Every week, Ecran Large makes its market in cinemas, and selects some interesting releases and must-see films (for good or bad reasons). With one of our biggest favorites of the year, a friendship nestled in the Alps and another French whodunit.
The Eight Mountains
What is it about : Pietro and Bruno live in a small village in Valle d’Aosta and become friends. Over time, they move away between cities and mountains, but bind a friendship to life and death.
Why you have to see it : Unquestionably for its splendid mountainous landscapes, the duo Felix Van Groeningen–Charlotte Vandermeersch capturing their beauty and scale in beautiful moments of contemplation and calm. Or for his extraordinary friendship, the two men embodied by the excellent Alessandro Borghi and Luca Marinelli seeming to be linked by a force of nature preventing them from leaving each other, experiencing an unshakable love despite the trials of life.
But this is perhaps precisely the limit of the film, awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes 2022: nothing seems to be able to taint the male friendship presented on the screen. Over almost 2h30, time is therefore long and boredom regularly shows up when the story swings yet another discussion on sharing by the fireside, an incidental reflection on the love of nature or swings an additional snowy panorama at us. Shame.
The Widescreen Note : 3/5
What is it about : A Danish priest goes to Iceland to photograph the local landscapes and help build a church.
Why you have to see it : Quite simply because it is the marvel of this end of the year 2022. Unjustly deprived of competition for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2022 (no one has yet understood why) and completely snubbed during the award ceremony of the Un Certain Regard section, Godland is a world film in the heart of the Icelandic pampas. By skillfully juggling between pure and hard survival, reminiscent of the Herzogian expeditions, and the spiritual quest (recalling Silence by Martin Scorsese), the third feature film by Hlynur Palmason propose a true cinema experience.
With its format from another time (1:33 with rounded edges), the feature film freezes time, to better explore it in depth and restore its full value. Thereby, Godland manages to capture the power of the natural elements while confronting humans with their dangerousness, making them aware of their smallness before the immensity of the world around them. And even more, it results a powerful existential reflection and a magnificent meditation on nature and death.
The Widescreen note : 4.5/5
The Green Perfume
What is it about : In the middle of a performance, an actor from the Comédie-Française is murdered. Martin, a member of the troop and a direct witness, is soon suspected by the police and pursued by the organization which ordered the murder. Helped by Claire, he will seek to elucidate this mystery.
Why you have to see it : From its introduction to its conclusion, The Green Perfume feels good the work of Hergé (Tintin) and the films of the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Sprinkling his film with references through its decorations to even its title screen referring to the credits of Saul Bass, Nicolas Parisier manages not to be crushed by the heritage he summons and even offers a clever and refreshing investigation whose absurdity will provoke hearty laughter.
If the feature film owes a lot to its aesthetics and its music to immerse the viewer in this thriller under influences, it’s good the central relationship at the heart of the story that Vincent Lacoste and Sandrine Kiberlain weave which completes the proposition of being an irresistible piece of work – one is an out-of-phase average actor plagued by vagal malaises, the other is an impulsive and cunning draughtsman without glory.
The Widescreen note : 3.5/5
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Cinema releases of December 21: Godland, The Eight Mountains…