Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



THIS WAS THE 2008 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL--FROM THE FRAGILITY OF THE 'CLASS' TO THE FURY OF THE 'WRESTLER'


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For details about Laurent Cantet’s “The Class” and Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” plus a sampling of other New York Film Festival entries, browse below; for complete festival information, click here.


OPENING NIGHT

THE CLASS: Francois Begaudeau, Nassim Amrabt, Laura Baquela, Cherif Bounaidja Rachedi, Juliette Demaille, Dalla Doucoure, Arthur Fogel, Damien Gomes, Louise Grinberg, Qifei Huang, Wei Haung, Franck Keita, and various real-life junior high school students (Directed by Laurent Cantet; Written by Laurent Cantet, Francois Begaudeau and Robin Campillo)

In 2006, Francois Begadeau published “Entre les Murs,” a well-reviewed novel tracing, over the period of one year, the complicated relationship between a young teacher in a rough Parisian junior high school and his lively, frequently combative students. Now Begaudeau, director Laurent Cantet (of “Human Resources” fame) and Robin Campillo have co-written a screenplay based on the novel, casting it with real-life, sharply improvisational high school students. Special bonus: author Begaudeau is at the head of “The Class,” playing the dedicated but temperamental teacher. The film was awarded the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Festival, where Sean Penn, the jury president, called it an “amazing film...a virtually seamless film. All the performances, magic. All the writing, magic. It just touched us so deeply.” Click here to read Guy Flatley's review of "The Class." Opens 12/25/08


CENTERPIECE

CHANGELING

Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan (Directed by Clint Eastwood; Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Universal)

In real life, Angelina Jolie is Supermom--strong, fearless, protective, possessive, an unsinkable force of nature. But in this gritty drama, set in 1920s Los Angeles, Angelina is more victim than victor. At least, that’s what she is when we first meet her, around the time the single parent's little boy goes missing. But, thanks to the tough, loosely law-abiding LAPD, she is soon reunited with her son. Or is she? Angelina’s initial joy quickly turns to doubt and then rage. No way is this kid the lad to whom she gave birth. Don’t be surprised if Angelina triumphs in the end and--given the fact that her director is the man who worked wonders for Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby”--eventually cradles an Oscar for her performnce in this blood-splattered tale based on Riverside County, California's grisly "Wineville Chicken Murders." Click here
for Todd McCarthy's Variety review. Now Playing


CLOSING NIGHT


THE WRESTLER: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood (Directed by Darren Aronofsky; Written by Robert Siegel; Fox Searchlight)

Washed-up, impoverished and demoralized, Ram is so down on his luck that he can’t gain admission to his trailer camp home until he comes up with his back rent. Which is why it is imperative that this former wrestling champ pull himself together and stage a comeback. Ram is played by former promising movie star Mickey Rourke, and people who caught this Golden Lion winner at the 2008 Venice Film Festival say the actor has staged a comeback worthy of an Oscar. Marisa Tomei, playing a hooker who has seen better days and nights, soothes Ram’s physical and emotional wounds, and Evan Rachel Wood is the estranged daughter with whom Ram struggles to reconnect. The big question is, can Ram reconnect with--and demolish--the big bad Ayatollah in a contest celebrating the 20th anniversary of their memorably brutal face-to-battered-face encounter in the ring? Opens 12/17/08


CHE

PART ONE (THE ARGENTINE): Benicio Del Toro; Franka Potente, Julia Ormond, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Demian Bichir (Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Written by Peter Buchman; Focus Features)

In “The Motorcycle Diaries,” director Walter Salles focused on the youthful Ernesto "Che" Guevara (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) as the budding revolutionary biked his way through South America and witnessed acts of injustice he would never forget. If you loved Salles’ 2004 hit movie, the odds are that you will be similarly moved by this follow-up film from director Steven Soderbergh. In place of the beautiful, magnetic Bernal, we now have the less beautiful but equally magnetic and talented Benicio Del Toro as the mature Argentine doctor who leaves his country and his profession and becomes known as Che, the idealistic but tough disciple of Cuban crusader Fidel Castro. The first of two new Soderbergh takes on Che, "The Argentine" will be followed by "Guerrilla." Opens 12/12/08


PART TWO (GUERRILLA): Benicio Del Toro, Lou Diamond Phillips, Franka Potente, Julia Ormond, Oscar Iaac, Meg Gibson, Alex Manette, Paul Vasquez, Rob Macie (Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Written by Peter Buchman; Focus Features)

This sequel to Soderbergh's "The Argentine" deals with the post-Cuban Revolution adventures of Che Guevara, once again played by Benicio Del Toro. Demian Bichir is also back as Fidel Castro. In a unanimous vote, The 2008 Cannes Film Festival jury, under the leadership of Sean Penn, named Benicio Del Toro Best Actor for his performance as Che Guevara in a double bill by Steven Soderbergh. Click here to read A. O. Scott's New York Times review of the Guevara double bill. Opens 12/12/08

A CHRISTMAS TALE

Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Paul Russillon, Chiara Mastroianni, Emmanuelle Devos, Emile Berling, Anne Consigny, Laurent Capelluto, Hippolyte Girardot, Melvil Poupaud (Written and directed by Arnaud Desplechin; IFC Films)

Christmas is a time when scattered family members reunite, rejoice and count their numerous blessings. Well, that’s the way it goes with some families, but certainly not with the volatile clan that scrambles through Arnaud Desplechin’s thickly textured comedy-drama. For starters, the elegant, demanding matriarch played by Catherine Deneuve has just received a grim diagnosis from her doctor, and it looks as if someone in the family will have to fork over an organ. The donor could even be her rottenly behaved son (Mathieu Amalric), who has been allowed on the premises for the first time in five years. Or maybe Maman’s life will be saved by her youngest son (Melvil Poupaud), a man who has been blessed--or is it cursed?--with a gorgeous wife (played by Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve’s real-life daughter). “A Christmas Tale” was warmly received at the 2008 Cannes and Toronto film festivals.
Click here to read Guy Flatley's 2000 interview with Catherine Deneuve. Opens 11/14/08

 

WANT TO READ MOVIECRAZED.COM COVERAGE ON PAST NEW YORK FILM FESTIVALS?

CLICK HERE FOR 2007

CLICK HERE FOR 2006

CLICK HERE FOR 2005

CLICK HERE FOR 2004

CLICK HERE FOR 2003