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Great movie, great performances
15 March 2020
Le rire de ma mère is not just a story of a boy coming of age, as another reviewer has asserted. Yes, there is a boy and yes, his parents are divorced and yes, his mother has cancer. Nevertheless, that is not what the story is about - there is much more to it.

The story is about relationships - of the boy with his mother, his father, his stepmother, his grandparents, his friends and classmates, his drama class, his sports team.

However, equally important is that the relationships between everyone else - not only with the boy - are portrayed very well.

The acting is universally very good, all characters are multidimensional and live. On the "nothing actually happening" comment by the other reviewer - I am not sure what you were looking for, but you might be better off watching Wander Woman or something along those lines.

I watched this in March of 2020 - during the COVID-19 pandemic peak in the United States - and by the end of the film had completely forgotten everything about the corona virus, problems in Italy and Spain, empty product shelves in grocery stores and everything else that is constantly being communicated by the media. The movie is that good.

Hope this helps, thank you for reading.
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A delightful comedy
3 February 2020
When was the last time you saw a lady taking panties off on the screen and then putting another pair on that was not obnoxiously vulgar but - on the contrary - was the right thing to do, causing the viewers to smile approvingly? Not many, for sure. This is the movie that did it - delicately and elegantly.

It is that sort of a movie where even the most serious issues are handled with humor and great acting which the French are quite good at. The plot has holes in it, obviously - mostly in the scenes, related to the Basque police and weapons parts - but nothing outrageously goofy. The difference between the Parisians and Basques is well played off, trying to articulate fun biases, stereotypes and prejudices, without siding with anyone. It worked well practically everywhere.

It is a romantic comedy, which contrasts the family, business, friendship and other relationships in both places. The result is a very nice watchable movie with quite a few very funny and memorable scenes.

It is well worth watching, maybe even a few times. I, honestly, cannot understand the low rating this movie has on IMDB. Which part of it the viewers did not get?

Hope this helps, thank you for reading.
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Red Sparrow (2018)
Pointless story, meaningless characters, stereotypical acting
8 June 2018
I actually read the book first and found it plain stupid - being a combination of a totally predictable plot, idiotic characters, unrealistic scenes and Russians who could not even speak correct Russian. (Predictably enough, all Russians in the book were universally bad, except for the spies, spying against Russia.)

Even though I did not think it could possibly get any worse than the book, I will have to congratulate everyone involved in this production, as they have achieved the nearly impossible and made the movie even more stupid. All the issues with the book are, obviously, present in the movie, too - but they are amplified by fake accents, misleading visuals and totally stereotypical acting. Numerous scenes with partially or fully naked Jennifer Lawrence - which, as it looks like, were supposed to be the safety net - feel completely out-of-place and make it worse.

What's the point of this movie besides very thinly veiled propaganda? Frankly, I find the movie (and the book) insulting to any reasonable intelligence. What happened - have all the good stories vanished all of a sudden so now we are down to filming this sort of junk?

I can't believe Jeremy Irons - being the great actor he is - agreed to participate in this lunacy.
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Altitude (2017)
No script. No acting. No dialogues. No camera work. No music. No movie.
14 March 2018
That is it. Total junk, even by Hollywood standards.
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How did this even get nominated for the Academy Awards?
8 April 2010
Movie - weak, plot - thin, characters - not believable, action - boring, actors' work - not interesting, director's work - not noticeable whatsoever.

Besides propaganda, what is the point of this movie?

Why would this movie win an Oscar? I'd like to see who voted for this so I could avoid movies voted for by the same people in the future.

What is the message of the movie and how it tries to communicate that message? Friendship? There is none. Helping each other when hurt? It's war, that is what every war is about. Taking unnecessary risks and surviving 837 (or whatever the number was) times? If that is the case, does this guy know something we don't? Maybe (though I seriously doubt it, I studied that exact subject extensively while in military) -- but even if that is the case, the movie fails to articulate it.

Unfortunately, overall -- waste of time.
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A strange mishmash of disconnected languages and events. At times funny - mostly tasteless
17 November 2006
I did not like the movie but have to admit that it so eclectically combines so many different things that pretty much the only remaining option for the viewer is to laugh.

For example, of the two "Kazakhs" who came to the US, one speaks predominantly Hebrew (when the "Kazakhs" are alone) and English (with some strange fake Russian-Arabic accent), except for the word "thank you", which is almost always said in Polish. The other "Kazakh" speaks Armenian only (except for a couple of curse-words in Russian on just one occasion). Both of them, of course, do not look like Kazakhs at all. The inhabitants of the "Kazakh" "home village" speak Romanian. The majority of textual information is in Russian, some of which is heavily twisted.

The reason I described the mishmash of languages in such detail is because all the views and situations in the movie are mixed in pretty much the same way as the languages.

In short, this movie left an impression (on me, at least) of a donkey with a head of a lion, elephant ears, peacock tail and hummingbird brain who claims to be, say, George Bush.
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