Catherine Deneuve

Blu-ray Review: Luis Buñuel’s ‘Tristana’ Gets Exemplary Restoration

Tristana Blu-ray

CHICAGO – At the dark heart of Luis Buñuel’s Oscar-nominated 1970 classic, “Tristana,” is a character so spectacularly hypocritical and richly fascinating that he upstages everyone including the titular heroine. As played by the great Fernando Rey, ignoble nobleman Don Lope is a self-professed libertine bound by traditional values. He passionately believes in the virtues of freedom, but only on his terms.

Blu-Ray Review: Catherine Deneuve Anchors Great Cast of ‘Potiche’


CHICAGO – Francois Ozon is one of my favorite working filmmakers. Sure, he misses his mark sometimes, but even when he does so it is with often-fascinating results. “Angel” and “Ricky” may not stand up to “8 Women” or “Swimming Pool,” but they’re still fascinating missteps with worthwhile elements. The good news is that “Potiche,” recently relesed on Blu-ray and DVD, is the writer/director’s best since his international breakthrough with “Pool.” It couldn’t be more different than that thriller but I think that’s another reason I value Ozon — you never quite what to expect.

DVD Review: ‘Park Benches’ Features Dazzling French Ensemble

Park Benches DVD

CHICAGO – Episodic ensemble pieces in America often follow a contrived pattern typified by Paul Haggis’s “Crash.” Various diverse lives are juxtaposed and intersect while illustrating an overarching theme. What’s so refreshing about Bruno Podalydès’s 2009 French gem, “Park Benches,” is its utter lack of dramatic significance. It’s more interested in exploring the idiosyncrasies of humanity rather than preaching a self-important message.

Film Review: ‘L’amour Fou’ Explores Key Relationship in Fashion History

L'amour Fou Film Review

CHICAGO – At the heart of Pierre Thoretton’s melancholy documentary is a story of lost love, lost art, and the ever-present aura they leave behind. Pierre Bergé is often credited as co-founder of the couture house headed by world famous designer Yves Saint Laurent. Yet “L’amour Fou” allows Bergé to set the record straight on just how large a role he played in Saint Laurent’s phenomenal success.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘A Christmas Tale’ Offers French Take on Family Dysfunction

A Christmas Tale Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – When American filmmakers throw a colorful familial ensemble under one roof for the holidays, the result often feels like a forced sitcom. Consider 2005’s “The Family Stone,” an ungainly fusion of slapstick laughs, scathing satire and feel good fuzziness.

Blu-Ray Review: Roman Polanski’s ‘Repulsion’ More Riveting Than Ever


CHICAGO – I unabashedly adore “Repulsion”. A lot of Roman Polanski’s work in the ’60s and ’70s - “Repulsion,” “The Tenant,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” - stand as influential films in why I became a film critic and lover of movies in general. So, a Criterion edition of “Repulsion” is kind of a wish-list dream made reality. It lives up to my high expectations.

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Continues Blu-Ray Expansion With Pair of Truffaut Classics

Last Metro Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection continues its foray into the world of HD with one of the most beloved directors of all time, taking a film already in the collection and giving it the HD treatment while simultaneously releasing a new edition of one of his later films. The legend is Francois Truffaut and the films are “The 400 Blows” and “The Last Metro”.

12th Annual EU Film Festival Highlights, Week Four: ‘Sauna,’ ‘Apres Lui,’ ‘Ben X,’ ‘Patrik Age 1,5’

CHICAGO – The final week of the 12th Annual EU Film Festival at the Siskel Film Center perfectly illustrates the main strength of this festival - amazing diversity. From what we had time to see of the final stretch of films, the four highlights couldn’t be more diverse, featuring movies from four different countries with four completely different tones and styles.

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