Tag: French

Cuties

Fuck Ted Cruz.

Okay, I am jumping the gun, I will get on that later.

Cuties is a French film that premiered earlier in 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival before all of (gestures around) this stuff happened. It got some awards, good audience remarks, whatever. That doesn’t mean much, people at Sundance sometimes love movies way, way, way too much.

Netflix won the bid for distribution rights, so it came out on the platform this week. That is not before drawing controversy, by releasing a poster for the film, very much more risque and uncomfortable than the French release poster of the same film. It really did one thing, which was enable controversy about the movie, and get people talking, so maybe that “gaff” was intentional. It was a pretty shitty move overall.

Because now the public perception of what this movie is about, versus what the film is actually saying, is at odds, and that is a grey matter pit where Ted Cruz likes to flourish.

face
This is little girls judging you, Ted.

Amy (Fathia Youssouf) does not live an ideal life. She is an 11 year old girl, living in a poor apartment in Paris, with her mother (Maïmouna Gueye) and two younger brothers. She is from Senegal, where her father is at that point, because he is getting a second wife. He is waiting to bring her back to Paris to live in the same house as his first wife and kids, and that makes things very awkward for Amy, who for sure does not like that idea at all.

Amy was raised extremely religious conservative by the standards of Paris, being from another culture, so she feels repressed. When she sees another girl in her building (Médina El Aidi-Azouni) dancing and dressing up, despite also being 11, she is curious. There is a group of these girls (Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas, Myriam Hamma) who are popular and fun, and sure mean, but they got style and they like to dance. Amy wants to be in that group, she wants to be free and she wants to explore life!

Well, these girls are a dance troupe and they look up to dance troupes of older women, and those women have provocative costumes and provocative moves, so of course they need to have them too!

Amy has to decide what she wants to do and how far she wants to go, to fit in, to exploit her own self, just to find her own sense of freedom, self worth, and to maybe have friends?

Also featuring Mbissine Thérèse Diop.

posers
We technically find out early on that they classify as posers.

Fuck Ted Cruz. Wait, no, jumping ahead still slightly.

First let us talk about the controversy. The girls in this film are imitating adults they find as popular and fun, so they are imitating their dance moves. At one point a girl takes a picture of her vagina area to post on the internet, and we do not see any aspect of that picture or her actually naked on camera. The girls also talk about penises at one point. That is what I remember.

So the controversy is really over dancing. And that involves twerking, which is apparently the scariest thing known to man since that Miley Cyrus thing. First off, get over it. Second, yes, the dance moves that involve gyrating hips, thrusts, and being on the ground are MEANT to make you uncomfortable, because yes, it is uncomfortable scenes and that is what the damn movie is going for.

It doesn’t take Sherlock to be able to figure out that the movie is not promoting the sexualization of minors, but quite the opposite. The idea of putting young girls in revealing outfits, for dances, for pageants, or whatever, is for some reason still a controversial issue that a lot of people like to ignore, but does and can lead to some bad things. The director, Maïmouna Doucouré, believes women should be in charge of their own bodies AND that kids should be kids without worrying about predators and growing up too fast. They can both be true points.

For the people flipping out over a movie (Which again, partially Netflix’s response thanks to their poster choices of showing the girls in their final outfits, versus just playing dress up and frolicking), but haven’t cared about any of this before seems awkward. The movie shouldn’t be punished, it is the culture that they should be angry about it because this isn’t just some fiction film. This is stuff that is happening, and people can actively be helping change that in their own communities.

I am trying to write this in a way that doesn’t say something actively stupid, but I think I keep going back and forth. I personally don’t care at all about twerking. It is just another dance style after plenty more that caused people to clutch pearls, and eventually people will likely get over it too. I am not saying kids can’t twerk, I am just noting that those angry about what amounts to just dance moves and does not harm the actresses in the movie are ridiculous.

And again, if you are uncomfortable, that is the point, let’s work on making our kids feel like they can be kids until they are forced to be adults. You all are adults reading this, you probably hate it. Don’t make them grow up fast if you want yourself to be able to go back.

So why Fuck Ted Cruz? Because he hasn’t seen this movie, you know he hasn’t, he just read a report, and wants the Department of Justice to claim that Netflix is distributing child pornography, to rile up his older conservative constituents. What the hell is wrong with you man. The point is like at Jupiter levels away over your head at this point.

Also, in general, it is very good story about cultures clashing and how to deal with problems in your home, and how a girl badly tries to make friends to end her own struggles. That is important to note too.

3 out of 4.

Les Misérables (2019)

Do you hear the people screen, screening the films of Academy? They are watching all the foreign films that might take home a win!

Even if they share a name, with other films going for the same!

And if it gets the nom, and goes up for an award, it will likely lose to Parasite all the same!

I hope you sang that. Here is a French film not based on but named after the French book, Les Misérables.

beard
Shit, they even got Jean Valjean in this.
Stéphane Ruiz (Damien Bonnard) is a country man, moving to the big city. He was a cop, and is still a cop. But there are a lot of differences out there compared to the big city of Paris. We have a lot of groups here. Immigrants, various religions, the poor. Ruiz is about to work in one of the worst and hardest districts out there, but not without some training.

He is to follow around Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djibril Zonga), partners who have been running the day shift for quite some time. They don’t report every crime, no, they are here for relationship buildings. They simmer down the tensions between the various groups. They fix the growing insecurities and shake down when they need to, skirting the edge between legal and illegal.

Ruiz definitely doesn’t like the cut of Chris’ jib, but he has to go along with it. Harassing young people, dealing with criminals, all of that. And then eventually, while actually doing something potentially right, the men get overrun by the youth who are just trying to protect a friend. Then something bad occurs, and it occurs on film.

So now they have limited time to try and fix it, before maybe all hell breaks lose with the factions.

Also starring Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly, Almamy Kanouté, Steve Tientcheu, and Nizar Ben Fatma.

cops
The body armor shows they are cops. That’s all it takes in Paris.

The film took me awhile to really grasp. I read only a little bit about it, and it said it was based or inspired on some riots in Paris in 2005. So naturally I assumed it would take place in 2005 and be those riots, but no, it takes place in modern times. We got iPhones, drones, and all of that.

I didn’t know anything about these riots in 2005, and I still technically don’t know anything about them now. There is one scene where it is mentioned, and that is it. But we do have some riots in this film near the end, but presumably on a much smaller scale.

I was also lost a little bit culturally, as getting all of the references and tensions between various groups didn’t come naturally. At one point the dick cop is making references to modern day Paris and the book Les Miserables, and the puns or jokes he was making didn’t make a lick of sense.

However, despite that, we do have a lot of tense, edge of your seat moments. I enjoyed the drama and the dilemmas that our leads were put in, and really didn’t anticipate where they ended up. I was scared by the end of the movie, while also unsure if I was upset by the events unfolding.

A better cultural understanding of Paris and past riots would make for a more full experience I believe, but on its own, it is a solid criminal cops doing bad and good things situation.

3 out of 4.

Climax

I was told a few warnings about Climax before watching it. Not about actual content, but more about the director, Gaspar Noé.

A controversial fellow, Noé has done plenty of films that I have never seen and shorts I have never seen. Apparently Love was very graphic, but I never got around to it.

I can expect a movie called Climax to be graphic. It is sort of there, in the name. I can hear warnings about French film, but that is really hard to put into one box.

No matter the warnings I received, none of them were really enough and none of them could really explain just what I was getting myself into when I decided to finally check out Climax.

showoff
And I felt. fabulous! No, wait. The opposite of that word!

In this movie, we have a few people who are getting a dance troupe together. Selva (Sofia Boutella) is the lead dancer of the troupe, and is working with someone else to pick people for their group and the music. I won’t tag anyone else in it, because everyone else is professional music people/dancers in some way only, and that is why they are in this movie.

The movie opens with a big, long dance sequence in one shot that is interesting, but strange. No wait, before that they show clips from fake interviews with these dancers on questions they asked before joining the troupe. No wait, before that, we see a woman bloody running in the snow. Oh.

After the big dance number, we get to see people talking. People dancing. Some interactions between a few of the characters. Back and forth talks between just pairs, making you really strain to pay attention to the plot point of the film. This is where you get backstory, kind of, sort of! After that confusion ends, we go back to dancing and people interacting.

But, the dancing gets stronger. The people get angrier. The people get weirder. Oh no, someone spiked the sangria and a lot of people are now going on a bad trip.

And then a lot of bad stuff happens the rest of the night, resulting in some deaths, some rape, some deaths, some uncomfortable moments, some sex, some dancing, and some other gross unfortunate terrible moments. Hooray!

dance
Hooray?

I think I definitely did more of a plot description than normal compared to other films. And it feels justified.

There are quite obvious from the conversations early on that seem to be the main focus, and some of the characters who are definitely less of a nice person. The interview portion is completely forgettable after the dance, and probably should be rewatched for clues now that you know the characters better. But it is a huge struggle early on to remember what aspects of what characters were told and are important, with there being such a big cast of dancers and the conversations going so quick.

Now, once the tone shift happens in the film, and everyone starts to get on the bad trip, it definitely gives an uncomfortable feeling to the viewer. Oh no, bad things. And guess what? Basically every bad thing you can imagine happening, based on the earlier conversations and events, totally does happen.

It is very predictable in regards to probably the three worse things that occur in the movie. And this is a wildly gross and sometimes scary film, but having the worst/grossest parts easy to guess seems odd. Basically, if it could go bad, it does go bad.

I will admit, I first just assumed everyone was going to die in some extreme ridiculous ways, and not a lot of people die by the end. But no one is super happy by the end. People have been violated, or killed, or threatened, or raped, and it is just uncomfortable moment after uncomfortable moment. And the whole time we are getting a constant trance background beat, with some characters constantly screaming in the background. We get a power outage and thus, more darkness, a “scarier” hue to the whole thing, and even more bad stuff.

It has a lot of uncomfortable moments, but at no point does it feel worth it. Like you should have to see it, like any character deserves their fate. It is just basic exploitation for the sake of.

And what the hell. There were like, three times in the first half of the film where we got opening credits. I don’t know what was going on there.

0 out of 4.

Faces Places

The year of 2017 wasn’t great for me and watching documentaries. I didn’t do it as often as I used to (as I used to force one a week for review). I decided I needed them to come more naturally, to see what I wanted, what looked interesting, and sure, some that didn’t look interesting.

But still, I didn’t see too many. So I had been keeping track of the movies on the Shortlist for Oscars Best Documentary. I saw titles that seemed interesting and plots that I couldn’t wait to see. I was trying to guess what might be the top five picked.

And then Faces Places was picked. It was one of the ones on the shortlist that I just did not expect overall. The documentary just felt like something that could be a one season show on The Travel Channel, and not something that might change the world, like some of the titles on the list.

Doc
Yep, I see many faces and…wait, what’s that in the background?
Oh yeah, that’s a place.

Agnès Varda is a really old woman, but a famed director in her country of origin. She has directed many films and has had a wonderful, personal career. JR is a photographer, much younger, and a bit eccentric. The two met and decided to work together on this documentary project.

Basically, they were going to travel the French countryside, small villages and towns, meet people, hear their stories, and enhance their community through their faces. They drove around in a vehicle with a large camera on the side. You could go in, get your picture, and a large picture would print out that you could put somewhere.

They decorated the sides of homes, monuments, to honor individuals and make unique artwork for the folks who lived there.

And it was cute, it had some interesting moments, and overall, it just felt…pointless. I am not saying there is no point to bring niceness to the world. It is just that there are so many documentaries that bringing up untold stories, important political and social events, that this one just feels off in its own little happy world.

I wish the world didn’t have so much fucked up shit in it. And really, the rating comes from these two individuals who just wanted to make people happy and increase their own happiness. The relevance and importance of the documentary is just less than others.

Faces Places will probably be on Netflix, eventually. And it isn’t even one you can sort of put on and half ignore to just see moments of happy, given the subtitles.

I can’t imagine this one winning anything. I hope I still get around to watching Kedi.

2 out of 4.

Raw

2017 was a great year for horror. It exceeded my generally low expectations for the genre. It exceeded in a way that is inverse to the way that animation was a disappointment.

So I was a bit suspect of finding another good horror film after all the rest. But Raw looked really good despite knowing very little about it. I knew it would make me uncomfortable, it would have gore, and has shit ton of blood.

Heck, I didn’t even know it was a French film until it started and I got blasted with subtitles. Adding the foreign element is what made me realize early on that maybe it could also be great, because I knew America must have reached its peak.

Blood
There hasn’t been this much blood in a film since Army of Darkness. Which is arguably British.

Justine (Garance Marillier) comes from a very uppity family who expect good things out of her. She just got accepted into veternarian school and is excited about making the world a better place for animals. Her older sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf) has already been there for a year and will help her get situated. Oh, and her entire family is vegetarian, they have been her whole life, and that is obviously relevant to the plot.

Now in France, I am led to believe that getting into a specialized school like this one is sort of like getting into a fraternity in America. They have hazing for the new recruits and a rush week, but it isn’t really optional since it is just everyone in the school. They have to submit, or else. As part of the submission, they get dumped with animal blood before important photos and are also forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys as part of their initiation.

So Justine doesn’t want to do that, she has NEVER eaten meat, and she doesn’t want to start now. She tries to get her sister’s help, but the sister denies their vegetarian upbringing and eats a kidney, so Justine has to as well. This does not go well, as she immediately feels sick. Hell, she ends up getting some sort of food allergy symptoms as well from it. No good.

And yet, his opens up something in Justine. She starts to crave meat, but made a big deal about being a vegetarian as well. So her gay roommate (Rabah Nait Oufella) tries to help her sneak this new obsession without others noticing. But it isn’t enough. Justine is constantly hungry, constantly looking for more and more. And you know where this obsession is leading.

Also starring Laurent Lucas, Joana Preiss, and Jean-Louis Sbille.

Face
Keep working on the Andrew W.K. cosplay little girl.

(Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it) Raw felt like a very authentic (whew) tale about, well, some cannibalism. Not a lot of cannibalism, just some. It had human emotions, it had great realistic actions from unrealistic situations, and the whole thing just felt raw. Fuck, I made the pun. That didn’t last long at all.

But seriously. I didn’t even know Raw was French when I went to see it. I have heard it hyped for a half a year and just assumed another indie horror film that gets rave reviews. It is good to see another country coming up strong with new ideas.

Raw has a some gross scenes and they just happen sometimes so unexpectedly it will take you by surprise. It doesn’t shy away from sexuality and hazing, normal college experiences, it just adds some extra human elements. Again, please understand I am referring to the eating of humans.

Raw is gross, it is creepy, it is well made, and yes, it is raw.

3 out of 4.

Leap!

2017 has been a shit year for animation. That is basically how I begin everything for animation at the end of the year, by the way.

At this point the only films I gave okay ratings to were Coco and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which is saying a lot about my opinions on these films.

Well, Leap! was released at the end of last year in France and Europe, but didn’t make it to America until August. I had been waiting for a bit and waiting even more. When it finally came out, no one seemed to care, due to lack of advertising, and even I forgot about it.

It is one of those weird films that is already in English, but has a slightly different voice cast depending on the country. Not many changes were made, but the European version had Dane DeHaan as the boy lead. And honestly, without hearing it, it was probably a good change. We don’t need to hear 12 year olds with extra deep voices as if they are constantly pretending to be batman.

Dancer
Now if DeHaan had voiced the lead? I would pay extra for that uncomfortable version.

Felicie (Elle Fanning) is an orphan in a small French town, in a Church. She doesn’t want to be there of course, she wants to escape and become a famous dancer! Partially because the only thing she has from her mother is a dancing figure in a music box, her main treasure. Her best friend, Victor (Nat Wolff) also wants to escape with her. He has dreams of being an inventor and is focusing a lot of his efforts on a flying machine.

Well, Victor finds a flyer for a famous ballet school in Paris, so they decide they should run away and make it there! And they do!

But they immediately get separated, so Felicie is on her own to achieve her dreams. She finds the dance hall, sees an amazing dancer, but gets found out by the groundskeeper and almost given to the police, but a cleaning lady saves her. Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) walks with a cane, clearly having once been a dancer and had her life ruined by something or another. She stays in the guest house of a mansion, she just also has to clean it up as well. And the owner, Regine (Kate McKinnon), is a huge bitch.

She is rich though, so she can be a bitch. She has raised a bitch daughter too, Camille (Maddie Ziegler), who just so happens to be a dancer. And because she is a bitch, Felicie steals her invite to the dance school and pretends to be Camille to get a shot of her dream coming true. She just has to be good enough every day to not be the one person cut, so she can have a feature spot in the upcoming Nutcracker show.

Also featuring the voices of Shoshana Sperling and Mel Brooks.

Friendship
Oh he is definitely in the “best friend for years until she loves me” role. Silly boy. This isn’t the 90’s anymore.

Leap! tells a very standard story about a girl and a boy running off to achieve their lofty ambitions, and do so, quite easily! How they both fall into their respective positions is meant to be quick and easy, which is part of the comedy and charm, so that is not an issue.

It has its moments, both funny and cute. The animation is fine, Victor makes a good comic relief, and Felicie a great go-getter lead! The film also had some Karate Kid moments, just to keep things interesting.

But the devil is in the details, and this film was a mess. I first noticed it on my own, after three very specific references happened, and I was curious if they all were around the same time. That would be, The Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Sherlock Holmes. The first Holmes story was in 1887, the Eiffel tower started being built in 1887, but the Statue of Liberty was already in America in 1886. So to show it barely built at the same time as the Eiffel Tower was barely built is just wrong. And it had the statue already green, which is also quite annoying.

So I figured it must be set in 1887 and they had one mistake, sure. But apparently the film was set in 1979, years before all of these things. In addition to those facts, the dancers were trying out for a part in The Nutcracker, which came out in 1892. I learned the last fact and more from IMDB’s goof section, after I already found out these inconsistencies. If they are going to set the film in a lively part of the world and go for a realistic story, then it just seems terrible to have so many references just wrong.

Another aspect that just consistantly threw me off was the soundtrack. There five or more pop songs used as montage music mostly, including songs from Sia and Jepsen, and these things took me out of the experience. They never quite melded well with the scenes behind it. Given the subject matter, actual ballet, opera, classical, anything music wise like that would have felt better for the story.

Despite being called Leap!, this film was unable to rise above other animated films this year. It just ended up okay like the rest of the best.

2 out of 4.

The Red Turtle

I already went to great lengths to make sure I watched every major American animated release from 2016, to be super prepared for the Oscars. But it is always those foreign pictures that give me difficulty. Usually something from Japan gets nominated, usually Studio Ghibli, and usually not much else. The occasional Euro film makes it through as well.

So let’s just say that I am really hoping that The Red Turtle gets to make it on the list, and not really anything else. Because then I probably won’t be able to see any other foreign film, because those tend to not come out in America until halfway through the next year.

Come on The Red Turtle, be nominated! Or at least, if not you, then only American movies!

Beach
Beaches get me angry. Sand everywhere, sand in every nook, cranny, and crevice.

Man gets shripwrecked. Man lands on island. Man alone on island, except bamboo, fruits, and hermit crabs. Man wants off of island. Man builds small bamboo raft, but after man gets away from the shore, some creature breaks it apart and he has to swim to shore.

Man grows beard. Man build another raft, bigger. Creature still destroys raft. Man tries third time, huge raft, huge huge raft. And this time he sees red turtle once he gets farther out. And yes, the turtle destroys the raft again.

Fucking turtles. Man is angry and pissed off. So he screams from island mountain, and turtle comes to shore. Man is angry. Man hits turtle and flips it on its back. Fucking turtles.

Man feels sad the next day. Turtle is dead. Time for man guilt. Then the turtle cracks in half. Suddenly, in the turtle shell is a young woman, no longer a dead animal. She is pretty and only companion in a long time. So…

Fucking turtles.

Red Turtle
I can see the desire.

The Red Turtle is a film that can go all over the world and still be understood without too much difficulty. It has no dialogue for any of the characters (outside some nice screams and grunts), so there is nothing to translate. The story is told through their actions and the universal language of emotion. Of sorrow, angst, love, and regret.

And it is easy to see why it would receive almost universal acclaim. It is always hard to make a film lacking a normal element, like dialogue. And I am a person who loves dialogue, so the more dialogue the better for me. But it easily tells the entirety of its story and somehow still made me cry near the end.

The animation style is simplistic, but sleek. It doesn’t use a lot of 3D CGI, just standard looking fair that flows nicely from scene to scene.

Some people will go into this film and hate it or find chunks a bit more confusing. But it is a relatively unique experience and worth your time, only lasting about 80 minutes. Also, the implied bestiality is a nice touch for a family film.

3 out of 4.

Elle

At some point, I probably just assumed that Paul Verhoeven was dead. His last movie was in 2012, Tricked, and I never really heard about it. Before that, 2006, Black Book, another I hadn’t ever seen. And before that, 2000, Hallow Man, which totally fits his style.

He has gotten older so I don’t expect a movie every 2 years, but man he used to be so on the map.

So when I saw Elle I basically ignored it (even with the awards talk), I just can only see so many subtitled movies in a year. It takes a lot out of me when I am in a job that makes me pass out before 9pm most nights. But with Verhoeven directing as some sort of thriller? Where sex and violence might be brought up to 11? Sure, I will give it a shot.

If anything, it will still help me prepare for the Oscars.

Cat
Editor said I cannot make a reference about her reminding me of the hook lady from Boston Public, no one would get it.

And at the beginning, Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert) is raped. In her own home, by a man in a ski mask. She is the head of a video game company in France, with her business partner Anna (Anne Consigny). Her father was a serial killer, found out when she was a young girl, so she has been lashed out against all the time. This has led her to becoming a strong and successful woman, independent as fuck, so how could she be raped in her own damn house?

She doesn’t trust the police, given her childhood problems. So she doesn’t report it, confides in some friends, and goes about her business. After all, her game company has a deadline and they have to finish the product. But at the same time, she begins her own independent investigation as to the culprit. Could it be one of her angry workers? One of the many enemies she has outside of the job? Some pissed off citizen or neighbor?

Whoever it is, Elle is going to handle it on her own. While dealing with a son (Jonas Bloquet) who has grown up to be a little bitch, affairs, and more.

Also starring Christian Berkel, Judith Magre, Virginie Efira, Charles Berling, Alice Isaaz, and Laurent Lafitte.

Revenge
Revenge is a dish best served with a cold weapon.

At its best, Elle is a slow burn that has a lot of subplots and a couple twisty moments to tell an over two hour story. At the same time, some of these slower moments and subplots do the obvious thing and slow the story down significantly.

All of the plot with the son and his baby? They do end up mattering, but it is a strange thing to watch until it becomes apparent. The extra parts about getting the game in on deadline? Well, besides red herrings, they bring a sense of realism to the story. Her relationship with her father? Well, that explains why Elle is so fucked up and police scared.

Despite wanting to complain that there are slower moments and slower scenes, on my own it is hard to find something that IS actual cut worthy and necessary, in order to tell the complete story.

Huppert gives a nuanced performance as our lead, having to deal with a lot of her internal struggles despite external forces pressing down on her. She has all of the baggage in the world, isn’t a perfect character, and sadistic.

A very interesting character study, despite getting bogged down in excessive story details (yes, that I am unable to pin point exactly. Shut up).

3 out of 4.

Mustang

And here we are, the day before the Oscars, and I have just but one more film to plug before the big ceremony. It is unfortunate that I was only able to check out 2 of the 5 films nominated for Best Foreign Film, but 2 is better than none, and roughly on par with my average over the last few years.

I picked Mustang because it came highly recommended from a number of people I know, and hey, it seemed like an interesting story. Not to throw any stones at eventual Oscar Winner Son Of Saul, but ever since three years of middle school crammed every single Holocaust story down my throat, I have cared very little about the events of 70 years ago.

I like fresh original ideas, even if they are based on true events of the directors life. The director of Mustang is a woman as well and the fact that I find that notable shows the general problems with director diversity.

Mustang is a dual French-Turkish film, although filmed in Turkey, spoken in Turkish, and only about Turkey. It makes it my first Turkish film review ever, even if it is only “half Turkish.”

Car
Every hair on the heads of these ladies is Turkish as well!

Set in modern-ish times in a small village in Turkey, this is the story of five sisters relatively close in age. All of them are pre-teen or teenager. Also known as the scariest time to be a woman. It starts with the last day of school before summer, where one of their favorite teachers is moving away and so they are all a bit sad.

Lale (Günes Sensoy) is our youngest and the most tomboy-ish and also our narrator. Her sisters are played by Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Elit Iscan, and Illayda Akdogan.

So to cheer themselves up, they end up playing in the beach waters with other classmates. They play chicken, which involves them getting on boy shoulders and trying to knock each other off. Fun times. However, when they get home their grandmother (Nihal G. Koldas) scolds them. Inappropriate touches with boys!

They are all orphans living with the grandmother and uncle (Ayberk Pekcan). And due to the talk of the conservative town on their morals, they are now forced to stay in their house. It slowly becomes a prison. They aren’t allowed to leave and play with friends. Or return to school. No, they need to learn how to be wives, no more freedom, so they can be married off and become someone else’s problem. One girl at a time.

Circle
Look at all these happy smiling faces at one of their weddings!

Chemistry! These girls aren’t sisters in real life, and I don’t think they knew each other out side of the film. But if you had told me they were sisters in real life, I would have definitely believed it. Most of them have no acting credits. They were just acting natural, like repressed teenage girls, and it fucking worked.

Mustang tells a simple story (and honestly, no idea why it is called that. Maybe a car brand or something?), but it is an interesting story and one that many people could relate too. Being a teenager and feeling like you aren’t in control of your life? Well, these ladies actually weren’t in control. Super oppressive and backwards, but hey, that is what it is like in other parts of the world.

Without going into a lot of details about the film, it is clear why it was nominated for Best Foreign Film. Every scene has a purpose, not every scene needs dialogue, and it is a roller coaster ride just like life. A realistic portrayal of life on the other side of the world.

3 out of 4.

The Transporter Refueled

EuroTrash is a word I have never used on my website before, but I am starting to think it is time.

There is a genre of films that seem to want to give action/thriller/dramas, they set them in Europe, and take them all over to various major cities and countries. This lets them show off Europe and get very different visual patterns, regardless of whether or not they are useful to the plot. One could argue something like Spectre was a bit of WorldTrash.

But one man does EuroTrash better (worse?) than anyone else, and that man is Luc Besson. Besson is basically the Gorgon Reviews antithesis. Everything he has touched since The Fifth Element is shit or whatever one step above shit is.

I, like a lot of other people, watched the entire Transporter trilogy. I wondered how and why each sequel was made, as the quality decreased despite never starting out high. One or two cool action scenes does not an interesting film make. But at least we got some Jason Statham.

Now we have The Transporter Refueled. A reboot, with no Statham, but the same boring EuroTrashy Transporter vibe. Fuck this, Besson.

Walk
Oh he wears a suit, that is what makes this one stand out.

Frank (Ed Skrein), aka Transporter, is a dude who delivers packages discreetly for high profile contacts. He doesn’t ask questions, he doesn’t ask for names, and he doesn’t change things in the middle of a run. His dad (Ray Stevenson) used to do the same job, I think. Honestly I don’t remember too much about it, except that he is finally about to retire from whatever.

Frank gets a job offer from Anna (Loan Chabanol), who of course he doesn’t know anything about. But later that day he is to pick up her and two sort of large packages and then transport them. He didn’t expect that the packages would be two other women (Tatiana Pajkovic, Gabriella Wright) who are dressed up just like her.

Turns out he just became part of an elaborate plot by a few prostitutes to kill Arkady Karasov (Radivoje Bukvic), a human trafficker, who abused Anna. But they are going to extreme measures, and they even kidnapped Frank’s dad to force him to comply. What the hell ladies.

Also starring Wenxia Yu as an additional accomplice, and Lenn Kudrjawizki, Yuri Kolokolnikov, and Noémie Lenoir.

Hair
They are all dressed up as classy Leeloo.

Fucking EuroTrash. At least in this film he technically doesn’t go all over the place. But because he is a driver, we get some car chases through classic European cities, with their silly looking license plates.

The Transporter Refueled was a bore, which means it is basically like the other previous three Transporter films. There were two remotely interesting fight scenes. The plot was convoluted. The acting was piss. The characters were far too many and far too unimportant.

This film is 100% a waste of anyone’s time. Even the five of you who may have been hoping for a new Transporter film, Statham or not, will probably be disappointed. The action itself is mostly generic and this is the type of filth that should be going straight to DVD and not wasting a screen in those poor movie theaters.

Follow up, damn you Luc Besson. The next terrible thing he is bringing out is Lucy 2, so you know it will also be shit.

0 out of 4.