Mathieu Amalric

Tribeca Film Festival

Roman Polanski‘s Venus in Fur is a film haunted by an epigraph. It’s a quotation from the apocryphal Book of Judith, used first by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch in his similarly titled 1870 novel and later by David Ives in his play, from which this film is directly adapted. It goes something like this: “The Lord hath smitten him and delivered him into the hands of a woman.” The biblical context is the slaying of the Babylonian general Holofernes, whose unfortunate drunken stupor made him easy prey for the knife of the Jewish hero. Polanski’s film is somewhat more wordy, but not necessarily more complex.

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review you aint seen nothing yet

Enter an art deco mansion. A caravan of France’s most beloved actors – past and present – enter one at a time. They gather together on pristine leather seats in front of a giant screen. On that screen, a beloved playwright with whom they all worked speaks to them beyond the grave, and declares eternal appreciation to his theater troupe. The butler then projects a video of one of the late playwright’s works performed by a young traveling company. The veteran actors are so moved by their recollections of collaboration that they begin reciting the lines and acting it out, with multiple performers playing the same role. Lines of reality blur, and actors enter spaces that may be part of the mansion or may be in their imagined space of the play, as we occasionally return to their bodies, remaining firmly seated on the leather chairs. About an hour in, any distinction between reality and fantasy in the life of theater seems not to matter. This is the central premise of Alain Resnais’s newest film, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. At over 90 years old, the tireless innovator who brought us Night and Fog and Last Year at Marienbad proves once again fully capable of audaciously exploring uncharted terrain for narrative cinema. Beautiful, difficult, frustrating, and engrossing, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is an undeniable accomplishment of form and experimentation.

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jimmy p 01

The clunkily titled Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian (aka Jimmy P.) is Arnaud Desplechin‘s first film in a whole five years, though disappointingly proves a shakily uneven return for the director, entrenched in the more laborious, bone-dry methodology of its famous case study rather than probing the complex emotional state of the titular character. Resolutely a work of special interest and little else, of all the In Competition entries to screen so far, this is the one that can most easily be ruled out of the running for the Palme d’Or. The true story on which this film is based revolves around Jimmy Picard (Benicio Del Toro), a Blackfoot Indian who returns from service in World War II and begins suffering from headaches, sight loss and countless other ailments. While American doctors are quick to diagnose him as mentally ill, it is the arrival of anthropologist-turned-psychiatrist Georges Devereau (Mathieu Amalric) that changes everything, as he manages to unlock past traumas in Jimmy’s life to arrive at the root of the problem.

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Ray Liotta

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column that lives on because Kate Erbland was goodly enough to step in and keep it going for a couple days. Let’s all thank Kate. Thanks, Kate. Usually when movies are already filmed it means that their casting process has been completed. Not so for a Robert Rodriguez film, though. This guy does pretty much every job on his sets and relies on studio assistance for very little, which allows him to play by his own rules and march to the beat of his own drummer. Sometimes that opportunity for flexibility can result in movies that feel like they’ve been slapped together by a madman, but sometimes it leads to a movie being able to make amazing last minute additions, like how his in-production Sin City sequel just added Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, and Jeremy Piven to its already-stacked cast. Indiewire isn’t sure which characters they’re going to be playing, but probably that doesn’t matter much. Liotta and Piven always just play themselves, and Temple, well…she can do anything she wants.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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Editor’s Note: This review originally ran as part of our Cannes 2012 coverage. Cosmopolis hits theaters this weekend, August 17th. Though it is faintly vulgar to talk of any actors in terms of only one project, who would have thought a couple of years ago that the two lead actors from Twilight would both feature In Competition at Cannes, starring in brave and bold adaptations of two iconic, but problematic American novels? Two days after Kristen Stewart’s next release – Walter Salles’ On The Road – screened in the Theatre Lumiere, the same screen played host to the Robert Pattinson-starring adaptation of Don DeLillo‘s Cosmopolis. The film follows Eric Packer (Pattinson), a young billionaire asset manager on a journey across a thronging New York City in his limousine, flanked by his head of security Torval (Kevin Durand) in order to get a hair cut. Along the way he encounters colleagues (Jay Baruchel, Samantha Morton, and Philip Nozuko), protesters (Mathieu Amalric), his wife (Sarah Gadon) and lovers (Juliette Binoche and Patricia McKenzie), all of whom contribute to unravel his cold, clinical world. It helps little that the New York he seeks to cross is in open revolt, with anti-corporation demonstrations making way for violence, and somewhere amongst it, an unknown killer stalks Eric.

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Quantum of Solace

In his latest adventure, the world’s most famous secret agent chases down those responsible for the death of his love Vesper. What ensues is the most action-packed Bond adventure yet.

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Our European correspondent Loukas checks in with an early review of Quantum of Solace from across the pond, and it looks like it’s just as badass as we’d hoped for.

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Foreign Objects: A Look at Inside on DVD

Last week we descended into the bowels of The Machine Girl and came out sticky, tingly, and feeling just a little bit dirty… so this week I’m going to class things up a bit by covering an award-winning film that doesn’t involve Japanese schoolgirls or geysers of blood.

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In 2007 newcomers got noticed and some veterans got their chance to shine in breakout performances from actors, screen writers and directors.

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Mathieu Amalric will be taking on the role of Bond’s villain in the upcoming, untitled, Bond 22. Haven’t heard of Mathieu? You’re not alone and you’re probably not French.

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published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


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