Reviews of four recent releases: Britt-Marie Was Here, Drive Me Home, Hamlet in the Golden Vale, and Unlikely.
Author: <span class="vcard">Andrew Emerson</span>
(NOTE: This interview was originally published here.)
In his newest film, By the Grace of God, French director François Ozon takes an axe to the reputation that he’s cultivated as a director of risqué films about female sexuality. A meticulous recounting of a scandal that was front-page news in France, the film tells the story of three men – Alexandre, François, and Emmanuel – who were all molested as kids by a Catholic priest named Bernard Preynat.
Admittedly, By the Grace of God lacks the unabashedly irreverent tone that has in some ways become Ozon’s hallmark. But the film more than makes up for that with the intensity of its narrative and the quiet, focused outrage that it brings to its denunciation of the Catholic Church. Whether you end up liking it or not, Ozon’s latest film is one that deserves to be seen and discussed.
(NOTE: This article was originally published here.)
As a big-city festival that’s nevertheless much less prestigious than other festivals in America (think Sundance and Telluride), Chicago’s annual International Film Festival has always been in a sweet spot. The festival regularly screens the biggest hits from well-known international festivals, like Cannes and Berlin. But it also plays host to smaller projects that’d otherwise get completely overlooked.
This year’s festival, which took place from October 16 to 27, was no exception to this rule. The newest works of big-name directors – François Ozon, Céline Sciamma, Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, and others – shared space alongside lesser-known films from 137 countries. What follows are takes on seven films that screened at the festival.