(au) wrote: Sometimes art comes from the most unexpected places, and that is especially true of Seraphine Louis(Yolande Moreau) who in 1914 takes all sorts of odd jobs cleaning to support her painting which she was told to do by a higher power while at a convent. At the same time, she is two months behind on her rent. But that's not important when she is doing what she loves and can be outside where she can feel the ground beneath her bare feet in the countryside. One of the houses she cleans is for Madame Duphot(Genevieve Mnich) which she is renting out to Wilhelm Uhde(Ulrich Tukur) and his sister Anne-Marie(Anne Bennent). Wilhelm is an influential art critic from the city who was the first one to bring Picasso to the public's attention. So, while the film moves in leisurely fashion, the world of 1914 is not, as a war on the horizon will change everything as realism is being replaced by modernism and beyond in the art world.(But the world is not changing quickly enough as Wilhelm tells Seraphine at one point that he will not marry a woman.) All of which is captured with nuance in this endearing film.
(kr) wrote: Often noted for its bold visuals, vibrant sets, and alluring screenplay-- 'Black Narcissus' stands out as one of the best English films ever made. And you do not want to miss Byron's performance as sister Ruth; she is exceptional. 8.4/10
(de) wrote: Muy, muy graciosa y trabajada con arte. Excelente reparto, pero John Barrymore es una cosa tremenda... / Very very funny and artfully wrought. Excellent cast, but John Barrymore is quite something...
(ca) wrote: Once in a while, I do enjoy Gus Van Sant, who, for me, is a lot like Steven Soderbergh: really versatile, talented, and definitely important. This movie has been on my list of films to see since I first wrote it over five years ago. Yes, I'm serious. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally see it, but I'm glad I finally did.Allegedly this is supposed to be loosely based on the Shakespeare works Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V, but I didn't really see that. Of course, it would probably help if I was actually familiar with those works, but still. Okay, so sometimes the dialogue does come off as somewhat Shakespearean because of the delivery, but I really don't see the whole thing of translating historical dramas into a dream-like road movie about two hustlers.We mostly follow Mike Waters, a sensitive young street hustler with narcolepsy. He works the streets of Portland and Seattle, but longs to find his mother who abandoned him at a young age. His search leads him to all kinds of places, namely Idaho (where he's originally from), but overseas as well. Joining him on his quest for "home" is Scott Favor the unrequited love interest. Scott, like Mike, is a hustler, but he's from a more well-to-do background. In fact, he's the wayward son of Portland's mayor. He says he'll eventually straighten up and do as his father wishes, but for the time being, he's happy being on the mean streets with all kinds of colorful characters.The film was a rather big deal when it came out, and I can see why. It sheds light on an interesting subculture, it's got some mostly strong direction, great visuals, it continued Van Sant's wave of success, and featured some terrific performances from River Phoenix as Mike and, yes, shockingly enough, Keanu Reeves as Scott. I don't know what happened to him that caused him to be how he is now, but yeah, back in the day, he was actually a credible and legitimately good performer. Other performers are good too, but these guys are the real highlight.Even though this is a good movie, and I can see why it has a very positive reputation, it's not perfect. It's merely good, instead of great, hasn't really aged that well, doesn't seem that fresh anymore, and has a tendency to meander a little too much a little too often. It does provide a nice and sensible look at Gen X hustlers, but even then it comes off as a tad pretentious here and there. Despite my gripes, I do like this, I'm glad I finally saw it, and think you should check it out if you enjoy the offbeat, or want to really get into the career of Van Sant.