Mads Mikkelsen has become a sort of international treasure, having starred in both Danish-centered films and others, including as villains in Doctor Strange and the NBC series Hannibal. He was excellent in The Hunt, released several years ago and nominated for the International Feature Film Oscar — formerly known as the Foreign Language Oscar — so it was great to see him once again in a juicy role that allows him to flex his acting muscles in a film that takes place in his native Denmark.
A Fantastic Woman is not the perfect film that people have made it out to be, but considering that it is the first Oscar-winning foreign/international film featuring a transgender character — whose star, Daniela Vega, became the first transgender presenter in Oscars history — its impact is impressive.
Sometimes it’s difficult to write a review for a movie that you believe to be absolutely perfect and the definition of pure cinema. It becomes less a review and more of a rave, although reviews in general run the gamut from rant to rave. Celine Sciamma’s masterpiece — a word I use very rarely — is one such film that deserves all the praise it has been given, and more.
Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar’s latest, is a sort of autobiographical work — with Antonio Banderas as his cinematic replacement/equivalent. Banderas plays Salvador, a retired, esteemed Spanish director who suffers from numerous aches and pains, both physically and emotionally.
I was reluctant to watch this documentary about a beekeeper in Macedonia, as I am vegan and I am unable to watch movies (fiction or documentary) that portray individuals using animals in any way. Yet, the woman featured in this movie — an indigenous woman who lives alone in the country with her ailing mother — treats the bees well; in fact, she calls them “my bees” because that’s how much she cares about them.
It is hard to describe the film Parasite to those who have not seen it, and I am glad that people have kept the twists secretive. The less you know about it, the better.