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Marion Cotillard (#110 of 23)

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts

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Cannes Film Review: Ismael’s Ghosts

Le Pacte

Cannes Film Review: Ismael’s Ghosts

The opening-night film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ismael’s Ghosts gives us a more unhinged Arnaud Desplechin than we’ve had in a while. As in later Alain Resnais or Raúl Ruiz films, it simultaneously collapses and expands a director’s body of work, like an uncontainable popup book. It borrows character names and identifiers liberally from Desplechin’s filmography, but plays fast and loose with the inter-film narrative continuity. It’s worlds away from 2013’s formally and dramatically disciplined Jimmy P., and it builds on 2015’s My Golden Days, which positioned itself as a prequel to 1996’s great My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument.

Cannes Film Review: It’s Only the End of the World

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Cannes Film Review: It’s Only the End of the World

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: It’s Only the End of the World

Xavier Dolan’s films are either about the families we take refuge in or the ones we take refuge from. But It’s Only the End of the World might be the first that’s about both. Based on a play by the late Jean-Luc Lagarce, this fever-pitch melodrama stars Gaspard Ulliel as Louis, a gay writer suffering through an unnamed illness, who returns to his family home after a 12-year absence to try and break the news of his impending death to his mother (Nathalie Baye) and siblings (Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, and Marion Cotillard).

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actress

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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actress
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actress

That the only nomination for Gone Girl, a critically endorsed box-office smash that sparked a slew of think pieces and also happens to be at its core a film about a woman asserting her sense of agency, came in this category while the year’s most-nominated film forces Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough into a non-sequitur lip lock is both too perfect and sadly telling. Women just can’t catch a break. Even this year, while every observer has seemingly added an extra dash of salt to their beef against the Academy’s retrograde tastes and disinterest in multiculturalism, the argument that Oscar’s notion of excellence continues to center around phalli remains a distant runner-up to pointing out its Caucasian persuasion. At the risk of getting self-righteous, we’ve been on AMPAS’s nuts over this practically as long as we’ve been putting them through the wringer: “Does one have to be a raging feminist to suggest that Capote and Brokeback Mountain aren’t aesthetically superior to North Country and Transamerica? Or that what distinguishes your glorified Lifetime movie of the week from your serious Oscar contender is whether or not the lead character has exterior genitalia?”

The 20 Best Film Performances of 2014

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The 20 Best Film Performances of 2014
The 20 Best Film Performances of 2014

Ironically, for an awards program meant to highlight standout performances, the Academy Awards have turned into the 800-pound gorilla of fall and winter entertainment coverage, stomping out other movie news to deposit mounds of hype about a relatively small group of “frontrunners.” Some of our favorite performances of the year were in movies that are being talked up for Oscars, but many were in films too quirky or dark or subtitled for the Academy of Arts and Sciences’s taste, and it would be a shame if that consigned them to the shadows. With this list, we hope to shine a little light on these brilliant, touching, often funny performances, which enrich our understanding of what it means to be human. Elise Nakhnikian

Cannes Film Festival 2014: Two Days, One Night Review

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Cannes Film Festival 2014: <em>Two Days, One Night</em> Review
Cannes Film Festival 2014: <em>Two Days, One Night</em> Review

The biggest surprise about Two Days, One Night isn’t that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have made their most openly political film in years, but that they’ve made one of their least morally nuanced. Certainly the film’s premise couldn’t be any timelier for our post-subprime world: Factory worker Sandra (Marion Cotillard), having recently recovered from a bout of depression whose etiology remains frustratingly vague, learns that her co-workers have voted to receive a 1,000 euro bonus at the cost of her employment. When Sandra discovers that the vote was contaminated by the deliberate malice of foreman Jean-Marc (Dardenne regular Olivier Gourmet), Sandra sets out to persuade her fellow employees one by one to forego their own self-interest in the name of worker solidarity, a gambit whose necessity is further complicated by the fact that Jean-Marc has been feeding them misinformation about their own job security.

New York Film Festival 2013: The Immigrant Review

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New York Film Festival 2013: <em>The Immigrant</em> Review
New York Film Festival 2013: <em>The Immigrant</em> Review

Marion Cotillard is an icon of suffering in James Gray’s somber passion play The Immigrant. As he did in Little Odessa, The Yards, and We Own the Night, Gray introduces us to a dysfunctional family and a criminal subculture prone to preying on the weak, going light on narrative twists to focus on the milieu and the interplay between his main characters. But where the best of his work sweeps you up in a tide of emotion and imagery so strong you aren’t tripped up by on-the-nose dialogue or underdeveloped characters, The Immigrant sometimes makes it difficult to suspend disbelief.