At halftime of this cinema year, a review of the feature films that have thrilled us the most in theaters and in streaming
Ambulance by Michael Bay
A mad ambulance rushing through Los Angeles with two robbers on board, a rescue worker taken hostage and a dying cop… Michael Bay has made the City of Angels with streets unusually empty due to COVID an ideal playground for develop a supersonic B series at the Speed where everything (including its duration of 2h17) is only considered from the angle of the permanent overspeed. An entertainment as explosive as delirious which experienced an unfair failure in theaters, on both sides of the Atlantic
Apollo 10 ½: the rockets of my childhoodby Richard Linklater
Slightly under the radar when it was posted on Netflix in April, the last Richard Linklater (his return to rotoscoping sixteen years after A Scanner Darkly) is the other awesome time capsule of the year, along with the Licorice Pizza by Paul Thomas Anderson. A dive into the daydreams of a Texan kid fantasizing about the Apollo 11 mission, repainted in the colors of the memories of the adult he has become. once upon a time in the suburbs of Houston.
Bruno Reidal, confession of a murderer by Vincent LePort
In 1905, a young seminarian from Cantal beheaded a child in the middle of the forest. Incredible but true. At the time, the authorities had asked the murderer to confess in writing. If Bruno R. was arched, his prose, she, familiar with an almost divine grace. This is what we hear – and feel – in voice-over in this amazing film. On the screen, the cold “monster” moves forward with his head tucked into his shoulders while glancing at the Most High. No, French cinema is not dead.
Tales of chance… and other fantasies of Ryūsuke Hamaguchi
One after the jewel Drive My car, Hamaguchi rises again to the top of our cinephile delights with three independent short stories but linked to each other by a common theme: the feeling of love and the mazes it takes, through chance and coincidence – sometimes exhilarating, sometimes painful – to become the thread of our lives. The word delicacy seems to have been invented for this filmmaker whose writing is as chiseled as his staging.
Decision to leaveby Park Chan-wook
Hitchcock’s followers (De Palma, Verhoeven, Lynch) had pushed the legacy of Vertigo towards ever more graphic violence and “explicit” sexuality. Park Chan-wook returns to a more restrained (and all the more bewitching) romanticism with this thriller of astonishing formal mastery, on a cop and a suspect who circle around, again and again, until they end up prisoners of an obsessive whirlwind. A masterpiece, one more, for the director of MissBest Director Award at the last Cannes Film Festival.
Elvisby Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann at his best: 2 hours and 39 minutes of high-octane rock opera portraying Elvis Presley as a queer superhero, healing America’s wounds while unleashing a hurricane of sexual frenzy on the country. Grandiose, excessive, baroque and crazy, like a show by the King at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969.
State Scandal Investigation by Thierry de Peretti
” Based on a true story as the Americans say. Except that this “truth” is a smokescreen from which Thierry de Peretti deconstructs a story around drug trafficking in France. On the one hand, a wounded man who would like to redeem his conscience (Roschdy Zem, top), on the other, an overly intrepid journalist (Pio Marmaï, top itou). In the middle of the ford, a nebula. During this time, the staging, bewitching, continues to overthrow our certainties. In short, a pure paranoid thriller. Pollack, Pakula, Peretti. CQFD
Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Amin has always lied to those around him, carefully avoiding telling how he fled Afghanistan at the end of the 80s when he was just a kid, when the mujahideen seized power. The Danish Jonas Poher Rasmussen collects the heartbreaking story of his friend, now 36 years old, in a relationship with a man and who has become a recognized academic. An animated documentary between survival and emancipation, the story of a man haunted by his past and his forced lies, now alone on the ruins of his memories. Great movie.
Freaks Out by Gabriele Mainetti
After making his Kick-Ass with We called him Jeeg Robot, Gabriele Mainetti reinvents the X-Men. In his own radically personal way. So in the form of a gang of carnival monsters with superpowers facing off against a mad scientist capable of capturing visions of the future – all set in WWII Italy. Fireworks of visions from both Italian comics and bis cinema, Freaks Out is however much smarter than a simple compilation of geek references and is full of new finds, in the service of a true vision of cinema. Have you ever seen a Nazi playing Radiohead on the piano? If you saw Freaks Outso yes.
The Innocents by Eskil Vogt
The Norwegian Eskil Vogt had already tasted the joys of telekinesis with Thelma (2017) by his friend Joachim Trier, of which he is the lucky screenwriter. Vogt, on camera here, probes the limits of childlike purity with this “shyamalesque” tale that sees toddlers endowed with strange powers become devilish. The staging, with crazy precision, promises many cracks and wounds. The ambient light, milky and summery, gradually veils itself. ” What happened ? », « We were playing, that’s all! »
Licorice Pizza by Paul Thomas Anderson
“I fell in love with them, like the camera that follows them in the film“, confided Pedro Almodovar after meeting Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman during the Oscars weekend. It’s a bit like that, Licorice Pizza. An imperfect work, but so touching that it ends up touching our hearts, lest we let our guard down. Paul Thomas Anderson has drawn on his personal memories to immerse us in the 1970s of his childhood, and we feel so good there that we no longer want to leave. Kind of like a waterbed.
Nightmare Alley by Guillermo Del Toro
The Shape of Water was a triumph of cinema feel good., and a critical, public triumph, with a bucketful of Oscars to top it all off. Good news, Nightmare Alley is exactly the opposite. Flop in theaters, critical pout, zero Oscars… And yet, Nightmare Alley may be the best Del Toro since… Blade 2 ? An obscure reflection of America, whose hero (Bradley Cooper, brilliant) is a ruthless charlatan, born with the monsters of the circus, ready for all the baseness to reach the top in a country in the midst of the Great Depression. And it’s even more fascinating when you put it alongside the two other wonderful films of showman monstrous and gifted this year, Freaks Out and Elvisalso in our top. Gooble gobble, one of us…
Top Gun: Maverick by Joseph Kosinsky
Who would have bet a few years ago that the sequel to Top Gun, 36 years in the making, would be THE coolest blockbuster of 2022? But beyond the demented aviation scenes captured by Joseph Kosinski and pure nostalgic vertigo, the film is very much about its ability to blur the lines between the fate of Maverick and that of Tom Cruise, a man forced to revisit his past to reaffirm in the present its status as ultimate movie star. A billion at the box office later, no one doubts it. It might even have been even more beautiful if it was Cruise’s farewell to action cinema. But new missions, inevitably impossible, still await him.
Another world by Stéphane Brize
After The law of the market and In war, Stéphane Brizé continues his acute exploration of the world of work by focusing this time on the figure of a senior executive living in an increasingly unsustainable way a daily life placed between the hammer (a direction of which he no longer understands the decisions it is supposed to apply) and the anvil (the employees who sense the social carnage that is coming there). Vincent Lindon is imperial there, Marie Drucker reveals herself as a patroness without faith or law other than the strict application of the rules enacted to satisfy greedy shareholders. And Brizé signs the best film of a trilogy called not to stop there, great public success obliges.
Vortexby Gaspar Noé
The subject at the Love, the empathy of the gaze posed on these two old men living their last moments… In April, when it was released in theaters, some found that the last Noah looked like a César film. Let’s not exaggerate: it remains above all a Gaspar film. In other words, a borderline, extremist experience, exploring and exhausting a very small perimeter (a Parisian apartment in the 20th arrondissement), filled with books, memories, unfulfilled fantasies and infinite dreams. A trip between four walls, and one of the most moving uses of split-screen ever seen in cinema.