NYFF Press Roundup: Day Five

Posted by Daniel Rubinton on 10.4.2011

The L Magazine's Henry Stewart reviews Melancholia:
"von Trier looks at depression straight: Kirsten Dunst, in a role that won her an award at Cannes, plays Justine, who spends the first act celebrating—or not—her wedding to True Blood's Eric. It's Dogme-founder von Trier's turn at a Celebration, and he handles it with comic aplomb (Udo Keir nearly steals the movie as the wedding planner), crafting a haphazardly filmed farce that's jovial and funny until it isn't—like life for everyone else, Justine ruins her wedding."

Howard Feinstein highlights the cinematography in Martha Marcy May Marlene for Filmmaker Magazine:

“Kudos to director Sean Durkin and editor Zac Stuart-Pontier: I’ve rarely seen such smooth editing between different time periods as in Martha Marcy May Marlene. It is incumbent upon them to make it work, in order to maintain a chilling effect throughout, in this profile of a mentally disturbed young woman.”

The LA Times blog 24 Frames has an interesting piece on A Separation’s Iranian director Asghar Farhadi:

“But beneath the very personal stories, Farhadi says, are deeper, Iran-specific truths. "One of the central questions I'm always asking myself is whether what I'm doing is right, and what is justice," he said. "If I lived in a truly democratic society I'd say, 'There's a set of rules that tell me that.' But I don't, so these are the questions I ask in my films."”

Ron Henriques of Latino Review has great things to say about the actors of A Dangerous Method...

"The picture's most startling and powerful performance belongs to Knightley who almost completely disappears into the role of Spielrein. During the early mental hospital scenes, she appears to be channeling a young Helena Bonham Carter as her agitation and fits progress to the point where it feels as if she may burst from her own skin. Yet when Spielrein finally does accept and give in to her instincts and desires there's great intelligence to be found in Knightley's performance and she makes a convincing analyst. Knightley also effortlessly pulls of Spielrein's Russian accent, dropping her familiar British tone which in the past has made her sound...well, snooty. Say what you will about the actress, this is perhaps the best performance of her career and if it doesn't gain attention in the awards circuit, it will no doubt make other filmmakers of Cronenberg's caliber take notice."

...And gushes about Miss Bala:

“At the heart of the film is an incredibly emotional and engaging performance from Sigman as a young innocent thrust suddenly thrust into the violent world death, heavy gunfire and the threat of no longer being useful to her captors. The performers that Naranjo surrounds her with feel so raw and realistic that when Laura is sexually assaulted late in the film, you're not sure if you should empathize with her or her assailant.
Naranjo's style is often in your face, with intricately designed tracking shots through carnage and gunfights, making you feel very much a part of the action. Yet he still manages to present a compelling human drama making for an impressive debut and a powerful lead performance from Sigman. One of the best if not THE best film of the year so far.”

Mark Asch of The L Magazine shares his thoughts on Corpo Celeste:

"The Catholic Church is no longer the “protagonist” of the cold Calabrian city where Corpo Celeste is set, its parish priest at one point laments; the film is very good with the way in which life can feel naggingly oblique, observing how the banality of faith, in practice, frustrates its own part-time protagonists."

Stay tuned throughout the NYFF for more of what the critics are saying about festival films.

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