Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love is All You Need

The original title of this Danish film directed by Susanne Bier literally translates as "The Bald Hairdresser." BTW, Susanne Bier has done some very interesting films. I'll mention some more directed by her in future posts.

Ida, (portrayed wonderfully by Danish actress Trine Dyrholm) the heroine of this film is in fact a bald hairdresser, hence the original Danish title.   She wears a blond wig to hide her bald head, a symptom of her cancer treatment. She comes home to find her husband Leif (Kim Bodnia) engaged "in action" on their living room couch with another woman.

Meanwhile, Trine's daughter  Astrid is in Italy with her fiancĂ© Patrick (Sebastian Jessen) preparing for their wedding at his family's Italian home.

By accident, Ida meets the Phillip (played by Pierce Brosnan, who even though he's getting older is still quite dashingly handsome!), father of her daughter's fiancĂ©. Be sure to check out the car that Ida is driving.

I found this to be a very enjoyable film with humor, drama, romance and intrigue. It qualifies as a multilingual film with English, Danish and Italian. Those who love color and scenery, will enjoy the lovely scenery in the Italian locations. Watch for the recurring images of lemons and roses.

BTW, Trine along with another Danish actor, who I find quite intriguing,  is in another film that I'll be reviewing soon

Some quotes from the film:

“I doubt he’s even noticed one of them is missing.” ---Ida talking about her breasts

“Bitten, you gorgeous, beautiful, sweet girl. This is never gonna happen. I am a guy who has chosen to be by himself. Simple as that. ---Philip

“You’re doing her on my mom’s couch, while I’m fighting for my life.”---Ida

“You’re so emotional. You got your finger up your bum and your brain in neutral.”—Patrick

“Let me quote Henry Miller, You can never get nor give enough love. And to quote Herman Bang, Indifference is love’s most painful dregs.”---Benedikte


“I really don’t understand why anybody will work for you. When you’re so awful and stupid and not nice.”---Ida

“I pay them good money.”---Philip

Here are some scenes from this film:

Here's the trailer:

Friday, September 5, 2014

1981, a French Canadian film about boyhood

1981 is a film inspired by the director's childhood in Quebec and to me it's somewhat reminiscent of The Wonder Years, a popular series with Fred Savage which took place during the late 60s and early 70s.

What I loved about this film by Ricardo Trogi is that it's so chock-full of French-Canadian culture from the time-period it takes place. It's like the film-version of a time-capsule. I enjoyed seeing the
hair, fashion, music, toys, cars, technology and Consumers Distributing which was a popular catalog store in Canada during that time.  There is also mention of popular American culture which crossed over into the current culture like the movie Star Wars  and TV show Bionic Woman.

Humor is interjected into the film with Ricardo's imaginings of Nazis and Le Petit Prince, a creation by St. Exupery,who also happens to be who the kids' new school is named for.

Ricardo is a new kid at school who has many challenges. He can’t write longhand. He has no friends. He develops a crush on Anne, the class brainiac who is assigned to help him with his longhand. 

He’s obsessed with getting things, especially from the Consumers Distributing catalog. Like many kids, he craves all kinds of things like: a calculator watch and a K-way jacket. The most recent craving is for a SonyWalkman  which was the latest gadget during that time period.

In order to be accepted at his new school, he starts to get into the habit of telling lies. One of those lies is to his new friends promising to get Playboy magazines. Here's a link to some Vintage playboy from 1981.

The realities of life are clear to Ricardo when his father tells him that they'll have to sell the house they just bought and moved into.

When he starts trying to tell the truth, Ricardo finds he has some physical symptoms.Truth-telling between him and his buddies leads to some very interesting and touching revelations.

Some Quotes from this film:

"Back then the leader of Italy was named Benito. Benito Mussolini was their leader. If you named your son Benito, you got a check for $1. People were so poor, it worked. ---Ricardo

"At your age I'd never have dared ask my dad for a $400 watch."---Benito, Ricardo's father to Ricardo

"It's better to lie than to look dumb." ---Ricardo

"Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." ---quote by Antoine St. Exupery, shared by Aline, Ricardo's teacher

“Do you know how sick you make us always asking for stuff? “–Ricardo’s mother

"Lie again and it'll be the last lie you ever tell, understand?" ---Nazi officer

"The damn truth only works if everyone's telling it. If it's only you, it's useless."---Ricardo

Here are a few scenes from this film:

Here's the trailer:


Unfortunately there's no subtitles for it! Sorry about that! But at least it'll give you some idea of what this film is like. Probably fine for those of you who understand a bit of French.