“Hacksaw Ridge” Review

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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

**SPOILER ALERT**

An inspiring story about an unconventional hero? A graphic tale of the brutality of a war? A touching and believable love story? Mel Gibson can do it all, and, believe it or not – do it brilliantly – all in the same movie. His latest film “Hacksaw Ridge” tells the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a kind, deeply-religious young man who also happens to be a conscientious objector, enlisting to serve in an army, while having a deep conviction against the commission of violence/murder and would not even touch a gun. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director, “Hacksaw Ridge” is the kind of a film which one can easily define as “great”: a moving, heart-felt story is matched by a dedicated director and a committed actor who do their work exceptionally well.

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“La La Land” Review

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La La Land (2016)

Universally acclaimed, “La La Land” is the kind of a film which could melt the most cynical and toughest of critics. As romantic as it is visually stunning, the main charm of the film lies in its simplicity: a guy, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), and a girl, Mia (Emma Stone) both dream of a professional success in Hollywood, and first find true happiness in each others’ arms, before the practical realities of their chosen “star” professions separate them. With an uncomplicated plot and an absolutely stunning soundtrack, “La La Land” has all the appeal of an old musical, while keeping things interesting and original with notes of modern music, the showcasing of modern technologies and with the demonstrations of a competitive side of today’s Hollywood business. In “La La Land”, Damien Chazelle (director) shows that, in 21st century, you can still not only make a financially successful old-school musical-comedy film, but also produce a real gem of a movie capable of leaving the audience breathless with its heart strings’ pulling and sheer inventiveness. 

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20 “Must-See” Italian-Language Films

In no particular order:

1) Cinema Paradiso (1988)

2) Life is Beautiful (1997)

3) Facing Windows (2003)

4) L’Eclisse (1962)

5) Bicycle Thieves (1948)

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“I Am Love” Trailer

“To the Wonder” Trailer

First Night: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Venice Film Festival

http://www.independent.co.uk

Mira Nair’s film (which opened the festival) isn’t one you could imagine being backed by a Hollywood studio. Adapted from the 2007 novella by Mohsin Hamid, it is a rarity – a biggish budget drama with international stars in which the Americans are shown in the wake of 9/11 as violent, racist, intolerant of outsiders and quick to assign blame.

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“Shame” Review

Shame (2011)

Directed by Steve McQueen (‘Hunger’ (2008)) and starring Michael Fassbender, ‘Shame’ is a bold, beautifully-shot film about a high-paid office worker in New York, Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who suffers from sex addiction. While Brandon is able to shuffle work and (his idea of) play reasonably successfully on a daily basis, his routine starts to spin out of control, and his life priorities are tested, when his younger sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), decides to pay him a visit and stay for a few days in his apartment.

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