Jacques-Yves Cousteau's first fascination with the ocean began with his career as a Naval pilot, but over the next 30 years of his life that developed into a desire to venture deeper than any man has ever been before. The sea might be a dangerous place, but to him it was a world of beauty, of purity, of opportunity. It was thanks to his life's work and improvement of the aqua-lung design that aided the development of open-circuit scuba technology, allowing divers and explorers to travel to depths never before thought possible. He even boat his own ship, Calypso, and brought his wife Simone and sons Jean-Michel and Philippe on his many adventures. He wrote many books including the best-selling 'Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure' and won a Palme d'or at Cannes Film Festival for the documentary adaptation 'The Silent World'. He was later awarded the coveted U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in 1985.
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Arielle and Valéry don't exactly have a conventional marriage, they're happy enough and have two children together but they openly embrace the company of other extramarital partners - well, that is as long as the relationship doesn't involve kissing or any other physical contact.
When a chance meeting leads Arielle to make friends with gifted writer Brian, they instantly have a connection. He's quiet and much longer than the French mother, but it's obvious that both Arielle and Brian would like to meet again.
As Arielle begins to tell Brian that she can see Brian again between the hours of 5 and 7 she opens up to the youngster tells him about her French diplomat husband and their children. The information is hard to digest for Brian but feeling that their friendship is worth exploring further, Brian agrees to Arielle's rules. As their relationship deepens, Brian introduces Arielle to his parents; although obviously older than their son, she's a beautiful woman who both can see making their son happy - that is until they find out about the peculiar arrangement. As the pair grow closer, a relationship with no physical bond becomes ever harder. 2 hours a day isn't enough time for Brian and he wishes for far more than he knows he should morally ask for. Is there a way for Arielle and Brian's relationship to work?
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During the Second World War, France was quickly and violently taken over by the German army. Now, under enemy occupation, the residents find themselves having to house and shelter their victorious enemies. Lucille Angellier (Michelle Williams) is one of these people, having to share her house with Commander Bruno von Falk (Matthias Schoenaerts). Despite being on two different sides of the conflict, the two find a strange attraction to one-another, and a romance begins to blossom. But Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas), Lucille's mother-in-law, distrusts the German officer, leading to a series of events that will test the strength of love and trust, in a time of war.
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The Marquis of Mezieres (Magnan) is only mildly annoyed that his daughter Marie (Thierry) has fallen for suave warrior Henri (Ulliel), even though she's promised to his brother (Domboy). Then a better offer comes along, and the Marquis offers her to Prince Philippe (Leprince-Ringuet), son of the Duke of Montpensier (Vuillermoz). Leaving Marie with his loyal mentor Chabannes (Wilson), Philippe rejoins battle alongside his old friend Henri in the war between the Catholics and the Huguenots. But Philippe soon becomes jealous of Henri, as well as the flirtatious Duke of Anjou (Personnaz).
Continue reading: The Princess Of Montpensier Review
In 16th century France, wars were raging between the Catholics and the Protestants. Heiress Marie de M'ziSres is forced into marriage by her father, the Marquis de M'ziSres to a man she has never met, Prince Philippe de Montpesier. Marie refuses at first, because she's in love with her handsome childhood friend, Henri de Guise.
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Christian (Wilson) is the leader of a group of eight French monks living in a Catholic monastery in rural Algeria. Their only mission is to pray and serve the local people, and over the generations they have become an integral part of the community. When fundamentalist tensions spill into violence in the country around them, they have a difficult decision to make: abandon the people and flee home to France or stand up to the injustice. Opinions are split, but they opt to seek an answer together. And their decision could cost them their lives.
Continue reading: Of Gods And Men [Des Hommes Et Des Dieux] Review
Dante is a hellish planet (its surface a crackling fire-and-brimstone concoction) in deepest space. Around it orbits a psychiatric facility housing a handful of criminally insane patients, several physicians, and three armed guards. Everyone on the ship (which resembles a golden cross made out of Rubik's cubes) has had their head shaved and slinks around in almost complete darkness. The docs, manning computer screens and a device called the Answerer, experiment on patients who live in a warren of sterile steel corridors in the bowels of the ship. There are a multitude of sub-plots swirling in the miasma: a new doctor, Elisa (Linh Dan Phan), with an experimental nanobot-infused drug, a conspiracy between "warden" Charon (Gérald Laroche), and his prize patient, the hacker Atilla (Yann Collette), an aging (perhaps unstable) lead physician, Persephone (Simona Maicanescu), and a new patient (mute at first and dubbed Saint-Georges, the dragon slayer, played by Lambert Wilson) who can "see" parasites affecting the patients and is either, as the ad copy put its, "a monster or a messiah."
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So it is that Peter Greenaway's The Belly of an Architect is crammed to bursting with symbolism, analogy, and allusion, all loosed within a circular plot wherein the film opens with the architect and his wife conceiving a child and closes with the opening of Boullée's exhibition, Kracklite's real "baby." But for many viewers, I believe, the most telling parallel is that between Kracklite, with his perpetual stomach upset, and director Greenaway: Both are pretentious gasbags. Another quick connection is that between the "belly" of the title and "taste." The secret subtext of all of Greenaway's work is that his taste is good, or at least arcane in a high-minded way (and despite a predilection for bodily functions that is present in most of his films, which in less tony productions would rightly be termed sophomoric). The viewer is invited to share in this, but it's made clear that those who don't (or who can't follow his esoteric web of allusion) are either pigs (as was the villain in Greenaway's major success, 1989's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover), philistines, or merely dim.
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Here's your review of "The Matrix Reloaded" in a nutshell: One incredibly cool, gravity-defying, CGI-aided, swirling-camera kung-fu melee; one jaw-dropping, 100-mph, against-traffic freeway chase; and way, way too much long-winded, expository, circular, self-important, pseudo-philosophical yappity-yappity-yap.
Writing-directing brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski saddle their cast with endless equivocal prattle while toiling to buttress the complex plot and metaphysical undertone of this picture's uber-stylish 1999 predecessor, which saw what we think is the real world exposed as an elaborate virtual reality prison for the minds of all humanity. Mankind's suspended bodies provide a power source for a race of machines, which a small band of escapees are hoping to destroy in the post-apocalyptic world outside the Matrix.
"We can never see past the choices we don't understand," sage but elusive cyber-prophet The Oracle (Gloria Foster) preaches cryptically to Neo (Keanu Reeves), the cyber-Messianic hero whose realization that physical laws don't apply in the Matrix led to the first film's groundbreaking wire-work martial arts fights and bullet-dodging slow-mo stunts.
Continue reading: The Matrix Reloaded Review
The eye-popping, heart-stopping last hour and a half of "The Matrix Revolutions" more than makes up for everything plodding and ponderous that has taken place since the mind-blowing first hour of the 1999 original.
Astonishing in scale and momentous in scope, it encompasses a spectacular battle between the scrappy, out-numbered but heavily armed defenders of Zion (humanity's last refugee city hidden deep beneath the Earth's scorched surface) and a million-strong swarm of enemy sentinels (those frightening, giant squid-shaped robots) invading from the machine-ruled surface world.
But the monstrous melee may be for naught if uber-human messiah Neo (Keanu Reeves) cannot defeat the invincibly evil, incalculably self-replicating rogue computer program known as Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in a simultaneous, nuclear-strength airborne-kung-fu showdown inside what's left of the crumbling Matrix (that virtual world pulled over the eyes of the comatose majority of mankind kept in stasis by the machines who feed off our life-force).
Continue reading: The Matrix Revolutions Review
This article is dedicated to Caroline Flack.
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