Directors: Oliver Nakache and Eric Toledano
French / 115 minutes
Max (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a battle-weary veteran of the wedding-planning racket, has one last event to plan at an opulent château. But this over-the-top affair may be too much even for Max. With stuffy period costumes for the caterers, a vain, hyper sensitive
singer, a morose, micromanaging groom, and Max’s ostensible
girlfriend, Joisette (Suzanne Clément) openly flirting with a much younger server, only one thing is certain: it’s going to be a very long night. An ensemble work brimming with offbeat, lovable characters, C’est la vie! is a fiendishly smart, sprawling comedy as only the French can do it.
This is an expertly assembled, tartly played and hugely enjoyable romp.Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter
An uproariously contemporary riff on Robert Altman’s underrated classic A Wedding … focusing almost exclusively on [the] wedding planner and his eccentric crew.Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage
The latest collaboration between Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano is like a good wedding champagne – bubbly, frothy fun with an excellent structure and a hint of complexity that leaves you on a high. Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
Director: Ruben Östlund
English/Swedish /Danish / 145 minutes
Rating: 14A for language, some strong sexual content, and brief
An audacious satire of the postmodern art world, The Square follows Christian (Claes Bang), the imperious, self-centred, and hopelessly befuddled curator of Sweden’s most cutting-edge art museum and his increasingly desperate attempts to promote his exhibits. Full of brilliant and dazzling set pieces, including one of the year’s most
indelible onscreen moments, the film highlights the challenges that face artists as they examine the increasingly complex and absurd world we live in. Winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes, this film is one of the most undaunted examples of the comedy of
extreme discomfort and social collapse.
Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund takes modern society’s
temperature and finds it dangerously overheated in the madly
ambitious and frequently disquieting The Square. Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
It’s laugh-out-loud funny and occasionally just plain silly. But it asks
a serious question that seems more urgent with every passing day:
“How much inhumanity does it take before we access your humanity?” Peter Howell, Toronto Star
The argument in favor of The Square is not that it’s great fun to watch, but that it’s very entertaining to ponder after viewing. It lingers, both amusingly and disturbingly.Mark Jenkins, NPR
Director: Werner Herzog
English / 98 minutes
An eccentric, entertaining, and enlightening meditation on our
digital world, Lo and Behold investigates the internet’s integration
into every aspect of our lives. Through interviews with scientists
and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of digital technologies,
Herzog considers the new possibilities opened up by the internet, and speculates on how humanity and the world will be impacted
by these developments. But the promises of a bright future are
tempered by some darker realities. The film refrains from any final
judgments, leaving the viewer to consider the implications on their own lives and hopes for the future.
This documentary is one of Herzog’s best; it’s thoughtful yet entertaining, amusing yet heartbreaking, and sometimes simply beautiful.Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Herzog’s observations, however, are steeped in optimism, an embrace
of the mystic, and, even, good humor.Ray Pride, Newcity
The shape of things to come is a subject very dear to the hearts of the high-tech evangelists Herzog talks to, and it accounts for the pulse of freakish comedy that beats through Lo and Behold.Anthony Lane, New Yorker
Director: Xavier Dolan
French with English subtitles / 95 minutes
Apologies for the technical difficulties.
After receiving a terminal diagnosis, Louis (Gaspard Ulliel) returns home, ending a 12-year absence. But his homecoming is tainted by lingering resentment. His attempts to inform his mother (Nathalie Baye), sister (Léa Seydoux), brother (Vincent Cassel), and sister-in-law (Marion Cotillard) of his illness are repeatedly sabotaged by the surfacing tensions between family members. Shot in intimate close-ups, the film is claustrophobic and oppressive, brilliantly conveying the characters’ dysfunction. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, this is a thunderous drama about family roots.
Dolan has made a film that is at once his most restrained and withholding work while still being remarkably indulgent. A whole film told in tight close-ups on anguished faces.Grace Sharkey, 4:3
Dolan has found a way to exasperate and exhaust his audience, but he has also achieved a completely unexpected catharsis at the end of an
agonizing hour and a half. Standing there on the grave of dreams, he knows why the caged bird sings.Peter Debruge, Variety
It’s not an easy film to watch – and it doesn’t try to be.Pablo Villaça, Cinema em Cena
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Japanese with English subtitles / 128 minutes
The Koda sisters have been on their own since their mother
moved away shortly after her husband left her for another woman. Now in their twenties, the three sisters still live together. When they
receive news of their father’s death, they’re surprised to discover that they have a 13-year-old half-sister, who gratefully accepts her sisters’ offer to live with them. The presence of the girl, for whom the loss of her father is still a fresh wound, stirs long-dormant
memories of their father. This tender and restrained film is a subtle but deeply affecting meditation on absence and loss.
Kore-eda makes thrilling the rich inner lives of four young women trying to navigate rocky emotional terrain in the wake of their father’s death.Barbara Van Denburgh, Arizona Republic
If you succumb to Kore-eda’s slow rhythms – the climbs up a hill to find a magnificent view, the walks along the beach, the simple peace of a shared meal – this is the kind of movie that will leave you feeling restored, maybe a little misty-eyed as well.Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
Our Little Sister is a tender and restrained feature that flows by like a gentle stream, lulling you with its melodic cadence and drawing you into its beauty.Bob Bloom, Journal & Courier (Lafayette)
Director: Matt Ross
English / 120 minutes
Rating: R (brief nudity and language)
Ben (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife have raised their six kids deep
in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, away from the modern world. But when tragedy strikes, Ben and his clan are forced to leave their counterculture paradise. Both heartbreak and hilarity ensue as the kids face some of their first social interactions with the wider world. Best known for his heavy-duty dramatic roles, Mortensen
reveals a wonderful gift for comedy and his interactions with the children yield some truly laugh-out-loud moments. A delightfully offbeat and heartwarming tale.
He bears the nickname of a comic book hero, the brains of a scholar, the soul of a rebel. His story is a richly rewarding film experience. Mara Reinstein, US Weekly
It’s a rare movie that asks such big questions – about parenting, about family, about modern-day America – and comes up with answers that
are moving and meaningful, that make you laugh and cry.Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
A fiercely original, pleasantly unpredictable character piece. This is a gang of outsiders with something valuable to say about the world we
live in.Helen O’Hara, Empire Magazine
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Turkish with English subtitles / 97 minutes
Rating: PG (mature perspective strongly advised)
In a remote Turkish village on the Black Sea, five free-spirited
teenaged sisters splash on the beach with their male classmates. Though their games are innocent, a neighbor reports what she
considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family. The family reacts by removing all “instruments of corruption” such as cell phones and computers. Their home is progressively transformed into a prison and instruction in homemaking replaces school. As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones resolve to avoid the same fate. Ergüven’s debut is a powerful portrait of female empowerment.
Mustang is astonishing; staying with you long after viewing. Blake Howard, Graffiti with Punctuation
Part of a welcome international wave of films made by women directors that focus on girls growing up in worlds of men – and on what they look like when no one’s looking.Ty Burr, Boston Globe
The filmmakers approach their characters not as political objects but as rare humans grappling with that unique moment when childhood gives way – painfully but sometimes beautifully – to brutal realities. Noah Gittell, Washington City Paper
Along with our regular draws of two free tickets to any AIF film screened during the season, this week there will be a draw
for a free pass to the Soo Film Festival taking place this weekend (Sept. 16-18) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Be sure to arrive before the 7:00 draw, and keep your ticket stub
until after all the draws have been won.
In this sharp-tongued and riotously funny adaptation of Jane
Austen’s novella, Lady Susan, the beautiful and cunning Lady
Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), a recent widow, engineers all
manner of wonderfully devious plots to bend the world to her
will and land herself a wealthy new husband. Taking up residence
at her in-laws’ estate, she sets her sights on the dashing Reginald
De Courcy (Xavier Samuel). However, her plans are derailed when her beautiful daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark) turns up. If you’re looking for a smart, fun, and scruple-free romp, Love & Friendship is definitely your cup of tea.
Love & Friendship is quick, clever and delightful, very funny and hugely entertaining. Liz Braun, Toronto Sun
Following many staid and contrived Austen adaptations, this sublime
period romp adds a thrilling splash of bemused, acidic humor. Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Austen did like to have fun with her characters to show the stranger sides we all have. Watching this classy adaptation of one of her lesser-known works will remind you of that, and make you laugh. Stephen Romei, The Australian
The newest and best films here in Sault Ste. Marie