After a string of projects in America (including the masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), French filmmaker Michel Gondry returns home to let his manic imagination run wild. This film is a riot of movement, as the sets themselves seem to be alive, packing every moment of the film with visual absurdity, witty gags, colourful characters and soulful music. And while the mayhem is sometimes a bit overwhelming, the story's romantic moods resonate deeply, turning a silly movie into something surprisingly moving.
It's based on Boris Vian's 1947 novel L'Ecume des Jours, which has been adapted into two previous films and a Russian opera. In Paris, Colin (Romain Duris) is an independently wealthy bachelor whose friend Nicolas (Omar Sy) cooks and cleans and keeps music echoing around his chaotic flat. But when Nicolas admits that he's falling for their friend Isis (Charlotte Le Bon), and Colin's best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) announces that he has a new girlfriend Alise (Aissa Maiga), Colin decides maybe he should find a woman himself. Then he meets Chloe (Audrey Tautou), and the spark between them is instant. But just as they get married, Chloe becomes ill when a tiny waterlily takes root in her lung, and the only treatment is to encircle her with flowers.
As Chloe's condition deteriorates, so does the state of Colin's entire apartment, and eventually the colour begins to drain from all of Paris as well, while friendships are strained by the possibility of death. It's a startling on-screen transformation, as Gondry keeps everything in motion, using any kind of visual trickery imaginable, mainly effects that take place right on the film set, like puppetry and stop-motion. The zaniness continues in the background even after the characters' stories steal focus from them. Yes, the cast members are so strong that they manage to rise above the chaos. As always, Duris brings real charm to the whole film, generating sparky chemistry with everyone around him, and his chemistry with Tautou is seriously sweet.
Continue reading: Mood Indigo Review
Colin (Romain Duris) is a rich inventor living in fantasy Paris who has focused his career on advancing his latest machine, the pianocktail; a piano that can also make cocktails for the thirsty instrumentalist. But his sights are soon turned away when he discovers that his best friend Chick is in love with a woman called Alise. Aggrieved by the thought of a life of loneliness, he decides to embark on a romantic adventure himself when he meets the quirky Chloe (Audrey Tautou) at a party. Initially a little awkward, Colin and Chloe fall dazzlingly in love. However, their happiness is soon compromised when Chloe falls deathly ill with a rare disease whereby a waterlily is growing inside her lung. Her only cure is to be surrounded by fresh flowers, but the question is, just how long can Colin keep up the treatment?
Originally entitled 'L'écume des jours', 'Mood Indigo' is a French fantasy romance based on the 1947 cult novel 'Froth on the Daydream' by Boris Vian. The movie has been directed by Academy Award winner Michel Gondry ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'The Science of Sleep') and co-written by Luc Bossi ('The Prey', 'L'empire des loups'). It won a Cesar Award at the 2014 ceremony where it was nominated for a further two awards, and it was also nominated for four prizes at the Lumiere Awards. 'Mood Indigo' is due for UK cinematic release on August 1st 2014.
With Adam McKay turning down directing 'Ant-Man,' is it time for Marvel to scrap the film entirely or look for other options?
Why doesn’t anyone want to direct 'Ant-Man'!? Well, I’m sure someone does, but for some reason, Marvel is having a bit of a difficult time trying to keep someone attached to the project. The superhero film had its first director, Edgar Wright, take over the reins all the way back in 2006, so it was definitely a blow when he decided to leave directing duties late last month. However, soon after, Marvel was in talks to enlist someone new already: 'Anchorman' director Adam McKay...but then he left too due to time restraints with his schedule.
Edgar Wright left the film after being involved for nearly a decade
So, where does 'Ant-Man' go from here? Does Marvel spend time sifting through candidates hoping to find one that's willing, or do they just give up and decide to can the film entirely? Though it’s a drastic measure, it’s safe to say that 'Ant-Man' isn’t exactly the most desirable or profitable superhero around, and there’s no telling how the movie could perform at the box office. If Marvel did scrap it, perhaps they could focus their efforts on a new flick for one of their other characters: what about She-Hulk or a Ms. Marvel movie? Chances are it’s not going to be scrapped and a new director will be announced eventually, but who’s best fit for the position?
Continue reading: The 5 Directors That Could Rescue Marvel's 'Ant-Man'
Judging by the latest trailer from Michel Gondry for 'Mood Indigo' starring Romain Duris (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) and Audrey Tautou (Amelie, Priceless), he's once again back to his stunningly surreal The Science of Sleep best for another French language cinematic beauty.
Based on a 1947 novel by Boris Vian called Froth on a Daydream, the movie sees Colin (Duris), a wealthy and successful inventor of a smell-based musical instrument named a Pianocktail. Through his friend, Chick, he meets Chloe (Tautou) and falls head over heels in love. They get married in a whirlwind romance, but while on their honeymoon, Chloe falls ill and in the ensuing weeks and months her health deteriorates. As she gets worse, so the film devolves into an increasingly dark world.
For its easy charm and humor, Michel Gondry's "Interior Design" comes off best. Gondry's story follows a young couple -- Hiroko and Akira (Ayako Fujitani and Ryo Kase) -- who have just moved to Tokyo, struggling to find an apartment, jobs, and generally to start their new lives. Akira's an aspiring filmmaker-artist, hence a bit of a space case, while his girlfriend Hiroko is smart but directionless. While getting started in Tokyo, they bunk up with a friend in her absurdly tiny apartment. Gradually, Hiroko pulls away from Akira and, in a Gondry-esque bit of transmogrification, she suddenly has the ability to shift from human to chair form and back. As a chair, she becomes part of the furnishings in a stranger's home, and feels herself an object of value, something she lacked as a human being. Gondry pokes fun at Tokyo's housing crisis: The living spaces are hilariously cramped, hardly more than glorified closets. With the low-key bantering of its characters, the quotidian details of Tokyo street life, its movie-within-a-movie device, the human-chair magic trick, and the overall theme of life-as-reverie, this is a Gondry project through and through. And, though not illuminating on the subject of its city, it's still a cute, clever take on Tokyo to keep us amused.
Continue reading: Tokyo! Review
With the city of Passaic, New Jersey threatening to condemn his tiny video rental store, old Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) must take some drastic steps. While off on a fact-finding trip to a major chain outlet, he leaves trusted employee Mike (Mos Def) in charge. He has only one mandate -- keep the slightly crazy local mechanic Jerry (Jack Black) out of the store. Seems the crackpot conspiracy theorist has a tendency to drive away the clientele. One day, after a botched break-in at the power plant that Jerry believes is brainwashing him, Mike discovers that all the tapes in the shop have been erased - and it's all magnetized Jerry's fault. With meddling Ms. Falewicz (Mia Farrow) reporting back to Fletcher every day, the pair needs to do something to keep the business afloat. With Jerry as his star, and a dry cleaning clerk named Alma (Melonie Diaz) as his assistant, Mike decides to "swede" all the missing films by reshooting them, quick and dirty. Oddly enough, their homemade versions are a huge hit.
Continue reading: Be Kind Rewind Review
If you had any sense of decency, you'd throw yourself a big party.
Continue reading: Dave Chappelle's Block Party Review
After scoring so perfectly with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and its follow-up, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, it was maybe inevitable that Gondry was going to slip up, and this film is that slip-up. Firstly, it's hard to shake the feeling that the scraps of story that leak out around the visuals are not much more than leftover ideas from Eternal Sunshine, further notes on the fantastic. As Stephane, the neurotic star of his own dream-TV show, Stephane TV, Gael García Bernal uses that slightly blank charisma of his to singular effect. Though Gondry takes awhile to lay his cards down on this character, leaving audiences not entirely sure whether to view Stephane as an innocent dreamer or immature creep, it's hard not to warm to Bernal's enthusiasm -- even he did put it to better use in The King.
Continue reading: The Science Of Sleep Review
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