Thursday, October 31, 2013

MFF '13 picks

Blue is the Warmest Color
Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or-winner gets into its character’s faces and under their skin. In a festival with several terrific female lead performances, Adèle Exarchopoulos stood out.

Paulina García is a blast as a 58-year-old divorcee navigating the singles scene in this film by Chilean director Sebastian Lelio.

Young and Beautiful
A sly, stylish and surprisingly funny look at a young Parisian who leads a double life as a call girl. Directed by Francois Ozon, who casts one of his regulars in a jaw-dropping (for cinpehiles) cameo.

The Selfish Giant
This film by British director Clio Barnard is about as depressing and intermittently transcendent as Ken Loach’s Kes.

Short Term 12
The sleeper hit of the festival, with Brie Larson and The Newsroom’s John Gallagher, Jr as supervisors at a foster care facility, and Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield as two particularly troubled teens.

Closed Curtain
Jafar Panahi follows This is Not a Film with another cinematic mind game that protest his house arrest and the filmmaking embargo imposed on him by the Iranian authorities. The dog in this film beats the cat in Inside Llewyn Davis as the most winning quadruped performer of the festival.

Before Midnight
The charm dissolves apace. If you were among those who hoped that Celine and Jesse got together after Before Sunset, their protracted fight here will make you wonder whether it was worth it.