Our film reviews on Invictus by Clint Eastwood, The Book of Eli by Albert and Allen Hughes and Mr Nobody by Jaco van Dormael.
“Invictus”, the invincible Clint Eastwood
With an astonishing rate of one film a year, the American director Clint Eastwood is quite the Latin title of his new movie: “Invictus,” British title of the poem by William Ernest Henley, meaning “unconquered” (Wikipedia). Nelson Mandela’s favorite poem, the film recounts the use by the former President of South Africa of the Rubgy World Cup rugby in 1995 to unify a deeply divided country at the end of Apartheid.
Involved early in the project, the American actor Morgan Freeman embodies with perfection Mandela and after a detour in Japan (“Letters to Iwo Jima”, 2006) Clint Eastwood’s direction manages to revive a country at a turning point of its History…
To learn more:
- “Invictus” (2009)
Direction: Clint Eastwood
Script: Anthony Peckham
Image: Tom Stern
Editing: Joel Cox et Gary Roach
Cast: Morgan Freeman (Nelson Mandela), Matt Damon (François Pienaar)…
“The Book of Eli”, religion after chaos?
The new film of American directors Albert and Allen Hughes, “The Book of Eli”, is an amazing post-apocalyptic movie in the line of “The Road” (2009) of Australian director John Hillcoat. But where Hillcoat based on the bestselling novel by Robert McCarthy (2007 Pulitzer Prize) in which the hero (Viggo Mortensen), family man, took his son to an area more welcoming and then to enable a new future to humanity in ruins, the Hughes brothers follow a dark and mysterious hero (Denzel Washington) whose mission is to transport a mysterious book in a place also more welcoming. Better built, “The Book of Eli” can dwell on the characters instead of “The Road” where the key moments of the novel are linked together without dead time. It is also interesting to note the similarity in the end of the two movies where when the son/book arrived safely, the mother/wife takes over and a hero/man who disappears.
Good Action Movie with successful sets (desert landscapes, ashes, barbarian hordes) and nice cast (Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Tom Waits), “The Book of Eli” disturbed somewhat by his purpose. Indeed, the book carried by the hero and object of all desires is presented as the future of Humanity. And it is a Bible. Where Hillcoat and McCarthy put the future of Humanity in an image of a child, the Hughes brothers place it in religion. And even if at the end of the film, the book ranks among Bible Quran and other religious writings, the moral conveyed by the film remains ambiguous: why this religion over another?
To learn more:
- “The Book of Eli” (2009)
Direction: Albert et Allen Hughes
Script: Gary Whitta
Image: Don Burgess
Editing: Cindy Mollo
Cast: Denzel Washington (Eli), Gary Oldman (Carnegie), Mila Kunis (Solara), Ray Stevenson (Redridge), Jennifer Beals (Claudia), Tom Waits (Engineer)…
“Mr Nobody”, a head and tail film
The new film of the director of “Eighth Day” (“Le Huitième jour”, 1996), “Mr Nobody” multiplies the narrative possibilities and quickly loses its audience.
Tail: a child on a station platform. The train will leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? In this non-selection, the director will lead us into a maelstrom of possible situations. If all lives deserve to be experienced, it is not easy to follow all of them and if we all quickly lost with all these possibilities, the explanatory end of the film is all the more disappointing.
Head: if the script may disappoint, we can only remain speechless in front of this ambitious European project (33 million euros and 6 months of shooting), shot in three countries (Belgium, Canada and Germany) with an international cast (the American Jared Leto, the Canadian Sarah Polley, the Vietnamese Linh-Dan Pham and the German Diane Kruger). Special mention to the visual associated with the future in the film.
A script (tail) to forget but a bluffing visual (head).
To learn more:
- “Mr Nobody” (2009)
Direction: Jaco van Dormael
Script: Jaco van Dormael
Image: Christophe Beaucarne
Editing: Susan Shipton et Matyas Veress
Cast: Jared Leto (Nemo Nobody), Diane Kruger (Anna), Sarah Polley (Elise), Linh Dan Pham (Jeanne)…
Top 3 Cinema: "Blade Runner" (1982), "Breathless" (1960), "Casablanca" (1942)
Top 3 TV: "Spiral" (2005 -...), "The Wire" (2002-2008), "Twin Peaks" (1990-1991)