This film is about the final days of Vincent Van Gogh; is directed by Julian Schnabel (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007)); and stars Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project” (2016)), Rupert Friend (“Pride & Prejudice” (2005)), Oscar Isaac (“The Promise” (2016)), Mads Mikkelsen (“A Royal Affair“ (2012)) and Mathieu Amalric (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly“); the director knows something about making films about artists since he previously directed “Basquiat” (1996), a film about a postmodernist artist in New York; see also my list of 20 Fascinating Films about Visual Art, which also features “Basquiat” and many other notable movies about painters, their artistry and hardships.
The Florida Project (2017)
Sean Baker, director of “Tangerine” (2015), has produced something special – a powerful, unforgettable film about the innocence, joys, freedoms and wonders of childhood played out in the context of social and economic exclusion in Florida, US. “The Florida Project” has been very unjustly ignored by the Academy in the forthcoming Best Picture Oscar race, an omission which is incomprehensible. “The Florida Project” is about a little girl Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) who lives with her young mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) in a simple motel with a big name “The Magic Castle” overshadowed by a large Disney resort. Moonee goes on happily with her daily activities full of wonder and mischief, barely registering the true hardship and deprivation which stalk economically-disadvantaged in the area.
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
It is no wonder that Agatha Christie chose the Orient Express, once the most luxurious train in the world, as the setting for one of her fictitious crime scenes. From Paris to Istanbul, a journey of some 1,920 miles, will take passengers around 1883 (the date of its first launch) through exquisite landscapes in the total comfort of their seats and beds. “Murder on the Orient Express” was also inspired by the real incident which happened in 1929 when the train was forced to a standstill for five days due to heavy snow. “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet (“Twelve Angry Men” (1957)), could be said to be the first truly successful adaptation of a Christie’s novel, and the last film viewed by Agatha Christie herself, who approved it. Boasting an unbelievably starry cast, including such names as Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins and Vanessa Redgrave, this adaptation is both true to the novel and very-well acted, deserving high praise.
Coming from Danish director Lars Von Trier (‘Dancer in the Dark’ (2000), ‘Dogville’ (2003)), this controversial film promises to be anything but an easy ride. Hailed in Denmark a masterpiece overnight, ‘Antichrist’ became a bloody ‘conundrum’ abroad. The film follows a guilt-driven/grief-ridden couple (He & She) as they retreat into a cabin in the woods, trying hard to combat both their grief in relation to their lost child and their inexplicable fears. As they face each other and their surrounding environment deep in the woods, they soon realise that their retreat is far from being therapeutic.