audience is informed, via title card, that in the days before his death, Edgar Allan Poe was mumbling incoherently on a park bench. His last days are still a mystery.
The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (L’enfant, Rosetta), who stumbled a bit with their last film, Lorna’s Silence, have made a winning comeback in The Kid with a Bike, a coming-of-age tale about an 11-year-old boy (Thomas Doret), his bicycle and one very kind stranger (Cécile de France).