Reviews: Reviews of James Gray’s “The Time of Armageddon”; “The decision to leave”, by Park Chan-wook; and “A Nice Morning” by Mia Hansen-Løve


Director of Little Odessa, The Betrayal, The Owners of the Night, The Lovers, The Immigrant, Z: The Lost City and Ad Astra: Towards the stars he gets fully into his autobiography when he was 11 years old.

The time of Armageddon / Armageddon Time (United States/2022). Script and direction: James Gray. Cast: Banks Repeta, Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and Anthony Hopkins. Photography: Darius Khondji. Editing: Scott Morris. Duration: 115 minutes. Available to rent on Flow On Demand starting Thursday, April 6.

James Gray was born in 1969 into a Jewish family in New York. He was 11 years old in 1980 and that is the same age that he is in the fiction of Armageddon Time Paul Graff (Banks Repeta), who lives with his parents (Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong), his lovable grandfather (notable contribution from Anthony Hopkins) and his older brother in the Queens area.

Paul attends a public school where nothing seems to go right for him, but where his passion for drawing flourishes. His relationship with the teachers and most of his classmates isn’t good, but he does hook up with Johnny Davis (Jaylin Webb), a black boy with a much more complex present than his own. When the parents consider that he needs “more rigor” they will transfer him to a private school. And things, of course, will be even worse.

This is a modest autobiography (perhaps too modest, at times with the risk of falling into a certain flatness) with many of the elements of the coming-of-age with bullying, friendships, Jewish traditions, family violence (Strong’s disturbing character, the Kendall Roy’s succession) and various initiation rituals towards adulthood.

Everything is very careful, accurate and at times even lovable and sensitive in this description of the beginnings of the Reagan era in the ’80s, but one demands more than a correct film from a screenwriter and narrator of Gray’s talent, who here at times it shows some elements that refer to the films of Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson.

As a curiosity, the film tangentially addresses the advent of the Trump family in the universe of New York power and, in this field, none other than Jessica Chastain appears in a cameo as Maryanne Trump, the sister of Donald himself. One of the many attractions of a film that, although it is a little below previous expectations, does not stop giving away a story that goes from the endearing to the devastating, and vice versa.


Director of JSA: Risk Zone, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy: Five Days to Vengeance, Lady Vengeance, Thirst, Wicked Ties and The Handmaiden he returned to the main section of Cannes with a crime thriller that truly turns into a romantic melodrama.

The decision to leave / Decision to Leave / Heojil Kyolshim (South Korea/2022). Directed by: Park Chan-wook. Cast: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Go Kyung-pyo, Lee Jung-hyun, and Kim Shin-Young. Screenplay: Cheung Seokyung and Park Chan-wook. Photography: Kim Ji-yong. Editing: Kim Sang-bum. Music: Cho Young-wuk. Duration: 138 minutes. Available to rent on Flow On Demand starting Thursday, April 6.

It all starts with a death (an accident? a suicide? a murder?), but although Decision to Leave it has all the elements of a detective story, thriller climates and noir aesthetics; it is, in truth, an epic love story told with the astonishing elegance of an accomplished aesthete, of a brilliant storyteller.

Many Park Chan-wook fans may feel that what is told here in 138 minutes is not enough (yes, there are some complications and derivations) and that the plot lacks violence, sex, blood, and dramatic blows. In that sense, Decision to Leave It’s a fairly austere film, more about climates and feelings than conclusive facts (except for the pointed beginning, of course).

Who dies after falling? of a mountain is a powerful Chinese man apparently a specialist in that type of climbing. And who will be in charge of the case is Hae-joon (Park Hae-il), the youngest to become a detective at the Busan police station, always well dressed, neat, impeccable, methodical, friendly, incorruptible. But his world will change forever when he questions the victim’s widow, the attractive Seo-rae (Chinese star Tang Wei). The widow does not show many signs of grief or remorse. And immediately an obvious attraction arises between the two.

While the investigation advances with technological issues (the film at times seems like a long commercial for iPhones and Apple Watches), the relationship between the two also. Is there deceit, concealment and manipulation, is there desire and sick obsession or are we in the presence of pure and true love? Beyond the nuances and surprises that the film gradually incorporates, Decision to Leave It is in many ways the most sober, subtle, restrained, and minimalist film of his career (although when it comes to Park Chan-wook, many things still happen). Also, even in supposedly tense and dark moments, an unexpected and innocent sense of humor surfaces.

It may be that for some the film doesn’t like much, that a tragic and sick love story is too limited for a director of this caliber and ambitions, but the truth is that Park Chan-wook -favorite heir of the great Alfred Hitchcock- confirms ( once again) his mastery for staging, for the direction of performers and for achieving a beautiful, heartbreaking and tremendous ending.


the director of All is forgiven, The father of my children, A love of youth, Eden and Future recovers many of the findings of his early work.

One fine morning / Un beau matin / One Fine Morning (France-Germany/2022). Script and direction: Mia Hansen-Løve. Cast: Léa Seydoux, Melvil Poupaud, Nicole Garcia, Pascal Greggory and Camille Leban Martins. Photography: Denis Lenoir. Editing: Marion Monnier. Duration: 112 minutes. Available to rent on Flow On Demand starting Thursday, April 13.

Those who follow this site closely and particularly my reviews will know that Mia Hansen-Løve is one of my favorite directors. However, I never ascribe to unconditional fanaticism and, in fact, her two previous feature films, Maya (2018) and Bergman’s Island (2021), I found them a bit disappointing (within the canons of an extraordinary filmmaker for my taste, of course).

a beautiful morning It is a smaller and less pretentious film, simpler and more heartfelt, a bittersweet look at being a mother, saying goodbye to your father, looking for a new love when you have already suffered several disappointments and loneliness is becoming entrenched. An adult film about an adult woman (Mia is over 40 years old) that some may see as retracing her steps, playing it safe, but I found it very sensitive and visceral, with the possibility of being happy, sad and playful when the different scenes and characters need it.

Sandra (a very convincing Léa Seydoux), renowned translator and mother of a teenager named Linn (the very likeable Camille Leban Martins), faces the progressive degradation of her father Georg (Pascal Gregory), a former philosophy professor whose degenerative disease does not It already allows you to handle yourself with a minimum of normality. The alternatives for hospitalization that they manage together with Françoise (Nicole Garcia) are all painful, but they do not stop accompanying him in that trance. As she goes through this painful process, and after five years without finding a partner, she grows closer to Clément (Melvil Popaud), an astrophysicist and old friend who is unhappily married, but with whom there is an obvious romantic spark.

If the elements of the film -which has MUBI among its producers- may not sound too new, it should be noted that the mastery of a writer-director like Hansen-Løve is also noticeable when she has to deal with more mundane or seemingly conventional conflicts. .

The director recently went through very painful times with her father in real life, but a beautiful morning, without ceasing to be a frank, visceral and at times heartbreaking film, never gives up delicacy and charm, which can also be appreciated in the choice of 35mm for the images (the photography is by the great Denis Lenoir). It is that even in the most extreme passages of life there is always room for beauty, solidarity, complicity and -why not- love to emerge.

Subscriptions are the best way for readers to directly support independent journalistic ventures and help sustain a quality product that maintains access to all its content for free.

what does it offer OtherCinemas/Club to all its partners and partners?

-Every Friday first thing they receive in their e-mail box a careful and cured newsletter with analysis of audiovisual trends, festivals and news in the universe of cinemas and streaming.

-Access free of charge to the last 20 exclusive newsletters.

-Before each weekend they reach their cell phones recommendations in audio and text of movies and series through our whatsapp channel.

-They can access three months free of charge on the prestigious streaming platform MUBIspecialized in auteur and quality cinema.

ticket raffles for any movie, any day and time, in any of the complexes of the Multiplex chain.

-Discounts throughout the year our courses and workshopsin addition to other benefits that we communicate every month.

What types of subscriptions to OtherCinemas/Club Are they available via Mercado Pago?

STANDARD SUBSCRIPTION: 400 pesos per month.

subscribe me

SUBSCRIPTION MAX: 700 pesos per month.

(Video and text content will be sent in advance and/or exclusively, there will be additional discounts on our courses and workshops, and priority access to our activities).

subscribe me


For any questions you can write to our email:

Source link

Leave a Comment