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Added by johanlefourbe on 25 Aug 2013 05:50
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Ronny's Dutch Film Club

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People who added this item 81 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ria

Notes: Well, I didn't expect to be blown away like this. To be honest, it's not an easy movie, in fact, it turned out to be a very complex character study and I'm not sure if it really required almost 3 hours of running time. Indeed, it takes forever before the world of Lydia Tár starts to finally unravel and, while I was watching the damned thing, I thought it was rather frustrating that we didn't get more information about her past, her lies and her alleged abuses. The fact that so many elements were kept in the dark probably didn’t help. It's only afterwards that I understood that we saw this whole story only through her own perspective and, eventually, this approach was quite brilliant. Basically, to reach this position, she did many great things and a lot more that was probably not so great but, above all, she created her own bubble from which she (thought she) could control her own narrative. As a result, she constantly filtered everything that didn't fit in the character and story she had created. She did it so much at this point that it was not a wonder that she started to loose her grip on what was real or not but I guess that's something rather common with pathological liars. In a similar way, you don't see or hear what other people really thinks of her. Basically, it's a tale about how power corrupts people and the fact that it centers on a woman (a fact which has been criticized by some viewers) was really intriguing. Eventually, it was a fascinating character and, of course, Cate Blanchett delivered here a career-best performance.

(Mar. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.9

chosen by Eric

Notes: I had been complaining that, instead of the usual super heavy dramas, we should see something funny for once so, at least, I finally got what I asked. Well, even though I have to admit that it did turn out to be fun and entertaining, to be honest, it didn’t really convince me though. I mean, Louis Garel who directed the movie and played the main character, managed to gather a really strong cast and they all delivered some solid performances. I above all enjoyed Roschdy Zem who made his character so complex and charismatic. After the movie, some members of my film club described it as a feelgood movie but I don't really agree. In my opinion, it was more complex with many layers but, at some point, Garrel should have stopped piling up his ideas and develop instead what he had so far. There was also some pacing issues. I mean, for maybe half of the movie, the main character was trying to figure out what was his new step-father up to and, then, pretty much out of nowhere, he decided to help him out with his next heist which was maybe fun but it didn't really add up with everything that happened before. To make it even more convoluted, during this heist, he basically confessed that he was actually in love with his (deceased) wife's best friend which was another massive U turn. Eventually, its messy aspect made this movie fairly unpredictable but it definitely had its downside. Indeed, as a result, even though you laugh because the situations were funny, you also stop caring about the characters because what they were going through was more about entertaining the audience than actually telling something about them. Still, we definitely had a good time though.

(Feb. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 94 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Eric

Notes: Well, even if this movie won’t be for everyone, I really enjoyed the damned thing though. Indeed, it is dark, nihilistic and, above all, really funny. In fact, I was actually expecting something really over-the-top and absurdist but I was amazed by how realistic it turned out to be after all. Basically, the bottom line with this movie is that even though, after millions of years, the human-being has become the most advanced specie on Earth, we still make incredibly idiotic decisions on a daily basis. I think they focused on the rich and super-rich above all because it is even more frustrating and pathetic with them because they have access to endless resources but, most of the time, they don’t do anything worthwhile or interesting with these resources. However, as displayed in the 3rd act, the rest of the population is probably not much better after all. Indeed, as soon as Abigail took command of the operation on this (supposedly) deserted island, you could feel a general cheer in the movie theater. At that point, we all believed that she would do better than the rest but, unfortunately, as soon as she was on top of the hierarchy and had a powerful position, she started to take some questionable and even moronic decisions. In my opinion, it displayed that, well, humanity will probably always be doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again, no matter the circumstances. Eventually, I guess the only way to handle this rather ghastly conclusion is to keep your sense of humor.

(Jan. 2023)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 73 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.3

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Since I’m a huge fan of ‘Oldboy’, I was just so eager to see this movie. First of all, I have to admit that it was rather tricky to watch a South-Korean movie with Dutch subtitles and, as a result, it took me a while to get a good grip on this rather complex story. Unfortunately, even though I did enjoy most of it, even though it turned out to be really intriguing, I never thought it was really fascinating though. Still, the damned thing was pretty good though. Indeed, I didn’t expect that, on top of being an entertaining detective story, it would be also such a romantic tale as well. It displayed that, solving the case and finding who’s guilty is not everything. As displayed in this movie, it can be so much more complex than what you usually get with the genre, especially when feelings might have a major impact on the proceedings. Concerning the two main characters, the Chinese woman was really complex and I really appreciated the depth they gave to this character. It was also thanks to Tang Wei who gave a really strong performance. On the other hand, I had more trouble to care about the South Korean investigator. I won’t blame Park Hae-il who did a fine job, it’s just that the guy was so clean and straight and, eventually, I never thought that his character was really interesting. The whole gimmick of the insomniac detective was also rather derivative but I have to admit that it did create a interesting surreal dreamy mood. Anyway, all in all, it was definitely another fine directing effort from Chan-Wook Park.

(Oct. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:

chosen by Peter

Notes: After watching 2 really heavy heartbreaking drama’s with the filmclub, I hoped we would see something slightly lighter this time but I’m afraid Peter apparently didn’t get the memo. Well, even though this movie did seem to receive some decent reviews, to be honest, I really had a hard time to care for it. The first thing that bothered me was the soundtrack. Indeed, they went for some typical ominous horror tunes during some completely quaint and innocent scenes and it felt really heavy-handed. Then, the other thing that bothered me was that these two couples were just so tedious to behold. At least, the Dutch couple with their anti-social behaviour was slightly more intriguing but the Danish couple was just so damned polite, spineless, and really boring. It didn’t help that none of these characters was really developed. At least, Fedja van Huêt, probably one of the best Dutch actors at work nowadays, did deliver a really solid performance and did manage to make the most of this material. Indeed, van Huêt managed to be threatening and disarmingly friendly and charismatic sometimes during the very same scene and this balancing act was actually quite impressive. To be honest, I have to admit there might have been some underlining meaning that I missed. Otherwise, what was the point of antagonising and scaring their victims prematurely? Another example would be the stoning scene. Sure, it was an original way to kill someone but it is also incredibly ineffective, especially from such a distance. So, there might have been a deeper meaning for all this but, to be honest, I simply wouldn’t care much about it.


(Sept. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Ietje

Notes: Following our previous movie with the filmclub which was seriously heartbreaking, we watched another movie which wasn’t really easier to swallow. It doesn’t mean that it was bad, though, in the contrary. Basically, it was a hyper minimalist drama with only one room and four characters. So, there was no action scenes or flashbacks showing what happened at the time but this minimalist approach allowed a great focus on the dialogues and the 4 actors who all delivered some top-notch performances. As a result, there was a lot of room to develop all the characters who were all so complex, not only in the way they were grieving and coping with this tragedy but also in general. In spite of the grim setup, I thought it was actually a really humanist movie showing that, at the end of the day, with such tragedies, they are only victims. Strangely, I thought this outcome was actually fairly optimistic, maybe too much for me and I believe that, in many cases, maybe even in most cases, people would choose rather to hate instead of choosing to forgive and to heal. However, it’s easy to judge when you have not been through the worst nightmare that could happen to any parent, no matter if your kid turns out to be a victim or a perpetrator, and the wide range of thoughts and feelings displayed by the actors in this movie was just downright impressive.

(Aug. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ria

Notes: Well, it probably turned out to be the saddest movie I have seen so far with the filmclub. Indeed, it was just so intense and it really touched me emotionally. Eventually, it was just heartbreaking to see this man who obviously had a rough life, who obviously deeply loved his child, who was probably one of the best parents I have seen in a movie, to face such an irredeemable and final death sentence. The little kid was also amazing and gave here a phenomenal child performance. Eventually, for 90 minutes, you have to watch these two human beings who were meant to be together, who worked so perfectly together, coming into terms with the fact that they will be separated, each in their own way, and this process was just so excruciating to behold. So, it was some strong stuff but it wasn’t completely flawless though. The first issue was that the whole thing was really predictable. For example, the way the single woman said and did exactly the right things was not exactly subtle. It was also rather odd that it never seemed to be an option to reach out to the biological mother to, at least, give her the option to take over this child. Finally, there was the fact that this man was completely isolated socially speaking which, of course, as a result, seriously amplified even more the connection between this father and his child but, to be honest, it felt also slightly manipulative. Anyway, even if it was maybe missing something to be really great, it was still an intense and heartbreaking drama.

(Jul. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6

chosen by Henk


(as special guest, Abena, Bea’s granddaughter, was also present. Apparently, she wasn’t so pleased that we took her picture)

Notes: Well, to be honest, I’d a rather hard time to get into this movie. Indeed, even if it was maybe not the heaviest movie we have seen so far with the film club, it was still probably the most depressing one. On top of that, I’m not sure if the spy operation taking place in Huda’s salon really did make sense. I mean, basically, there could be 2 main reasons why some secret services would want to force someone to work for them. The first one would be because of what they know and who they know. The second one would be because they have a set of skills that could be useful for them. In this case, why on earth would they go through so much trouble to recruit an average housewife? Of course, you could argue that everybody in the occupied territories know someone with some links with the resistance but it doesn’t mean that any man or woman could be suitable for this really hazardous job. And indeed, as displayed in this movie, Reem understandably completely freaked out to such a point that she couldn’t even normally function so I don’t see how she could have been a valuable asset. I guess you could argue that this whole setup was some kind of metaphor about this war as both of them are just cruel, senseless and seriously ineffective. But, in fact, you never get the opportunity to see Reem doing any spying because the goal was actually to show what would happen if such organization would be discovered. However, even if their approach to show this process was commendable, I’m not sure if I really cared for it though. Indeed, they really tried to humanize all these characters, to show that none of them was really good or bad but, in the process, they actually all became really hopeless instead of being really interesting to behold. Anyway, even if it didn’t really work for me, it was still a decent watch though.

(Jun. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 226 Average listal rating (174 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1

chosen by Johan

Notes: It was my turn to pick up a film and, as usual, I tried to go for a big gamble and went for a huge Viking epic saga, easily the most violent movie we have seen so far. Well, as far as I was concerned, I thought it was visually impressive and I really enjoyed the tense dark ominous mood. I have to admit that I was little concerned after I saw the trailer which, to be honest, didn’t really impress me as it made the whole thing look like a rather basic vengeance tale. Indeed, the biggest challenge for Robert Eggers was to turn this classic Scandinavian legend which had inspired countless other stories such as ‘Hamlet’ or even ‘The Lion King’ into something new and, if I have to be honest with myself, he didn’t really succeed. Sure, I loved the visuals and how was I completely immersed in this vintage Viking world but the whole thing was still too predictable. I have to admit that I didn’t see coming the scene when Amleth’s mother pretty much shattered his already fairly demented psychological state by revealing her true feelings about his father and even himself. However, it was the only surprising thing that occurred during more than 2 hours of mayhem. Still, the general madness and the bleakness of the whole endeavor was very much appreciated. Eventually, if you see the current state of our world, 1000 years later, our inclination for violence didn’t really change, the only thing which has evolved is that we don’t use such seemingly innocent axes anymore but missiles capable of wiping out a whole building. In the meantime, we still manage to fight for the most dubious reasons and we will keep doing it because that’s our tragic nature.

(May 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 81 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1

chosen by Bea

Notes: After an impressive and prolific career going over 4 decades, Pedro Almodovar was finally tackling one of the darkest pages of Spain history. However, he seemed that he chickened out as he decided to squeeze it into one of his typical convoluted family drama. Of course, you could argue that both stories were dealing with genetic identity and heritage but, in my opinion, this link was just too thin. I mean, looking for some long deceased and seemingly lost relatives through DNA test and figuring out who’s the mother of a misplaced young baby also with some DNA test was hardly the same thing. It’s too bad because these two tales were actually interesting but mixing them turned out to be rather awkward. On top of that, he kept adding layers upon layers of dramatic turns and I’m glad I’m familiar with his work, otherwise, I can imagine how alienating his chaotic approach can be. As an example, it was probably not the greatest idea to have these two mothers starting a romantic relationship, especially since it was completely dropped 10 minutes later. Still, Almodovar always delivers such fascinating and complex women and he certainly didn’t disappoint in this area. Furthermore, the female cast was top-notch and I’m not surprised that Penelope Cruze was nominated for an Academy Award for her work. Anyway, I guess we would have to wait a little bit longer to have Almodovar making a movie really focusing on the Spanish civil war but, in the meantime, this movie will do.

(Apr. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 95 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Since I kept hearing some really good things, I had some rather high expectations but, to be honest, I didn’t expect to be blown away like this. Indeed, it turned out to be quite a rollercoaster of emotion. The recent war in Ukraine also added an extra emotional layer as, in any war, the biggest victims are always the children as, any war, civil or not, is something completely incomprehensible for them. Above all, it completely shatters their world as it was clearly displayed in this movie. So, after reading this, you might expect a heartbreaking drama but it went so much further than that. It was also so sweet and displayed that Belfast, before it was destroyed by decades of conflict, was actually a bright community where kids and people lived in peace and harmony in spite of the economic hardship. As a result, as a viewer, you want them to leave as soon as possible because we all know what will eventually happen but it was easier said than done for this family who loved their lives in this city and would have to leave everything behind for a (probably hostile) new country. And, yet, in spite all this, it was often actually quite hilarious because you see everything through the eyes of this funny little boy whose innocence had not been completely tarnished by this dreadful conflict. Of course, you might praise his parents for doing the ‘right thing’ by not taking sides but it is anyone guess how they long they could have remained neutral without facing the consequences. Eventually, the result was Kenneth Branagh, himself, a heralded British director and actor who, after all these years, finally decided to look back at this pivotal moment in his life.

(Mar. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:

chosen by Eric

Notes: To be honest, it really took me a while to get into it. Indeed, at first, I was wondering why I should care about the supposedly difficult life of a girl who was young, healthy, bright and attractive. The fact that she did cheat with her boyfriend in every possible way, except for having sex, with a random stranger definitely didn’t help. It’s only afterwards that I understood that it was actually done on purpose, to show that she wasn’t just another cute perfect girl in your typical romantic-comedy, that she was an actually really flawed and messed-up human being like everyone else. I just loved this slow built-up and I’m just amazed how they made me slowly invest myself in this character for who I felt very little at first. Eventually, from the moment that she dumped her first boyfriend, I finally started to care more about what she was going through and, by the time she did eat these mushrooms, I was completely sold. It was actually such a deep humanist portrait of a young woman struggling to find herself and making sense of her life. However, to be honest, I did think that the ending was rather weak though. Indeed, I wish that she didn’t end up with a really cool fancy job, like most of us do. Furthermore, to make her witness her 2nd ex-boyfriend ending with another woman with a baby (when they probably did break up because she got pregnant) was just a really awkward choice that the makers made because they explicitly wanted to go for the completely opposite that you usually get in the romantic-comedy genre. Still, except for that, the whole thing was pretty much flawless and seriously spellbinding to behold.

(Feb. 2022)
johanlefourbe's rating:

chosen by Ria

Notes: Unfortunately, the day I was supposed to watch this movie, I tested positive to Covid so I had to stay at home and skip this one but, according to the other members of our film club, it was actually really good.

(Jan. 2022)

chosen by Henk

Notes: Well, Henk did it again, he managed to make us watch something so completely different than anything that we have seen before (which is even more exceptional since we have seen by now more than 70 movies together). Anyway, this time around, this movie seemed to be based on the vigilante genre, a typical US genre which is, 90% of the time, just completely predictable and, as far as I’m concerned, so tedious. However, in this case, they did add a massive dose of Scandinavian black humor and this mix was just so entertaining and simply irresistible. Indeed, the end-result was a fascinating combination of tones and genres such as action, thriller, comedy and drama, sometimes happening all together in one single scene. For me, the best example and the highest point in this movie was the moment when Lennart put his pants down after being chased by Mark on some field in the countryside which was at the same time hilarious but also one of the saddest things I have ever seen. Still, even if this freewheeling approach was very often fascinating, it also had its downside. Indeed, the end-result was so absurd that it did feel really random and randomness is not the same thing as actual depth. Furthermore, even though I really enjoyed this group of misfits, f*ckups and losers who were all so complex, by focusing instead on only 2 or 3 characters, it would have been more focused and probably even more effective. Anyway, I still really enjoyed this absurd black comedy which completely reinvented one of the most boring genres.

(Dec. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7

chosen by Bea

Notes: Eventually, even though everybody in the film club seemed to be really enthusiastic about the damned thing, I have to admit that I had a hard time to share their enthusiasm. I mean, I did appreciate the concept and the minimalist approach but, in my opinion, the lack of context was really a big issue. Indeed, what was going on with these soldiers? Was it their first mission? Was it their last mission? How long were they on the road? As a result, it was rather difficult for me to understand how such trained well-equipped soldiers could feel threatened by such a seemingly harmless young boy. Eventually, I think the director was aiming to display that, due to their lack of field experience and proper psychological training and, in this specific case, the lack of true leadership and because, for this job, they are required to be constantly on edge, such young soldiers are basically some ticking time-bomb who are likely to experience EVERY stressful situation as a potential threat. In this case, I believe it would have been more efficient to not translate what the Arabian boy was saying as it would have increased the sense of stress and alienation experienced by these soldiers. By the way, if the behavior and the decisions of the soldiers was hardly understandable, it was even more so for the Arabian boy. Indeed, the kid basically grew up in a war zone, he probably had more experience than the 3 soldiers combined so he should have been fully aware that hanging around some hostile isolated stressed-out soldiers who obviously didn’t want to have him around was probably not a great idea. Seriously, what was his deal? Eventually, I’m afraid his whole behavior was basically some plot device and I wish it was more properly developed. Anyway, even if this movie didn’t really work for me, it was still a decent watch.

(Nov. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I was slightly worried that Paul Verhoeven would come up with something rather sleazy. Well, eventually, the Dutch master didn’t disappoint, at least, not me as it turned out to be a massive Verhoeven festival. Indeed, he went pretty much all the way with some over-the-top hallucinations, violence, blood, full frontal nudity and some good old sex. Seriously, even if probably not everything did work, the whole thing was still seriously intense. Eventually, he gave us all the various ways anyone at the time might approach religion (as a real vocation, as a capitalist enterprise, as a powerful political weapon, as a simple way to get fed or a way to escape a toxic household). What I enjoyed the most was how ambiguous Benedetta was until the very end. Indeed, was she some kind of con artist? A complete lunatic? Another sexually frustrated nun? An actual prophet who could communicate with God, somehow? Or maybe it was a combination of all this all together. Well, you won’t get any easy answer which was the movie’s biggest strength but also its weakness. Indeed, at the end, all the other characters’s thoughts, feelings and motivations were pretty clear but Benedetta remained an impenetrable wall which was slightly frustrating and, yet, it made her rather fascinating. I also think that the whole lesbian relationship was not very well linked with her religious ‘awakening’. The best thing that I can think of was that, by being touched by Bartolomea’s love, she was then more able to get in touch with God? Or maybe, after all these years of sexual abstinence, it pretty much blew up her fragile mind? Still, the damned thing was quite a roller coaster.

(Oct. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.4

chosen by Ietje

Notes: I have to admit that I had no idea what it was about before it started and it took me a while before I discovered that Céline Sciamma went for some magic-realism. Unfortunately, I’m not a great fan of the genre. To me, it felt like some kind of French Indie version of ‘Back to the Future’ and I have never really been fascinated by this idea of spending some time with one of your parents while being the same age. Fortunately, Ietje had some very interesting insights who helped me to better grasp this concept. Indeed, according to her, this movie was not really about time traveling but more about showing how a young child might try to cope with such a dramatic event. From this perspective, the movie became much more interesting. However, I wish they tried to cut down the dialogues and focused more on the young girls spending some time together, like any other kids. Indeed, at least half of their conversations were so obviously written by adults and would never come out from such young children. For example, at some point, towards the end, one of the girls asks if she was ever wanted by her parents. Sure, I can imagine that kids might be wondering about such matters but there is no way a 8 year old would us these exact words. Anyway, even if I didn’t feel much connection with this material, it was still a really intriguing movie.

(Sep. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 196 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Peter

Notes: This movie turned out to be really important to us because it was the first one we saw with the film club after around 18 months because of the current corona pandemic. Well, to be honest, it took me a while to get the damned thing. Indeed, not only I was expecting a very light comedy but I’m not a huge fan of alcohol in general. However, if it might seem to be only about a group of four rather pathetic guys who decides to get drunk because they are all stuck in some kind of middle-crisis, it went actually way beyond that. Indeed, many might make the mistake of thinking that this movie was about drinking but, in fact, it was a movie about living. Basically, life can be incredibly dull and monotonous and, if you’re unlucky, it can be terribly tough and full of hardships. Eventually, the only way to live a full life is through experiences and experiments. Basically, from time to time, we should all try to get outside this tiny little box that society has given us, to go against the rules, to push our boundaries, or simply do something rather foolish because otherwise what’s the point? Of course, as displayed in this movie, it can be hazardous or even dangerous (eventually, one of them died and two nearly broke down their family in the process) but, at least, they tried something instead of going through the motions until the very end. When the movie started, the main character didn’t drink because it was the reasonable thing to do, he didn’t want to dance and was incredibly sad. At the end, at least, he was having fun with his students (something unthinkable a while back) and he was dancing again, even if he still looked sad. Eventually, even though it might seem to a rather silly movie promoting excessive drinking, it turned out to be a really life affirming picture, something we desperately need in this time of worldwide crisis and I can’t imagine a better way to start up again the film club.

(Aug. 2021)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Film Club was cancelled from March 2020 until July 2021

chosen by Eric

Notes: To be honest, when I heard that we would watch the latest movie directed by Johan Nijhenhuis, I can't say I shared the enthusiasm displayed by the rest of the film club. Well, at least, Nijenhuis probably did deliver the best movie of his career but it doesn't mean I really liked it though. Basically, this Dutch director has made a career delivering some really successful but also really fluffy romantic-comedies and, while this movie definitely had more substance than his usual work, I'm afraid it was still too shallow for my taste. First of all, even though I have to admit that some of the jokes were really funny, most of the characters were actually more annoying than actually entertaining. Then, I really liked the idea of making a comedy about Alzheimer's disease but the whole concept was rather poorly handled, especially since the tone was so light, and it would have worked so much better with some pitch-black humor. Eventually, during the last 30 minutes, they finally dealt more seriously with the main issue within this relationship but it came just too late in my opinion. Still, Herman Finkers is definitely a really charismatic man and I have to admit that it was really entertaining to see a movie in Twents dialect.

(Feb. 2020)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.4

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Well, I went to see this movie expecting a feelgood movie easy to swallow but, eventually, I was on the verge of tears through the whole thing. Indeed, I was really overwhelmed as it touched several things closed to me personally. Eventually, it was a strong tribute to these amazing people in France and elsewhere in the world doing this incredible work that apparently nobody else wants to handle. So, as a tribute, it was indeed completely spellbinding to watch but, as an actual movie, it wasn't really so successful, I'm afraid. The first issue was the complete lack of narrative curve and/or tension. Basically, instead of an actual plot, there were a succession of little conflicts during which, each time around, the educator, regardless of the difficulty of the situation and their lack of experience or expertise, would act not adequately but pretty much perfectly. Of course, there was this rather unbelievable scene during which they leave their educator with the least amout of experience to spend the night with their most difficult client. Obviously, it goes bad but, even in this case, the way everyone shows up in the middle of the night to fix this displayed again how 'amazing' they are. Above all, Bruno, very well played by Vincent Cassel, was displayed as such an amazing man who sacrificed pretty much everything for his work and, in the process, he almost became some kind of Saint. In my opinion, it would have been more interesting if they would have been displayed as fully fledged human being making some small and huge mistakes during their otherwise amazing and inspiring job. Still, I was completely shaken up by this movie which says something about the damned thing.

(Jan. 2020)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 706 Average listal rating (528 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.5

chosen by Bea

Notes: I can imagine that, if you are not familiar with Bong Joon Ho's work, the constant changes of tone can be rather overwhelming. However, as far as I'm concerned, I always thought it was so bold and I don't know many directors who can so easily blend a drama, with a comedy, a thriller and a social satire. This mix was pretty much irresistible and I loved the way the Korean director kept setting the audience on the wrong foot. On top of that, it was also a great critic on our current way of life in which the gap between rich and poor is getting only bigger. Basically, even if they are geographically close by, the two extreme sides of our society seem to live in two completely different worlds with barely no connection or communication between them whatsoever. Eventually, the only thing that didn't really work for me were the massive switch the 'poor' family kept doing during the whole duration. Indeed, when they would be together, they would always all act like some pathetic and hopeless drunks but, from the moment there would be with the 'rich' family, they would suddenly completely change their behaviour, manners and speech in such a drastic way that it would make any professional spy like James Bond really jealous. I mean, if they were all such mighty con artists, how come they lived in such terrible conditions? Anyway, even if it wasn't a complete home-run, I really loved this really wild and bold directing effort from Bong Joon Ho.

(Dec. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.1

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I'm not a car race fan but when I heard that they were making a movie about the 24 hours of Le Mans, I thought it would be really cool to watch it with the film club. Well, even if it didn't turn out to be anything really groundbreaking, the damned thing still turned out to be so fun and entertaining. First of all, it is pretty clear that Matt Damon and Christian Bale had a blast here as they both delivered some strong performances, especially Bale who was often quite hilarious. It was also nice that they didn't rush this tale, that they took their time to show that car racing goes beyond than only building up the fastest car. As a result, it is probably the best film I have seen dealing with this genre and the racing scenes felt really realistic and were quite thrilling to behold. To be honest, I thought it was rather odd that the Ford company, in particular Leo Beebe and even Henry Ford II, were turned into some villains when the whole point was to show how Ford managed to win this legendary race but it wasn't a big deal and I really enjoyed this movie.

(Nov. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 839 Average listal rating (660 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
Joker (2019)

chosen by Henk

Notes: First of all, I thought this movie was such a brave choice from Henk. Indeed, it is such a dark tale dealing with a genre that nobody in the film club was interested in. However, his gamble apparently paid off since everybody enjoyed the damned thing. In my case, it was already the 2nd time I saw it and, to be honest, I still ended up with some mixed feelings. Indeed, in spite of all the hype and controversy around this movie, in my opinion, the story was actually rather basic and predictable. I mean, it was a decent story but this tale of a rather sad mentally ill man slowly becoming homicidal was not really original. Eventually, the genius move from Todd Philips was not to deliver a great story but to have this popular character played by one of the best actors around. And, indeed, there is no denying that, once again, Joaquin Phoenix gave us here another intense and spellbinding performance. Basically, the whole thing was some kind of amazing dark one-man-show and Phoenix definitely made the most of it.

(Oct. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 150 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ietje

Notes: I have been following Pedro Almodovar's career for more than 20 years so it was really neat to see his last directing effort with the film club. Well, it turned out to be his most autobiographical movie so far and you might wonder what really happened and what was made up. Still, even if it was not as over-the-top as some of his previous movies, it was still slightly too messy for my taste. Indeed, there was a mix of various storylines dealing with drug addiction, his career, his youth, his health issues, his relationship with his mother and with an actor with whom he had a feud for 3 decades. Some of them were really interesting and some of them, well, not so much. Eventually, there was enough material to make at least 3 different movies and I think it would have better worked for me if the whole thing would have been slightly more focused. Still, the Spanish master has a unique directing style, his very own narrative approach, and it made the whole thing quite spellbinding to behold. Finally, it is such a treat to see Antonio Banderas working again with Amodovar, after all these years in Hollywood, and he probably gave here his best performance so far.

(Sep. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 41 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Peter

Notes: After watching 'Amy', this was the 2nd documentary we saw directed by Asif Kapadia with our film club. First of all, even though the movie was about 2 hours long, I was surprised that they mostly focused on less than 10 years which shows that there were so many dramatic events in Maradona's life that you could easily release a whole TV-show about him. Anyway, as a kid growing up in the 80's, I was quite fascinated by Diego Maradona, I always believed that he had been one of the greatest footballers ever and, with this movie, you get to see pretty much all the highlights of the most productive part of his career which was pretty neat. However, if the promotional material might have been giving the impression that this movie would provide a complex portrayal of this notorious figure, I'm afraid that it was a slight failure in this area. Basically, the whole thing was just too one-sided as their approach was to constantly show Maradona as a victim. Indeed, if you would believe this movie, even when he was at the top of his game, he was still a victim of his success as the fans were giving him too much attention (massive stalking might be a better word though). But he was also a victim of the mafia, of the defense players, of the media, of the Napoli football club, of a pregnant woman, of a good chunk of the Italian population... Of course, it was one way to see his life but some nuances would have been maybe more interesting. Still, there is no doubt that the guy was an amazing football player.

(Aug. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
El reino (2018)

chosen by Eric

Notes: Since I have always been fascinated by politics, this movie sounded really interesting to me. Well, the first thing that impressed with this movie was how little politics these guys were involved in and how much time they spent instead running their little schemes. Eventually, in spite of a few far-fetched scenes (for example, would you open the door in the middle of the night to a perfect stranger only because he claims he is supposedly working with your father?), it was much more realistic than your average American thriller which made the whole thing so much more spellbinding to behold. Concerning the main character, I never saw this actor before but he did deliver a really solid performance. I also liked the way this character was displayed as someone smart, charismatic who always gets what he wants and who has apparently no conscience whatsoever. Still, there was some major flaws in this plan though. I mean, it is pretty obvious that the guy was in full survival mode through most of the duration but his whole victim act, as pointed out in the final scene, became slowly slightly annoying and even rather pathetic. Finally, I thought it was actually rather depressing to find out that everybody at the top was apparently as corrupt as he was. Anyway, even if it was maybe not a masterpiece, it was still terribly entertaining.

(Jul. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Wilma

Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I had never heard of Carlos Acosta before watching this movie. Well, only to discover this incredible dancer, apparently one of the best in the world, it was already worth watching this flick but the whole thing went so much beyond your usual biopic. Indeed, what maybe even more fascinating than to discover his undeniable talent was to witness his intern struggle, something he apparently still has to deal with even nowadays. Basically, even if Acosta did enjoy doing some breakdancing in the streets with his buddies, he never actually had the ambition of becoming a ballet dancer. However, his father had some different plans for him and, eventually, Acosta loved but also despised the man. Basically, his father gave him a future, a life as a renown artist and, without him, Acosta would have struggled against poverty his whole life but, on the other hand, he had a life of solitude far from the people he loved. As a result, it is never clear if he actually really loved being a dancer which was surprising consider his status as one of the greatest dancers that ever lived. However, it made the whole thing so much more interesting than your average biopic because it makes you wonder about Art and the actual impact it might have on the artist's life.

(Jun. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Sink or Swim (2018)

chosen by Henk

Notes: For once, we went to see something rather light with the film club and, apparently, everybody really loved it. However, the question remains if I was also completely sold by this movie. Well, to be honestly, not really. I mean, sure, I have to admit that it was a decent feel-good flick but not much more than that. Basically, they followed the same formula used by 'The Full Monty' (which had, at the time, had been a huge box-office success) but it is a formula easy to swallow, pretty much taylor-made to please the mainstream audience. It's too bad because the beginning was just so promising. Indeed, it seemed to be a pitch-black comedy (is there anything funnier than someone going through a huge depression?) and Mathieu Amalric has always been one of my favorite French actors. Unfortunately, as soon as he meets his team, the whole thing became much too scattered, constantly jumping from one character to another. As a result, you never get to really know any of the characters (in fact, 2 guys in the team didn't have much to say at all). Of course, you might also wonder how they end up winning and there is the possibility that the movie might have been better if they would have lost. Still, there was something endearing about this group of lost souls supporting each other and, of course, it is always hilarious to see French people barking at each other.

(May 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Thunder Road (2018)

chosen by Ria

Notes: I really had no idea what to expect from this flick but that's the great thing about our film club, is that you end up watching some movies that you otherwise would never see. Anyway, it turned out to be a really pitch-black comedy and, to be honest, I usually have a hard time to care about such comedies constantly making fun of a rather pathetic main character. However, you have to give some credit to Jim Cummings who not only wrote and directed the damned thing but, above all, gave a very intense performance. So, it was a hell of a one-man-show and, basically, how much you will like this movie all depends on how much you will care or connect with Jim Arnaud. On the other hand, even if his 'speech' at the funeral didn't really have the intended result, at least, he did show up which is more than you can say about his siblings. However, this movie did feature one of the most random overdose I have ever seen. As a result, after a long succession of painful or even tragic moments for Arnaud, it seemed that things were finally looking up for him but you might wonder if it only happened just because Jim Cummings the director needed to conclude his tale on a rather unlikely positive note. Anyway, even if it was nothing really groundbreaking, it was still a decent watch.

(Apr. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8.2

chosen by Bea

Notes: What I liked the most about this movie was that there were just so many interesting layers. First of all, even though you might feel nothing about skateboarding, you'll have to admit that there was something quite spellbinding about watching these guys dashing through such a ugly urban landscape doing some incredible tricks. Indeed, in such a socially and economically deprived environment, they still found a way to push themselves creatively, honing their skills through hours of training, delivering something artistic while their relatives completely ignored them. But, of course, the whole thing went just way beyond skating. It was also an intimate look on these skaters and the fact that the director was one of them was something that you rarely get to see since, most of the time, a documentary maker is basically an outsider. As a result, the whole thing was just as much about Bing Liu himself than about his two friends. Concerning his buddies, it did help that they were both really charismatic. Eventually, as far as I was concerned, I was mostly intrigued by the way he handled Zack. Basically, the guy was/is one of his best friends but also a destructive loose cannon who happened to be also abusive with his girlfriend, something Bing Liu clearly struggled to deal with, especially with his own past as a victim of domestic violence. Anyway, I could go on forever, basically, it was a really strong documentary and the best one we have seen so far with the film club.

(Mar. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:

chosen by Ietje

Notes: For once, we went to see a documentary with the film club which is always a bold choice in my opinion. First of all, I thought it was terribly
refreshing to see the Afghani people as some regular folks instead as the usual blood-thirsty religious fanatics. Of course, it might seem common sense but, on the other hand, we have been pretty much brainwashed for decades by the news outlet and, as a result, we automatically associates this country with warfare and extremism. And yet, it does feel like a wasted land and, if we also fear for a terrorist act that might actually never happen, it is something they have to face at least on a weekly basis and everyone in this country has lost someone during such attacks. To be honest, I'm not sure if it was a great idea to split the movie into 2 and I think they should have focused either on this bus driver or on these two young boys (personally, I would have put my money on the bus driver who was complexer). Futhermore, the gimmick to have the characters telling their dreams was used too often and it felt like a failed attempt to add some lyricism. Anyway, even if it was maybe nothing really groundbreaking, it was still a really interesting documentary.

(Feb. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 405 Average listal rating (289 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Favourite (2018)

chosen by Johan

Notes: This movie turned out to be a great start of this new year for our film club. Indeed, usually, I'm not a huge fan of costume-dramas but since this movie had received some great reviews, I thought it would be a rather safe choice. Well, it didn't disappoint and I would go as far as saying that it is one of the best movies I have seen in this genre. First of all, Yorgos Lanthimos delivered here a gorgeous movie shot on location with natural lights. Then, the cast was really strong, especially the 3 main actresses (Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone). Finally, it turned out to be such a fascinating tale, sometimes quite hilarious, with many layers and some complex characters. Indeed, each time you think you have figured out one of these women, they would come up with something rather unexpected making them even more interesting than they already were. Of course, you might argue that it was much more straightforward than Lanthimos's previous work such as 'Kynodontas' or 'The Lobster' but it was more accessible and, above all, much more entertaining, at least for me.

(Jan. 2019)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 165 Average listal rating (119 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Even though I didn't really like 'Ida', I was quite eager to give this director a 2nd chance, especially since this movie had been widely heralded and was even considered as one of the best movies released in 2018. Well, unfortunately, pretty much like with 'Ida', I really struggled to connect with this movie. I mean, once again, Pawel Pawlikowski delivered some fine directing with a gorgeous black-and-white cinematography and the music was really neat as well but this story just didn't really work for me. First of all, even though I completely understood why Wiktor would fall in love with Zula, after all, she was a beautiful and fascinating woman, I didn't really get why Zula was so infatuated with him. I mean, seriously, what was so amazing about this guy? Then, another problem I had was that I was never able to figure out the motivations of these two characters. I mean, except from the fact they were clearly mad in love, from the beginning until the very end, I still didn't much have a clue about what was going in their head so I had a rather hard time to really care about what they were going through. Maybe I'm not just smart enough but it was all too subtile and subjective for me, I guess. On the other hand, I did like the way Pawlikowski tried to argue that not all the people living in Poland during the Cold War felt miserable and that the West was not always a so-called 'beacon' of hope and freedom for all of them.

(Dec. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.9

chosen by Peter

Notes: First of all, it was pretty impressive to see Iranian director Asghar Farhadi directing a movie in Spain with such a convincing result as if the guy had spent all his life there. He already achieved the same thing with ‘Le passé’ which felt like such a genuine French movie. Furthermore, the cast was composed of famous Spanish actors (Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem) and some other actors unknown to me but they all delivered some solid performances. Unfortunately, I had a hard time with the story though. First of all, I thought it was rather unlikely that someone would manage to snatch a teenager in a house full of people during a wedding without anyone noticing. Maybe it would have been more convincing if they had displayed the actual kidnapping. Then, another thing that bothered me was how this family handled this situation. I mean, if you have the money, paying would seem to be indeed a safer option but, if you don’t, for me, it would be a no-brainer to go directly to the police. Finally, there was this big discussion about why on Earth should Paco pay the ransom? Well, again, it seemed to be a no-brainer to me because it was actually the only decent thing to do since the only other alternative was to let this poor girl getting killed. Finally, most of the duration was basically about some gossiping they had about each other while it was so obvious that most of them had nothing to do with the kidnapping. On the other hand, it could be true that, during such crisis, people might turn against each other like they did in this movie.

(Nov. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 183 Average listal rating (128 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ria

Notes: Since it was the first Asian movie chosen for the film club, I was pretty excited, especially since it had received some stellar reviews. Well, to be honest, it turned out to be a really challenging movie, probably one of the most difficult we have watched so far. As far as I was concerned, I thought it was equally fascinating and frustrating to behold. It was indeed fascinating because, even hours later, I was still thinking about it, making up the wildest theories about what actually happened. But it was also frustrating and not only because the whole thing was very often random and obscure. From my side, the most frustration came from the main character who was just so slow, almost dimwitted, and either terribly passive or erratic, depending on the needs to move on the plot or lack of it. Eventually, I think this movie was above all about loneliness and alienation. Indeed, in their own way, these 3 characters were all lonely and alienated from the world around them. Still, even with this theory, I'm not sure if I understood half of this movie which was just terribly murky and it is definitely an acquired taste.

(Oct. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 427 Average listal rating (308 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Bea

Notes: I have always been a big fan of Spike Lee but, to honest, it had been years since the guy made something really amazing. Fortunately, he made an impressive comeback with this movie. Indeed, it worked on so many levels. It was a fun and entertaining police thriller, a sometimes hilarious satire and it also had a powerful message and it is so rare to find a movie managing to mix so many tones and doing it so well. The main character, very well played by John David Washington (yes, the son of Denzel Washington), was also complex and interesting showing some genuine internal conflict between his loyalty to his black folks but also towards his colleagues and his work as a cop. Eventually, in my opinion, the main core was to show that racism in general and the Ku Klux Klan in particular are basically based on ignorance because, at the end of day, it is ridiculous to argue that the color of your skin should make you a better or a worse person. To conclude, it was a really entertaining and powerful movie at the same time which is a very rare combination nowadays.

(Sep. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.3

chosen by Eric

Notes: Well, to be honest, I actually had a rather hard time to really care for this flick. I mean, I always had a weak spot for Rupert Everett who was basically born to play this character and Oscar Wilde was one of the wittiest writers that ever lived so the whole thing definitely had some potential. In my opinion, the biggest mistake they made was to focus on the last years of Oscar Wilde's life and I still wonder why the makers thought they should focus on this specific time period. I mean, after William Shakespeare, Wilde must have been the most famous English writer that ever lived but, at the time, the guy had stopped to write and, instead, was basically drinking himself to death which was hardly entertaining to behold. In fact, instead of feeling sorry for Wilde, this movie had actually the reverse effect on me as I felt slightly mad at him because he could have lived in France with a low profile, trying to write some more but, apparently, he basically gave up and slowly killed himself which was obviously a huge waste.

(Aug. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 247 Average listal rating (173 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2

chosen by Ietje

Notes: Eventually, I really enjoyed the damned thing and it turned out to be one of the most hilarious movies I have seen so far with the film club. Indeed, it has been years since I have seen such a sharp dark comedy and the jokes were just constantly spot-on. What also made this movie worked was the fact that it was based on some historical events and, through the whole thing, you keep wondering if it all really happened this way. Well, as a matter if fact, it was apparently historically fairly accurate as, for example, Beria was indeed a real notorious sexual predator and Vasili Stalin was such an alcoholic that he died at only 40 years old. Still, even though it was really funny and it gave a chilling vision of the Soviet Union history, it was pretty much a big farce but not much more than that in my opinion. It mostly had to do with the fact that they never focused on one character so none of them was really developed. The best example would be the pianist who showed up for only 2 or 3 scenes to constantly say that she hates Stalin. As a result, almost all the characters were limited as one-note jokes and you never get the opportunity to learn or care about them. Still, the damned thing was just so entertaining and it has been a while since I have seen such a fun dark comedy.

(Jul. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.2

chosen by Henk

Notes: When I heard that Henk wanted to watch a movie about the tragedy in Utøya, I thought he meant the version directed by Paul Greengrass also coming out this year. Anyway, it doesn't really matter since it was such a powerful movie and easily one of the best I have seen this year. Eventually, the greatest success of this movie was to show not only that the guy shot more than 170 people but, above all, the impact this event had on the 300 remaining survivors who will be psychologically traumatised maybe forever. Indeed, for more than an hour, they have nowhere to hide, they have no idea about what is really going on, who is attacking them and why, and if someone will finally show up to stop this nightmare. In the mean time, the shooting keeps going on and they do see other survivors running around scared shitless and they hear people screaming so it was a real nightmare and that's why the one-take gimmick really worked. Indeed, this way, there was no break to allow the viewers to breath for a moment and, this way, not only you're on the first line but you get eventually completely sucked in this tragedy. Anyway, to conclude, the whole thing was just really heartbreaking and terrifying at same time.

(Jun. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 438 Average listal rating (306 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Isle of Dogs (2018)

chosen by Johan

Notes: For once, I was really relaxed before watching this movie because I was pretty sure it would be a great success with the film club. And, indeed, I wasn't disappointed and everybody loved it. First of all, it was such a well made animated feature and the amount of neat details displayed on each screen was just impressive. Furthermore, it was just a really fun adventure with some hilarious dialogue with the typical dry humor we are used to get with West Anderson. But there was also some room for some more sensitive moments and these scenes never clashed with the rest of the movie. The only critic I could find was that the 'human' characters could have been more developed and the dogs, who were all pretty awesome, were not much developed either because there were so many of them but it wasn't a big deal. Eventually, Wes Anderson displayed once again that he is easily one of the most interesting American directors at work nowadays and I will definitely watch his next director effort, hopefully again with my dear film club.

(May 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Wilma

Notes: Eventually, even though I did like it, I actually had a hard time to connect with this movie. Basically, the main issue I had was that it was such a generic love story. Indeed, from the moment these two young men meet each other, they went through a succession of events which was just way too predictable for my taste. The only surprising thing was that they didn't have to face some homophobia which was something you might expect in the remote countryside of England. My guess is that the director who came from Yorkshire where the movie was shot believes that the people living down there don't really care about what you do in your bedroom as long as you act normally in public. Furthermore, the directing was decent enough, I really wonder what Francis Lee will do after this solid directing debut, and the actors playing this cute couple both delivered some really good performances.

(Apr. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 363 Average listal rating (241 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4

chosen by Ria

Notes: Since I'm such a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, I was obviously dying to watch this movie. Well, even though I really liked it, it didn't completely blow me away to be honest. I mean, from a technical point of view, it was quite mesmerising, every shot was gorgeous, the soundtrack perfectly set the mood and, as usual, Daniel Day-Lewis was just amazing and completely disappeared in this character. Eventually, what bothered me with this movie was this love story which was in my opinion completely unromantic. I mean, you can say whatever you want about this guy but, at least, he was honest as he didn't try to fool anyone about his qualities and shortcomings. On the other hand, I won't blame Vicky Krieps who gave a strong performance but it was just rather sad to see her character trying to force this man to become someone else and, in the process, she also pushed them to stay together when their relationship had obviously run its course. Of course, you might argue that she was just completely fanatic as he was, albeit in a different area, but remains the question, what was her added value in his life and in this couple? Not much, as far as I was concerned. Anyway, to conclude, even if it didn't completely blow me away, it was still another solid directing effort from Anderson and another powerhouse performance from Day-Lewis and I really loved the damned thing.

(Mar. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 103 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Ietje

Notes: As usual, I didn't have any clue about what this movie was about but it turned out to be very popular amongst our film club members. To be honest, it was a rather challenging movie to analyze and, personally, I did struggle with the lengthy and gruesome depiction of this slaughterhouse and I couldn't really figure out what was the link with the rest of the movie. Thanks to an article provided by Ietje, I learned that, apparently, the director wanted to show the hypocrisy in our world. Indeed, the name 'slaughterhouse' will always be relevant and, even if you have the most human and cleanest slaughterhouse in the world, it will always be a bloody mess. Regarding the rest of the movie, I came to the conclusion that it was in fact a super romantic tale but told with a rather sober but very often gorgeous directing and some hyper-realistic performances. But, eventually, I'm not so sure if I really cared about the fairy-tale elements in this movie. I mean, if you would remove the fantasy dreams with the deers, would this autistic woman have been interested in this man? I doubt it and, as a result, even if everything else happening in their relationship felt really organic and quite fascinating to behold, the way they became closer felt rather manufactured. Still, the whole thing was sometimes gorgeous to look at and the actors were really strong.

(Feb. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 287 Average listal rating (205 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.8

chosen by Eric

Notes: To be honest, I actually had no idea what this movie was about but since I have always been a big fan of Joaquin Phoenix, I was quite eager to check it out. Eventually, since I had to keep guessing what the hell was going on at least during the first half, it turned out to be quite fascinating but also slightly frustrating at the same time. At last, when it became pretty obvious what the story was actually about, I can't say I was really blown away though. Indeed, it was rather preposterous but, eventually, I don't think that Lynne Ramsay actually cared much about the plot. I think she was more interested in delivering a specific mood and, in this area, she definitely succeeded. Indeed, the combination of striking visual scenes with a strong soundtrack was just really neat. And, of course, her other goal was to show one of the most tormented souls I have ever seen and Joaquin Phoenix was once again pretty impressive. Indeed, I think he was in every single scene and he was just so intense, as a result, his portrayal was at the same time heartbreaking and spellbinding to behold.

(Jan. 2018)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6

chosen by Bea

Notes: Well, even though the majority of the film club really enjoyed this movie, to be honest, I really struggled to care about the damned thing. I mean, the Argentinian landscapes were gorgeous, I really liked these characters thanks to some solid performances from the cast but, eventually, this story didn't really work for me. Seriously, I felt bad for this poor woman who seemed to be already so sad and, suddenly, she also lost her bag with all her belongings and the only reason why was that, otherwise, she wouldn't meet this guy and there wouldn't be any story to tell which was rather mean. Then, to make things worse, this bag remained a main issue through the whole thing just to provide an excuse for the characters to spend more time together. Well, I thought it was some rather poor story telling and I wish they would have found some other way for us to spend some time with these otherwise interesting characters.

(Dec. 2017)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 133 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Peter

Notes: After watching 'The Return' and 'Leviathan' from the same director, I was expecting again something massively dark and depressing but, to be honest, compared to this 2 previous directing efforts, this movie turned out to almost easy to swallow. Still, it was far from being a comedy, that's for sure. In fact, this time, I felt mostly anger while watching this movie. Indeed, Andrey Zvyagintsev gave us such selfish and most of the time rather despicable characters, they were possibly the worst parents I have ever seen and it was fairly easy to hate their guts. Sure, they didn't beat or sexually abused their son but the mental mistreatment was massive. My theory is that, after decades under the communist dictatorship, the Russian people suddenly had to switch to the individualistic capitalism and, apparently, this change was so abrupt that they became even more decadent than we are. Basically, the generation of my parents fought to be free and, us, their children took this freedom for granted and became the 'Me' generation, always focusing and obsessing about our needs and what is supposedly important for us. Well, if you would believe Zvyagintsev, the middle-class Russians apparently took this to the next level. In fact, this was only half of the movie and it was quite interesting to behold but, the other half was some kind of thriller investigation involving the search of the missing boy. This part, however, didn't work so well though. Indeed, the outcome was pretty obvious from the very beginning, it was pretty damned slow and eventless and the characters involved didn't evolve whatsoever so it felt rather pointless. Anyway, even if it wasn't really a home-run, it was still a solid drama.

(Nov. 2017)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 580 Average listal rating (386 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
Mother! (2017)

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, following the extremely polarizing responses towards this movie, I became slightly worried but since I'm always looking for something really challenging, this movie turned out to be the right choice. First of all, I have to admit it, it was a difficult movie to read as the whole thing was just so bizarre and chaotic and I can imagine that not everyone might be able to connect with this picture. But that was also the real beauty of it, the fact that you could give it pretty much any meaning you want. Indeed, someone might think that it is a story about motherhood, some others might say it is about how chaotic our society and way of life has become. As far as I was concerned, it felt like a fascinating and endless nightmare, the way everything seemed familiar and yet odd at the same time and the way the main character seemed to be a mere spectator with no control over the events happening in front of her. Their world kept shifting, unfolding and exploding with some continuous random small or big events which felt really reminiscent to a nightmare, at least, to me, and this process was quite spellbinding to behold.

(Oct. 2017)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 118 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2

chosen by Henk

Notes: Well, even though (almost) everyone else really loved this movie, to be honest, I had actually a hard time to really get into the damned thing. I mean, I have to admit it, it was a good movie, especially thanks to a really strong performance by Daniela Vega who completely deserved the praises she has received. Still, I never really felt blown away by the whole thing. The first thing that bothered me was that the main character ended up in a situation with such extreme circumstances. Indeed, even though she could have been involved with a young boy, she was with a man at last 30 years older than her who had lived before her, as far as I could see, a very average hetero life with a wife with at least 2 kids, one older than his new lover and one around 7 years old. Then, another thing that bothered me was how the main character was presented as someone apparently flawless (in fact, she was even fantastic according to the title) while the rest of the world seemed to be ignorant, intolerant and sometimes even downright mean to her. Basically, everything was told only from her point of view which felt really limited and I think it would have been more interesting if she would have displayed some flaws.

(Sept. 2017)
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.2

chosen by Wilma

Notes: First of all, I thought it was pretty neat to see another movie directed by François Ozon less than a year after watching his previous directing effort. On top of that, I actually enjoyed it more than 'Frantz' and this movie was more a typical Ozon feature dealing with his usual twisted characters with some rather dubious promiscuous sexuality. Indeed, most of the movie was a very entertaining and intriguing mystery and, for a very long time, I was wondering how it would end (personally, I was toying for a while with the idea that Paul and Louis were actually one guy having a double life). Unfortunately, Ozon had to wrap everything up at some point and, like most similar thrillers, it was rather weak, I'm afraid. Indeed, after all, it turned out that the main character we even crazier than we first thought and that she imagined/fantasized the whole thing up. It was a rather weak choice because, as a viewer, you feel cheated after investing yourself for so long in the characters and what they were going through. It was also a really easy way out for the director. Still, even if the end didn't really work for me, the rest of the movie was fine, it looked really neat and both Marine Vacth and Jérémie Reinier should be praised as they delivered some really strong performances.

(Aug. 2017)
johanlefourbe's rating:
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In 2013, one of my aunts, Ronny, passed away.

During the ceremony preceeding her cremation, I discovered that she had founded a Film Club involving many other family members. When I heard that, I thought it sounded amazing. Spending some quality time with my family which I have been neglecting for so many years and at the same time sharing my passion for movies with them sounded like the greatest combination ever.

This list will work as a diary dealing with the movies we will watch together.


The club members (since I took this picture, you won't spot me)

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