Movie Review: Where Do We Go Now ? (2011)

Language - Arabic
Genre - Drama, Comedy
**ing - Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Leyla Hakim and Nadine Labaki
Release - 2011

Nadine Labaki's Where do we go now ? (Et maintenant on va où?)  is a heart-warming dramedy about a group of women trying to keep the men off each others throats, in a Lebanese village where Christians & Muslims live side-by-side. The movie had struck a chord with the critics and audiences alike at the Cannes Film Festival (Labaki's no stranger at Cannes, thanks to her hugely popular 2007 debut feature Caramel) where it won the François Chalais Prize.  A true crowd-pleaser, the movie also won the People's Choice Award at TIFF 2011, and was the Official Lebanese entry for the Oscars.

The movie begins with a procession of women, dressed in black, swaying rhythmically as they move forward to mourns the victims of a Muslim-Christian strife that plagued their small peaceful village at a point in time in the past. The visuals immediately fills you with the pain and the heavy-heart felt by these women.

Movie Review of 'The Intouchables' (2011) - Humor, with Sensibilities

Language - French
Genre - Drama, Comedy
**ing - François Cluzet, Omar Sy and Anne Le Ny
Release - 2011

Based on a true story, The Intouchables (literal translation is 'the untouchables') is a delightfully entertaining comedy that manages to infuse entertainment with great dramatic moments. The movie has already become the second most successful French movie of all time, behind the 2008 comedy Welcome to the Sticks. Such was the admiration  for the movie in France that they actually voted it as the biggest cultural event of 2011. 

The Intouchables stars popular French actor François Cluzet as a wealthy tetraplegic widower Philippe, living in a luxurious Parisian Mansion with aristocratic flair, who befriends a young ex-con Driss (brilliantly played by Omar Sy) of Senegalese descent after he unwillingly becomes the care-taker of the millionaire. Together, they represent the extremes of French society, both in terms of class and race. Though in the real story the movie is based on, the care-taker is an Arab, Omar Sy's performance wouldn't leave any room for you to complain about. 

Having run through overly eager to please care-takers,  Phillipe takes into the exuberant and flippant Driss who exhorts the disabled millionaire to once again savor the pleasures of life and try new adventures such as smoking weed and 'ladies', and above all treats Philippe without an iota of pitiful empathy. The other residents of the mansion whose lives revolve around caring for Philippe such as chief assistants Magalie (Audrey Fleurot), Arcelle (Clothilde Mollet), Yvonne (Anne Le Ny), the cook, gardeners and a rebellious teenage daughter Elisa, all treat Driss with suspicion and disdain at the beginning, but gradually succumb to his flippant charm. But Driss has demons of his own, and the experience teaches him to be a better man in his own family.  Despite the stereotypes and regular sentimentality, The Intouchables works and connects at all levels.

Movie Review of 'Headhunters' (2011): Gritty Norwegian Thriller

Language - Norwegian
Genre - Drama, Thriller, Crime
**ing - Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release - 2011

Morten Tyldum's Headhunters (Hodejegerne) is a surprisingly entertaining thriller based on Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s bestselling novel.

Dark Knight Rises & Other Most Highly Anticipated Movies of 2012 (Part III)

Continued from Part 2.. 

The Bourne Legacy

Director: Tony Gilroy | Universal | August 3

The Bourne Legacy might be a continuation of the Bourne Trilogy, and is really the fourth Bourne Film in the series rather than a reboot, but it feels like a new beginning. After all, there's no Matt Damon or the character of Jason Bourne, and the Director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, Paul Greengrass, has been replaced by Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), who has been involved with Bourne series from the beginning as the writer of The Bourne Trilogy films. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, Mission Impossible: Ghost protocol) will be taking over as Aaron Cross, a super-operative spawned from the same establishment as Jason Bourne.


Director: Ben Affleck | Warner Bros. | September 14

Based on a written piece "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran" by Joshuah Bearman, Argo will be the third feature as a director for Ben Affleck. Affleck stars as one of the architects of "Canadian Caper" Tony Mendez, and the events take place during the Iran hostage Crisis after the Islamist Revolution took over Iran in 1979-1980. Ben Affleck has already proved his mettle with his previous 2 directorial efforts Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and Argo looks quite interesting as well.

Cloud Atlas

Director: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski |Warner Bros. | tbd October

One of the more ambitious projects of the year, Cloud Atlas will feature performances from the likes of Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon. For the movie, Wachowski Brothers (better known as creators of The Matrix) are teaming up with Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer for the adaptation of David Mitchell's acclaimed novel Cloud Atlas. The story comprises of six narratives, vaguely connected in theme set across time and geography. Whether the effort succeeds or not, it definitely will be one of the most talked about movies of the year.

Wettest County

Director: John Hillcoat | Sony Pictures | August 31

Based on a novel by Matt Bondurant, Wettest County is an old west crime thriller about three brothers who are called to action when their moonshine operation is threatened. After various funding challenges and studio switches, the movie looks set to release this August. Wettest County will feature an immensely talented cast comprising of Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain,to name a few. 

World War Z

Director: Marc Forster | Paramount | December 21

Zombie pandemic taking over the world has been done to death in recent times with the never ending Resident Evil sequels. But World War Z might just be the breath of fresh air the genre needs. Adapted from the best selling novel by Max Brooks, the story revolves around a UN official (played by Brad Pitt) travelling around the world to stop the menace. The movie is rumored to 'not' adopt the documentary style narrative of the novel, and offer something quite unique unlike any other zombie movie. If this works, we might be in for a complete World War Z trilogy.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | June 2012

Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest president of the United States moonlighting as a Vampire Hunter. Okay, I know it sounds really cheesy but we all have our guilty pleasures. It'll be interesting to see how the movie combines historical events with vampire twists.

Dark Shadows

Director: Tim Burton | Warner Bros. | May 11

Inspired by the cult 1960's TV soap opera about a motley crew family of Vampires and Witches, living in a run down New England Manor, Dark Shadows will see Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborating for the eighth (!) time. Depp will be joined by Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz and Jonny Lee Miller. I sincerely hope for Depp and Burton to repeat the massive success of their last effort (Alice in Wonderland).

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