L’HERMINE (Courted) by Christian Vincent ***
Teaming again with the imperial Fabrice Luchini after his first movie “La discrète”, the rare french director Christian Vincent sets up a new melancholic comedy between drama and romance in a courtroom where a man is judged for the assasination of his daugher. This sordid case remains just a pretext to film the process as a human theater, between an unpleasant judge falling in love for his anaesthetist (the definitely unpredictable Sidse Babett Knudsen, known for her role in Borgen), and a group of jurees making bets or predictions on the progress of the judgement. Even if Vincent fails to make his remarkable ensemble movie very emotional, his scenario excels of delicacy and subtlety.
THE ENDLESS RIVER by Oliver Hermanus *
After winning the Queer palm in 2011 for Beauty, South-Afriacan director Oliver Hermanus continue exploring the cycle of violence by crossing the path of a french expat (Nicolas Duvauchelle, with an uncomfortable english) whom wife and kids have been violated and slaughtered, and a local waitress whom husband was just released out of jail. Probably imagining to be a new Douglas Sirk, Hermanus starts his movie with fifties hollywoodian credential and finishs with a some kind ironic The end. Even if Hermanus charges his empty story of long silences and crying every ten minutes with panoramic landscapes and an epic orchestrated score, his dialogues seem to be written by a 5-year-old which make his film noir pratically looking like a parody.