Friday, February 25, 2011

BLUE VALENTINE

USA
2010
111 minutes

The dissolution of the marriage between an harried nurse and an unambitious house painter is juxtaposed against their courtship, six years earlier. Harrowing drama about falling in and out of love, smartly handled and outstandingly performed.

Starring Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams; John Doman, Mike Vogel, Ben Shenkman; and introducing Faith Wladyka.
Directed by Derek Cianfrance; produced by Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky; written by mr. Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne; music by Grizzly Bear; director of photography (Technicolor), Andrij Parekh; production designer, Inbal Weinberg; costume designer, Erin Benach; film editors, Jim Helton, Ron Patane.
An Incentive Filmed Entertainment presentation of a Silverwood Films/Hunting Lane Pictures production; in association with Chrysler, Shade Pictures, Motel Movies, Cottage Industries; in association with WME Global Finance and Distribution Group, @radicalmedia; property of Hamilton Film Productions. (US distributor, The Weinstein Company. World sales, Hyde Park International.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room (Lisbon), January 25th 2011. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

127 HOURS

Great Britain/USA
2010
92 minutes

The true story of Aron Ralston, an American hiker who went to explore a Utah canyon and found himself stuck in a crevice with his arm pinned under a rock. Intriguing but unsuccessful attempt at a minimalist character study-cum-thriller; the flashy, overblown style plays against the lead's superbly controlled performance and the story's innate tension.

Starring James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Clémence Poesy.
Directed by Danny Boyle; produced by Christian Colson, Mr. Boyle, John Smithson; screenplay by Mr. Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, based on the book by Aron Ralston, Between a Rock and a Hard Place; music by A. R. Rahman; directors of photography (Fotokem, Technicolor, Color Mill), Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak; production and costume designer, Suttirat Larlarb; film editor, Jon Harris.
A Fox Searchlight Pictures/Pathé Productions presentation, in association with Everest Entertainment, of a Cloud Eight Films/Decibel Films/Darlow Smithson Productions production; made in association with Dune Entertainment; produced in association with Down Productions and Big Screen Productions. (US distributor and world sales, Twentieth Century-Fox.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Castello Lopes screening room (Lisbon), December 9th 2010.

Friday, February 18, 2011

WINTER'S BONE

USA
2010
99 minutes

A mountain country 17-year old who pretty much takes care of herself and her two younger siblings must find her drug-cooking absent father or face eviction, but she finds herself stonewalled from the truth by her extended clan. Bleak, moody character study dressed up as half American Gothic and half mystery thriller; well enough made, but somehow less than the sum of its parts.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Sheryl Lee, Lauren Sweetser, Tate Taylor.
Directed by Debra Granik; produced by Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin; screenplay by ms. Granik and ms. Rosellini, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, Winter's Bone; music by Dickon Hinchcliffe; director of photography (Technicolor), Michael McDonough; production designer, Mark White; costume designer, Rebecca Hofherr; film editor, Affonso Gonçalves.
An Anonymous Content/Winter's Bone Productions presentation/production. (US distributor, Roadside Attractions. World sales, Fortissimo Films.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 10, Lisbon, February 7th 2011.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

TRUE GRIT

USA
2010
110 minutes

In late 19th century Arkansas, a plucky 14-year old hires a grizzled US marshal to chase the man who killed her father. Nominally a remake of Henry Hathaway's 1969 John Wayne vehicle, but in fact a straightforward adaptation of the original novel as a drily witty western that turns gravely serious when needed.

Starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin; Barry Pepper; and Hailee Steinfeld.
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen; produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen; screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Charles Portis, True Grit; music by Carter Burwell; director of photography (DeLuxe, widescreen), Roger Deakins; production designer, Jess Gonchor; costume designer, Mary Zophres; film editors, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, under the alias Roderick Jaynes.
A Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions presentation of a Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Productions production. (US distributor and world sales, Paramount Pictures.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 9 (Lisbon), February 4th 2011.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

THE FIGHTER

USA
2010
115 minutes

The true story of blue-collar Lowell, Mass., boxer Micky Ward, who went on to win the welterweight boxing title with the help of his crack-addict half-brother. Nervous, solid boxing drama.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams; Melissa Leo, Jack McGee. 
Directed by David O. Russell; produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, mr. Wahlberg, Dorothy Aufiero, Paul Tamasy; screenplay by Scott Silver, mr. Tamasy and Eric Johnson, based on a story by Keith Dorrington, mr. Tamasy and mr. Johnson; music by Michael Brook; director of photography (Technicolor, widescreen), Hoyte van Hoytema; production designer, Judy Becker; costume designer, Mark Bridges; film editor, Pamela Martin.
A Weinstein Company/Relativity Media presentation of a Relativity Media/Mandeville Films/Closest to the Hole production. (US distributor, Paramount Pictures. World sales, Paramount Vantage.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, UCI El Corte Inglés 12 (Lisbon), February 1st 2011.

Friday, February 11, 2011

THE KING'S SPEECH

Great Britain/Australia/USA
2010
118 minutes

In 1930s England, Albert, Duke of York, starts working with speech therapist Lionel Logue to overcome his terrible stammer, just as his father, King George V, dies and his carefree brother rises to the throne as Edward VIII. Prestige drama from a little known true story of pre-WWII Monarchy, done with all the standards of quality one expects from British drama.

Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush; Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle, Anthony Andrews; and Michael Gambon.
Directed by Tom Hooper; produced by Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin; written by David Seidler; music by Alexandre Desplat; director of photography (colour), Danny Cohen; production designer, Eve Stewart; costume designer, Jenny Beavan; film editor, Tariq Anwar.
A Weinstein Company/UK Film Council presentation, in association with Momentum Pictures, Aegis Film Fund, Molinare and Filmnation Entertainment, of a See-Saw Films/Bedlam Productions production. (World sales, Filmnation Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 10 (Lisbon), January 31st 2011.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NO STRINGS ATTACHED

USA
2010
103 minutes (excluding end credits)

An aspiring screenwriter and a trainee doctor become “sex friends” as she doesn't want to enter a long-term relationship, but he falls desperately in love with her. Amiable romantic comedy whose game cast and good sense of humour goes a long way towards making up for some perfunctory, predictable plotting.

Starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher; Cary Elwes, Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, Olivia Thirlby; and Kevin Kline. 
Directed by Ivan Reitman; produced by mr. Reitman, Joe Medjuck, Jeffrey Clifford; screenplay by Elizabeth Meriwether, from a story by Mike Samonek and ms. Meriwether; music by John Debney; director of photography (colour, widescreen), Rogier Stoffers; production designer, Ida Random; costume designer, Julie Weiss; film editor, Dana E. Glauberman.
A Paramount Pictures presentation, in association with Cold Spring Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment, of a Montecito Picture Company/Handsome Charlie Films/Katalyst Films production. (US distributor and world sales, Paramount Pictures.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo Colombo 9, January 28th 2011. (Print screened had no end credit roll.)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

THE GREEN HORNET

USA
2011
119 minutes

After his publisher father dies, a Los Angeles playboy inherits his empire and becomes a well-meaning but inept vigilante. An intriguing idea for a reboot of a cult hero of the radio age as a comedy actioner is wasted in a disappointingly generic blockbuster that fails to successfully use its director and cast's talents.

Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou; and Cameron Diaz; Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour.
Directed by Michel Gondry; produced by Neal H. Moritz; screenplay by mr. Rogen and Evan Goldberg, based on the character created by George W. Trendle; music by James Newton Howard; director of photography (DeLuxe, Panavision), John Schwartzman; production designer, Owen Paterson; costume designer, Kym Barrett; film editor, Michael Tronick; visual effects supervisor, Jamie Dixon.
A Columbia Pictures presentation of an Original Film production. (US distributor and world sales, Sony Pictures Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, CTW screening room (Lisbon), January 26th 2011.