Our selection of movies in cinemas this January 31

From thereon the one hand, a nightmare. Of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, never shown, which has the first place Area of ​​Interest. the other ArgyleA bloated American production and as exciting as a plate of ravioli in a box.

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Between them, some delicious French films, without playing the card of originality, which offer excellent performances by actresses – Laetitia Casta – and actors who are not used to dramas. Francois Damiens. To be brave, you prefer to choose movie theater always invented by the Spanish Fernando Trueba.

Area of ​​Interest ✭✭✭✭
At the bottom of the Auschwitz garden

The Grand Jury Prize at the last Cannes Film Festival, this film by the British Jonathan Glaser had the effect of an electric shock. Adapted from the novel by his compatriot Martin Amis, who died at the age of 73, two days before its presentation at Cannes, it brings us to life a nightmare. The story? The SS commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, Rudolf Höss, and his family lead a peaceful life in their large house, a stone’s throw from the crematoriums. Their employees are Jewish.

From the credits, the tone is set, as chilling as this black screen warning us of the worst. The originality of the subject lies in suggesting the horrors of the camp, using the off-camera process, bright black and white, shots shot in infrared and a soundtrack that unfolds like a long complaint with screams, tears and fire. We never see what goes on behind the barbed wire except for the smoke in the air and the constant hum of industrial death. Meanwhile, the Höss children go to school, their mother plants rose bushes and their father, a strict executioner, settles the details of the “Final Solution”, overseeing plans for a new crematorium. Here, the horror is almost invisible and the countryside is very beautiful. Amazing.

area of ​​interest, inside.
Read: ” Area of ​​interest »by Martin Amis (Calmann-Lévy, new edition).

The piano player was shot ✭✭✭✭
An excellent and fascinating thriller

When he learns the bossa nova history of Brazilian pianist Francisco Tenorio Junior, who mysteriously disappeared in Buenos Aires before the 1976 coup d’état, Fernando Trueba is leading the investigation. We have to go see it The piano player was shot ? “I shot more than 140 interviews in various countries with his musician friends like Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento,” says the Spanish filmmaker. He doesn’t know what to do with all these rushes. Then it clicked: rather than making another documentary or biopic, Trueba decided to make an animated film with a friend, the designer Javier Mariscal. He invents a fictional alter ego – an American journalist – who is voiced by Jeff Goldblum. Sometimes thriller, sometimes investigative journalism or historical story, his feature films oscillate between reality and fiction. It takes us to the smoky bars of Rio where bossa nova was born in the 1960s, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque… These sacred monsters are drawn, but speak with real voices.

Mariscal’s realistic style, steeped in 1960s American underground comics, carries the film, as does the music by Francisco Tenorio Junior. Colors explode when the musicians play, Ella Fitzgerald ‘scattering’ Rio, but darken during a visit to the Naval Mechanics School where opponents were tortured. with that The piano player was shot, as explosive as a sweet cocktail of cinematic genres, the filmmaker pays tribute to a prosperous era and gives the music an incredible expression of love. A beautiful and free film, like a jazz solo.

The piano player was shot, inside.
To listen: the album Embalo (1964) By Francisco Tenorio Junior

Happiness is for tomorrow ✭✭✭
Love beyond bars

After consent, Vanessa Filho’s hit film Gabriel Matzneff’s affair, playing the role of Vanessa Springora’s mother, Laetitia Casta gets the leading role in Brigitte Sy’s new film. Happiness is for tomorrow. A tense sentimental drama in which the filmmaker returns to the prison world of his first feature film, Hands free (2010), and Astragalus (2015), which recounted the unusual love story between a woman and her imprisoned friend. He taught drama workshops in prison and ended up marrying one of his students.

if fiction Happiness is for tomorrow is inspired by the same story, the true story of Sylvie, who met Brigitte Sy and became Sophie, played by Laetitia Casta. We are in the 1990s. The story centers on this mother of a child who shares her life with a partner who doesn’t dream. Until the day Claude (Damien Bonnard) falls for a lively, funny and unpredictable man. The problem: He’s not Prince Charming, he’s a thief. During an arrest, he kills a man and receives a long prison sentence.

“Everything should end there, but, contrary to expectations, Sophie does not give up her love for many years,” said Laetitia Casta, who is currently playing in the theater. a certain day “She is madly in love with this man who acts as her catalyst. He reveals himself. He is ready to do anything for her, and he does not hesitate to give birth to a child and even arrange a getaway. »

is he happy It’s hard to tell for someone who doesn’t have a rogue profile until their passion has died down. The filmmaker observes and leaves behind this barren happiness without asking too many questions, at least at first. Brigitte Sy, the mother of her husband Louis Garrel, who was her mother-in-law, did not bother Laetita Casta during the filming, on the contrary. He describes her as a woman of temperament and conviction, not at all classical. Like the character played by Anouk Grinberg innocent, the tasty comedy of her son Louis Garrel, who is worried about his mother’s relationship with an ex-convict.

In the role of Sophie, who goes through her feelings and waits in vain for her lover’s return, the actress deploys her energy and charm to become the romantic hero, exalted opposite Damien Bonnard, a simple and lively game of content. violence. In the role of Claude’s mother and Sophie’s confidante, Béatrice Dall brings the weight of her experience and unvarnished authenticity. The open ending where we see Sophie walking on the beach with her two children suggests that she has found another reason to live and hope. Tomorrow’s happiness?

Happiness is for tomorrow inside.

Leeward of the Marquesas ✭✭✭
Play as Brel!

The fourth film of the filmmaker Pierre Godeau, 37 years, since the time Juliet He is very interested in filiation and family. He returns to it Leeward of the Marquesas Through Alain’s story (François Damiens)a famous actor who, after agreeing to play Jacques Brel in the cinema, decides to leave everything and join his ex-wife in Île aux Moines, where he did not see his daughter Lou (Salomé Dewaels) grow up. Valerie (Anne Coesens).

He has cancer, he knows that he is doomed and that he does not have the time to share intimate moments with his daughter that will have sentimental and artistic relationships. How to recover lost time? Why do you often have to sacrifice to do this work, including your family? Alain asks himself so many questions, facing himself and his illness today.

“In the beginning”, says François Damiens, “I was afraid of playing a monument like Brel, then I discovered that it was not a biopic, but a character that resembles him to think about his life and career. There is no mimicry, let alone singing! »

However, the shadow of Brel, who left his career to pursue his dream, went by boat and lived in the Marquesas, runs through this dramatic comedy filled with the singer’s interviews and archive footage. “It has always fascinated me,” continues the Belgian actor. They also make me feel good about past love, unhappiness, his fears, his poetry. With him, I have the impression that we feel less alone and, suddenly, he cheers me up. When Marquis sings, I dream of going there. »

The plot, very simple, is based on the dynamic of a father-daughter duo skillfully nurtured by Pierre Godeau, inspired by his relationship with his father, the producer Philippe Godeau. Thanks to family and cinema, the opportunity to question the weight of the past and mutual resilience, “always more beautiful than life”, according to Truffaut. But is it worth sacrificing everything for your art? François Damiens likes to quote his friend Benoît Poelvoorde (who appears in the film): “An actor is someone who is paid to stay away from home. » via QED laughter.

Under the Marquess Wind, inside.

Argyle ✩✩✩✩✩
Be careful, turnip!

But what happened to Matthew Vaughn? Once somewhat industrious, though honestly inspired Layer cake, X-Men: The Beginning and the first Kingsman: The Secret Serviceis tied Argyle in a sluggish mess full of clichés. The no-nonsense Bryce Dallas Howard portrays a very domestic author of uninspired adventure novels, audiences are still waiting for the next adventure of his best-selling creation: Secret Agent Argyle (Henry Cavill). Soon after, a sinister stranger (Sam Rockwell) he meets on a train reveals to him that he is the target of a very real plot involving his parents…

Balanced precariously on a false stage that never works, Argyle it mixes too many concepts, twists and scenes already seen elsewhere – only better – especially Wonderful, Chasing the green diamond, A complete memory or even terrible The lost city With Sandra Bullock. Beyond the usually lackluster performances of Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, but also Bryan Cranston and Grandpa Sam Jackson, this rollercoaster of spectacular ugliness also shows Hollywood’s inability to rediscover what fueled the big action blockbusters of the 1980s. /1990s Formatted for a general audience, the film doesn’t even treat us to the brutal violence that has so far characterized Matthew Vaughn’s cinema. Even the ubiquitous cat has lost all of its gags and we walk away from this sluggish mission feeling particularly grumpy.

Argyle By Matthew Vaughn, in theaters.


✩✩✩✩✩ Courage, let’s run away ✭: We snort ✭✭: We yawn ✭✭✭: We appreciate ✭✭✭✭: We applaud ✭✭✭✭✭ We praise the skis:

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