The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem
(2014/Music Box Films DVD)/Me
Without You (2001)/Roman
De Gare (2006 aka Crossed
(2013 aka Soldier
C+/C/C/C+ Sound: C+/C+/C+/C Extras: B-/D/D/C Films:
a look at the latest foreign film releases....
& Shlomi Elkabetz's GETT:
The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem
(2014) is a strong drama about a woman having extreme difficulty in
getting a divorce (or GETT) from her thankless husband because the
court is geared towards keeping couples together in Israel under any
and all circumstances, which is a tendency of many religions, but the
script here takes the problems to their absurd extremes to show just
how bad this can be without vilifying anyone much. Thus, no one ever
becomes a cartoon.
performances are impressive, this was not an easy film to make and
all was very convincing as all involved are making some big
statements (a few truth to power moments included) and what is also a
dilemma for the future of all religions as women continue to ascend
to prominence in various societies no matter what male-dominated
power structures want to push them back. I'm sure I even missed a
few vital points in all this, but no stone is left unturned and I was
ultimately impressed by what all are saying here. This one is
definitely worth a look and stars Ronit Elkabetz, Simon Abkarian,
Menasch Noy and Sasson Gabay.
include an illustrated booklet on the film including informative
text, while the DVD adds a Making Of featurette, Cinema Of GETT
featurette, audio-only PRX radio interview (with chapters), 2015
Golden Globes Symposium on the film and an Original Theatrical
(2001) is supposed to be a realistic look at two female teen friends
growing up in 1980s England with its 'realism' and all, but instead,
it is sloppy (down to the bad opening of the end credits), all over
the place and not being very memorable. It is the New Wave years of
the New Romantics and Thatcher, but it never totally feels like it or
convinced me despite sometimes looking like it.
young Michelle Williams and Anna Friel play the gals, this is
somewhat of a curio, but even some chemistry they have, plus support
from Kyle MacLachlan and Trudie Styler cannot change the flatness of
the screenplay. Thus, this is only for the super curious.
are no extras.
(2006 aka Crossed
is supposed to be a thriller from the noted director, but I am not a
big fan of his and this is no exception, with a crime novelist (Fanny
Ardant) looking for the subject and material for her next novel. As
'luck' would have it, a serial killer is on the loose and she has a
dark secret about her work. In all this, the script comes close to
making this smug and a little banal, but the supporting cast
including Dominique Pinon could have overcome that. However, it is
so trite about things that it soon becomes too contrived and a few
fancy shots suddenly become the highlight. For Lelouch fans only.
are no extras.
(2013) is the story of Fanni (Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg), who is in
financial trouble among other things and is acting strangely in the
face of what are crisis, like losing the place she has lived in for
so long. Slowly, we start to see there is a larger problem, not just
apathy as if she does not care, but that she is purposely allowing
these bad things to happen, then her behavior becomes more erratic
and it turns out she wants this trouble.
starts lying pathologically, has some things to hide and seems to be
severing herself from civilization for some odd reason in odd ways.
Whether this German film is supposed to be proto-feminist,
existentialist or a tale on the Fassbinder mode of an independent
female discourse in the face of an oppressive male-geared society in
some way is intended, we have seen too much of
before and done better (and not just by Fassbinder). A few moments
work, but it did not add up to as much as I had hoped by the end.
give the script credit for its quiet moments, but
include an Interview piece and two short films: The Madness Of
The Day and Crime Don't Pay (Stupid).
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on GETT and You,
plus anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Roman and
Soldate have some softness in their playback, sometimes offset
by better color quality, but You and Roman are softer
still throughout unfortunately.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Roman
are not bad, but these are often dialogue-based, so the lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo on GETT
can compete with them easily, but the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
is smaller and a little compressed.