Last week, I posted a rave review of ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ fairly hopeful that it would be able to make back its $190 million cost, and, at a minimum, be the box office champion of its opening weekend. How optimistic of me. Little did I know of the other weekend opener, ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. Other than the fact that it is based on a popular novel by John Green, which resides in my book collection but has remained unopened all this time. I was recently told that the ‘Fault In Our Stars’ is the most-liked movie trailer in YouTube history. And so, I suppose that it shouldn’t be a surprise that the picture made $48 million dollars quadrupling its budget.
The film’s contrivances don’t dilute its ambitions thanks to the beauty of its young actress Shailene Woodley and her portrayal of the heroine and narrator, Hazel Grace Lancaster.
Hazel tells it straight. She tells us in the prologue that she is depressed, but not because depression is, in locus communis, a side effect of cancer. “It’s a side effect of dying, which is happening to me.” She was diagnosed at 13; while an experimental drug has stabilized her, it has weakened her lungs and she literally can’t breathe without the oxygen tank she is tethered to. Before her first visit to the support group, Hazel checks herself out in the mirror and adjusts her nasal cannula (tube with one end splitting into two prongs that are placed into the nostrils from which oxygen flows) as if it were a fashion accessory.
The boy she meets at the support group is Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) - he is instantly smitten with Hazel and takes it on himself to lift her out of her depression. He is a talker; though verbal to the point of being sort of insufferable, there are glimmers of charm. He lost one leg below the knee to cancer, but that in no way diminishes his spirit about living. Eventually his vulnerability is revealed, and touchingly so, but prior to this, his obnoxious posturing makes him rather annoying. Mr. Elgort does, however, find good rhythms in the scenes where his character and Hazel turn into fast friends, with him hoping it will turn into something more romantic (and her being reluctant because she views her time as limited).
At one point in the picture, Anne Frank is used as a device to heighten our feelings about Hazel. Subtlety may not be in director Josh Boone’s vocabulary; but that isn’t a bad thing. What he is after is maximal emotional impact; it’s as if this movie was engineered as a mass production of tears. If that is the product he set out to build, he has succeeded admirably.
Working on an adaptation from Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (who penned last year’s ‘The Spectacular Now’, an independent romantic comedy that also starred Shailene Woodley), Mr. Boone has created a movie filled with beautiful moments.
Laura Dern plays Hazel’s hopeful and always encouraging mother who spends every waking (and sleeping) moment on edge in the event of a setback for her daughter. Her defenses collapse during a mother-daughter confrontation about what happens if, or when, Hazel dies.
Hazel has another fierce confrontation with a reclusive novelist, played self-absorbedly by Willem Dafoe, who turns out to be everything but the man of wisdom she was expecting him to be. The resolution of this adds a nice emotional moment.
Ultimately, ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ is Hazel’s story, and this is Shailene Woodley’s movie for just about every moment she is on camera. Her wry wit admittedly leavens the heaviness of the theme, and though Mr. Boone celebrates the sentimentality, he doesn’t shy away from the moments of suffering. We see the painful moments. But, in such moments, there is a joy of watching a transcending, pure, and authentic performance. With ‘The Descendants’, ‘The Spectacular Now’, and now ‘The Fault In Our Stars’, it should be abundantly clear that this young actress is the real thing.
With every line of dialogue, and even dialogue-free moments involving her character texting Augustus, or her character coolly observing the people around her, every bit of Ms. Woodley’s graceful performance feels natural and fills the screen with warmth – it is as if we are getting to know a real person; there is nothing theatrical about this performance. It is only June, but I am making an early prediction that she will receive an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role. Yes, seven months from now, Ms. Woodley’s performance will remain in the minds of Academy voters. And ours. What a lovely movie. QED.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ directed by Doug Liman is a total blast; a superbly entertaining, effects-driven black comedy. It isn’t so much a time travel movie as much as an experience. If that statement doesn’t make sense at the moment, give this ‘Groundhog Day’ meets ‘Independence Day’ flick a watch, and you will (hopefully) see what I mean.
Earth is under attack by alien invaders known as Mimics – they are destroying cities and killing millions. Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) has become a figurehead for the resistance using specialized armor and weaponized suits; she is terrific for armed forces morale. The American Army’s PR Officer, Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise), appears on news shows around the world to put a positive spin on the war from a safe distance. But, when the general (Brendan Gleeson) wants to send Cage into the movie’s version of D-Day to film the invasion, the officer attempts to blackmail his way out of seeing combat; a surprising choice for the role of hero – he has zero combat experience. Cage is arrested, and tasered; when he wakes up, he has the rank of private and is being mobilized out of Heathrow, with a cheerfully maniacal drill sergeant (Bill Paxton) preparing him from the glory of battle.
The supposed glory occurs the next morning, but it’s a disaster – the soldiers are ambushed. By total luck, Cage outlasts most of his comrades, even killing an unusually large alien, who bleeds all over him before killing him. At which point, he wakes up at Heathrow again.
Cage remains persistent at trying to change the sequence of events, but he keeps dying and waking up and dying and waking up over and over again. He always knows he has been here before, that he has met this person, said that line, did that thing, goofed up somewhere and died. Nobody else does, though. ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ mines this mechanic for dark humour as we see Cruise getting shot in the head over and over (pushing the bounds of its MPAA PG-13 rating; the violence is bloodless, but intense). After bumping into Rita a few times on the battlefield, she tells him “Find me when you wake up.”
It turns out Rita has experienced the same temporal dislocation that Cage is now experiencing until a blood transfusion stripped her of those abilities. Rita has to turn Cage into a solider so that the two can save humankind.
Science fiction movies have a tendency to fetishize military technology; and so, I found the “jackets” in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ – ugly, bulky, bionic suits armed with machine guns and other weapons and worn by the ground forces of “tomorrow” to be a refreshing change of pace. Their controls aren’t the least bit intuitive and the batteries are crappy. The attack, subtitled Operation Downfall, is poorly strategized; ammo is scarce, and the transports end up killing more troops than they are able to deploy on the ground. Topological spaces consist of rough textures, and hulking machines, and mechanical creatures who speedily buzz around the frame.
Cage’s feelings for Rita are complicated by the fact that each time they meet, it’s for the first time. In such a relationship, their love for each other can only be expressed by killing the enemy. Or by fixing each other’s battle wounds. I am glad that they dialed the potential for this romance back.
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Tom Cruise in this role. Sure, it’s not the performance of his career (that would be ‘Born on the Fourth of July’), but he seems to have mastered the ability to look great doing anything from any angle. Cruise has always been a likeable actor; it has been 28 years since ‘Top Gun’, he is almost 52 years old, and he is still an action star. But, age is finally bringing forth his vulnerability and this gives the film its poignancy. ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is simultaneously about what it is about while also serving as a metaphor for the actor’s career: this is an actor you can’t bring down, even in Hollywood’s current universe of computer generated creatures, robotics, and explosions.
If the rest of the cast doesn’t give the same impression, it is only because this is Tom Cruise’s movie and he brings it (though the rest are still given enough to work with). Gleeson, as always, injects humanity into his stock character. Some of Paxton’s reactions and lines of dialogue made me laugh loudly. Blunt is convincing as the fearless super-soldier, and there’s even a little bit of heart to her fierce, no-nonsense character. Mr. Liman is in love with his entrance shot of this character; in which we see her rising from the floor of a combat facility in a vinyasa yoga pose over and over again.
Early in the picture, Cage starts out as a Jerry Maguire-type who will say or do anything to remain within his comfort zone. Later on, he gets to learn some amazing combat skills, learn humility, predict exact consequences of events, and gains an appreciation for the nobodies whose necessary sacrifice he had previously sold to the American public; as a result, he learns to be a good soldier and a good man. The Cage at the end of the film is almost unidentifiable from the Cage in the beginning.
Cruise isn’t the only one with déjà vu – regular moviegoers will undoubtedly derive plot elements not only from the aforementioned ‘Groundhog Dog’ and ‘Independence Day’, but also ‘Aliens’, ‘Starship Troopers’, ‘Children of Men’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Total Recall’, ‘The Butterfly Effect’, ‘Back to the Future’, and ‘Source Code’. These callbacks never get in way of the fun and for a film about repetition, ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ always seems fresh; there is nothing tired about it.
This is an adaptation of Hiroshi Sikurazaka’s novel ‘All You Need Is Kill’, which I’m not the least bit familiar with, but the film version is true, highly conceptual science fiction. Credit screenwriters Christopher McQuarrie and Jez and John Henry Butterworth for a very smart screenplay.
Everything is of a piece and the results are dazzling – star, structure, set-up, script. This thing really moves, and it has a great sense of humour meaning that it doesn’t take its time-loop premise overly seriously.
What prevents the picture from a potential fourth star is the ending, which I’m not sure I fully understand, so I can’t really say if it works (a second viewing may have me feeling differently about this), and the use of 3-D which makes some of the dark settings in the back half of the picture even murkier. See it in bright, colourful 2-D if you can.
When Tom Cruise presented ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ at the Toronto premiere, he said “I hope you enjoy it because I make them for you.” I did. I suspect you will too. The Summer 2014 movie season is off to a terrific start, and I can’t imagine another summer blockbuster surpassing the heights established by both ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. QED.
Pawel Pawlikowski’s’ ‘Ida’ (pronounced Eeda), a compact masterpiece that takes place in Poland in 1962, is about a woman who learns, days before taking her vows at a convent, that she is a Jew.
We see the plain features of this young novice named Anna (a superb performance by first-time actress Agata Trzebuchowska) as she cleans the face of the statue of Christ with a small brush; her wide eyes capable of immense kindness. Raised in an orphanage from infancy, with no knowledge of her past, Anna is stunned to learn from the Mother Superior that she has an aunt named Wanda Gruz (played with supreme confidence by Agata Kulesza). Wanda is her only living relative who drops the bomb on her (“So, you’re a Jewish nun”).
Anna’s real name, her aunt tells her, is Ida Lebenstein. She is told that her Jewish parents were casualties of World War II. The two women (one as indignant as the other is composed) seek answers to some difficult questions: Who killed her parents? Where are they buried? Family history and natural history intertwine with the nature of faith.
Credit Mr. Pawlikowski who co-wrote the screenplay with Rebecca Lenkiewicz for having the courage to deliver the big reveal at the start of a relatively short picture (running time of 80 minutes including end-credits) – such a storytelling approach, in theory, would appear to diminish dramatic impact, but not here. I would argue that it is heightened. If only because it triggers the journey that follows; make it journeys – concrete as well as spiritual through this haunted, threatening landscape. This is a world filled with pain, violence, and guilt. ‘Ida’ is both a road movie and a detective story. In some ways, this journey reminded me of Denis Villeneuve’s excellent ‘Incendies’, a film that explored similar subjects and in which every scene was permeated by a creeping sense of dread.
I’ve been talking about this movie to friends since last Friday’s screening. As most aren’t familiar with the title, I’m often asked, “What’s it about?” The plot can be summarized in a few sentences; and though the central quest is imperative to the film’s narrative, it’s not what I think about first when recalling how I felt watching ‘Ida’. It is the more the quiet, individual moments; the observations and the moods. Little is stated directly; we infer from offhand remarks, and subtle suggestions.
What’s also distinctive about the picture is the look of it – I was enthralled by it visually. ‘Ida’ is beautifully photographed; shot in inky black-and-white, deployed almost entirely in static long shots, and contained within a narrow frame that is almost square with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. This is an appropriate visual aesthetic given the characters’ initial black-and-white conceptions of the world. The film was shot digitally by Ryszard Lenczeski and Lukasz Zal. Much of the story unfolds towards the bottom of the frame with ample space above their heads; an unusual filmmaking choice that maintains its distance, never assuming access to the inner lives of its characters. This calls attention to the physical spaces occupied by these characters; they seem small and alone, lost in this world, or maybe scaled in accordance with a divine presence.
But most importantly, you’re wrapped up in this story – you care about Anna’s (Ida’s) fate. She has spent her whole life in a sheltered space until a terrifying truth is revealed; but it is her determination to learn everything she can about her lost family in the company of her aunt (who is also a lost soul). Whatever passion Walda once possessed as an exemplary communist, and a former state prosecutor has been replaced with cynicism; she is filled with self-loathing. Chain smoking, drinking heavily, and bedding random men, she is the polar opposite of her niece (Wanda is the atheist, Ida is the believer; Wanda is a citizen of the world, Ida is sheltered; Wanda is the sinner, Ida is the saint). She does want Ida to have at least a taste of life before taking her final vows.
The ultimate question may be whether Ida stays out in the world or returns as Anna, but it certainly not the only one. What a world- provocative and harrowing in equal measure. There is so much feeling here, and the fact that this is a return home for the filmmaker (who was born in Poland but grew up in Great Britain) makes me believe that this movie must have come from a personal place. Thrilling, haunting, original, and masterfully accomplished, ‘Ida’ is one of the best films of the year. QED.
Just last summer, Seth Rogen was smoking a joint with Jay Baruchel before having to content with the apparent end of the world in ‘This Is The End’. In ‘Neighbors’, he is ‘Grumpy Old Man’. Well, relative to Zac Efron. I feel Rogen’s pain; we’re in the same age range but I can’t keep up with these young folks. Nor do I really want to.
Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne who gets to use her own Australian accent for once) are new parents who miss their former hard-partying ways that are now an afterthought due to the presence of their baby girl, Stella. She is bored at home, and he gets stoned at work. In a hilarious scene, Mac and Kelly are pumped for a night on the town to prove they still have it; the process of getting ready exhausts them and they pass out. On the bright side, they live in a good neighbourhood and are excited about meeting whoever might move in next door.
To their shock, it turns out to be the Delta Si fraternity from the local college. They want to keep things under control, but they are also desirous of returning, if momentarily, to their former lifestyle. So, they spend one night partying with frat prez Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron – yes ladies, he is shirtless throughout most of the film; oh, those chiseled abs), and other frat members. Teddy takes the notion of brotherhood far too seriously; he knows he is a good looking dude and uses that to his advantage – he could turn on the charm and sweet talk himself out of any sticky situation. He is the sort of person you want to feel contempt for. But, then you find yourself defending him and telling people “Once you get to know him…he’s not so bad.”
The night ends with Teddy making Mac promise to call him before the police should things get too loud or out of hand. But, when that happens the following night, and no one next door is responsive, Mac and Kelly do call the police. A bond has been broken and the bromance is about to go terribly wrong. Then, the war breaks out. Soon enough, Teddy and his frat boys start pulling pranks on the couple. Mac and Kelly retaliate, thus escalating the tension between the neighbors – back and forth it goes.
Some of the hijinks are absurd: the entire frat dresses up as various Robert De Niro characters and ridicules the Randers (“Hey, you lookin’ at me?”), or the frat stealing air bags from the Randers’ car. But, when Teddy gets really sneaky, the Randers’ go even lower – Kelly helms a multipart mission to break apart the Delta Psi from the inside. This involves setting the stage for Teddy’s best friend Pete (Dave Franco) to hook up with Teddy’s girlfriend. This is the movie’s best scene but there is also something I hated about it. I loved that this scene gave Rose Byrne the opportunity to break from the tightly would characters she used to play, let loose, and just run with this inspired bit of lunacy. It made me wish that a big, broad comedy would be made just for her. I also applaud the writers for not making her the stereotypically nagging wife, and for making her fluent in cursing. As for what doesn’t work with this scene, well, Teddy’s girlfriend character disappears from the movie entirely at this point and was just used a plot device. Aside from Rose Byrne, none of the female characters are developed.
But, maybe I shouldn’t bring logic into a movie such as this. If you give the plot a moment’s thought, you may ask yourself why none of the other neighbors are calling the cops on the frat boys about their blaring music and fireworks. These events rival the central party in ‘Project X’. How are they not on the nightly news? And a fight scene between Mac and Teddy involving plaster casts previously modeled by the frat members’ junk is just plain gross. There is also an ill-advised joke about baby HIV, and a breastfeeding gag that will have some audience members cringing. But, God help me, I laughed.
Zac Efron is good here. In my review of ‘That Awkward Moment, I said he has potential but is struggling to find the right vehicle to propel him from ‘High School Musical’ teen into a grown-up movie star. With ‘Neighbors’, he continues to distance himself from that persona and I just admired how he was able to make fun of his image. But, he is also able to find the darker side of his character; the balance between strange intensity and tenacious juvenility is great. Throughout the film, Zac Efron’s body is so perfect, it’s a sight gag, and Seth Rogen’s body is so Seth Rogen-y, it’s a sight gag. And Rogen, too, continues to show maturity (as he did in ‘Take This Waltz’, ‘50/50’, and yes, even ‘The Guilt Trip’), in spite of all the penis jokes.
‘Neighbors’ knows exactly what it is: a tasteless, raunchy, hard-R-rated comedy. Maybe even a little more. In between these outrageous pranks, there is a nugget of truth. You reach a point where you’re ready for responsibility, but you don’t want to be lame and boring. I liked this aspect of the picture more than I did the revenge-fueled mayhem.
Still, I’d say the laugh ratio is about 50%, but that’s pretty good. There is a lot of stoopid stuff here, but some of that stoopid stuff made me laugh hard, which means ‘Neighbors’ is good enough to earn a recommendation. QED.
The Other Woman’ was directed by Nick Cassavetes, son of filmmaker John Cassavetes. John should have been a better father. This will be on my list of the 10 worst films of 2014. I was shocked. I’m not sure I knew what to expect going in but I certainly didn’t anticipate this to be the laugh-free entertainment dead-zone that is. And yet, I’m giving it 1 star. Why? I suppose the camera was in focus.
‘The Other Woman’ was #1 at the box office last weekend, surpassing the highly popular and well received ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. Here’s hoping word of mouth gets this out of theaters quickly.
Cameron Diaz plays Carly, a hard-charging Manhattan attorney who finally believes she is leaving the dating scene when she meets the seemingly perfect guy. His name is Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a successful businessman and entrepreneur. Even at his least glamorous, he would still make the cover of GQ magazine. He spends his weeks in the city and his weekends at his home in Connecticut. For some reason, this doesn’t sound alarming to either Carly or her sassy secretary, Lydia (Nicki Manaj). Carly has “cleared the bench” as she puts it for Mark (i.e. the point when you terminate all other candidates when you believe you’ve found the right one). Carly is in for a shock when she goes to Mark’s house in the suburbs to surprise him and discovers he has a wife, Kate (Leslie Mann). Carly is wearing hot pants and twirling a toilet plunger like a baton – at this point, she realizes she is the title character of this terrible movie (and this reveal is handled in the most unbelievably cartoonish way).
Kate tracks Carly down and the two form an unlikely friendship. Presumably, they believe they can draw strength from each other due to their vast differences. Whatever. The two really bond when they discover that Mark has been cheating on both of them with the young, gorgeous, Amber (Kate Upton). The three women seek revenge on the man who is cheating on all of them.
Compositions are mostly blank spaces; interior spaces consist mostly of grey and white, giving this film a sort of low-budget indie feel; surprising, given that the budget for this film is $40 million.
You know you’re in trouble when the best thing about the movie is Nicky Manaj (and only because she gets to say “Selfish people live forever”). Leslie Mann is a talented actress; when hasn’t she been hilarious? Her character here must be clinically insane. When Kate learns Mark is having an affair, she acts like a lunatic – a hysterical basket case who gets drunk in public and vomits into her purse, shows up at Carly’s office and makes the most inappropriate remarks, and just whimpers and cries most the time. At one point, her character acknowledges that she needs to go to “brain camp”. I nodded in agreement (if only such a thing existed). Slapstick doesn’t appear to be Ms. Mann’s thing here; there are some big, desperate attempts at laughter, but they all fall flat.
Even worse is Kate Upton’s performance – the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model murders every single line of dialogue; she makes Rosie Huntington-Whiteley from ‘Transformers 3’ seem like Meryl Streep in comparison. When we see her running down the beach in a teeny-weeny white bikini in slow-motion, we get a sense of what her audition process must have been like. She is only here to provide jiggling eye candy to the male viewers suckered into seeing this.
In what universe would Kate and Carly ever be friends? Was this supposed to be a feminist revenge fantasy? Consider for a moment their attempts at revenge (all of which are completely juvenile) – dropping laxatives in Nick’s drinks, dumping hair removal cream into his shampoo, and dosing him with estrogen.
At one point, in the middle of a Carly’s Manhattan apartment, a Great Dane has a bowel movement, which we get to see in excruciating detail. The shit in the movie is fake. The shit that is the movie is real. There is a GoodLife Fitness right next to the Cineplex Yonge/Dundas theater I saw this movie in – I should have rushed there for a shower long before the “What Became of These Characters” final montage. Stupid. Lazy. Haphazardly assembled. I’m embarrassed for everyone involved. QED.
Let me start by describing a scene in ‘The Raid 2’. A woman pulls two claw hammers out of her trench coat on a packed subway car; she and those hammers work their way through a brigade of bodyguards. This scene gave me an indescribable rush; it was pure sensation. For a moment, I thought a lot of moviegoers are going to be turned off by the film’s ultra-violence; but that didn’t upset me. My jaw dropped; “Holy shit!” I exclaimed. After Hammer Girl, I met Baseball Boy, and then realized that the train scene was only one of a dozen equally impressive action sequences.
Yes, ‘The Raid 2’ (a.k.a. Indonesian ‘Game of Thrones’) is awesome! And this is coming from the guy who gave ‘The Raid: Redemption’ 1 out of 4 stars in 2012. Thankfully, you don’t need to see the original to see the sequel; this one brings you up to speed within the first twelve minutes.
The cop who miraculously but somewhat ridiculously survived the very violent events of ‘The Raid’ gets a new assignment – he has to go undercover in prison to cozy up to the son of a crime kingpin so he can eventually get into the organization. He does that very thing but, of course, it gets way more complicated, and things become way more violent. Oh, and it is very good!
This could be the most spectacular upgrade in movie franchise history (though ‘The Fast & Furious’ series comes close). The Raid: Redemption’ was non-stop mayhem with almost no plot or characterization to accompany the ultra-violence. The premise was this – policeman must kill all the criminal underlings in an apartment building to get to the kingpin in the penthouse. That is a standard videogame setup, and the movie played out like one. Also, to this day, no one can explain to me why it’s subtitled ‘Redemption’.
In this well-paced sequel, however, there is plot, characters, intrigue, and an opportunity to get involved in figuring out what the allegiances are and who could be trusted and who is going to overturn what crime lord. Writer-director Gareth Evans is painting on a wider canvas. He reunites with Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, but they’ve moved from the claustrophobic confines of that high-rise building in the first picture to the entire city of Jakarta. The expanded scope allows for more focus on character and plot, but the film has a great sense of momentum, with one violent confrontation leading to another and another and another. I, for one, do not mind a little bit of dramatic downtime between outbreaks of ultra-violence. You know that double-crosses are coming but you don’t in any way know who’s going to be double-crossing whom. A colleague informed me that the sequel’s plot was what Mr. Evans had intended for the original picture. Maybe he needed to warm up first. The first is a generic exercise. The sequel pulls no punches. Literally.
If the plot merely exists to provide a substructure for these ever-escalating fight sequences, so be it. Because, Oh my God, when they start fighting, well, there’s just a lot of oh-em-gee in this movie. To the less cinematically inclined – those who think they’ve seen it all in 2014 watch ‘The Raid 2’ and then we’ll talk. I could care less for violent action pictures; but with such dazzlingly stylized visual flourishes (classic wide-angle shots, assured handheld camerawork), every confrontation feels substantial. There’s no CGI to speak of; it’s purely physical. My favorite shot: in the middle of a battle, the camera moves to a silent, snow-covered alley. It looks very pure. That is until a very bloody conflict erupts.
Just when you think the movie has reached its peak in terms of its ultra-violent material, it manages to surprise us by incrementally raising the stakes until we reach the breathtaking, and exhausting climax (which is spectacular, even by the standards established previously in this movie). After watching this movie, you will feel as though you have been in combat.
‘The Raid 2’ could be the most violent film I’ve ever seen. I love that a picture this blood-soaked managed to secure the same MPAA rating as ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’. Cray. This 3.5/4 star rating needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Obviously, I say “See It” but with the caveat that you don’t sue me for the recommendation. This picture is designed with a specific audience in mind. Several conservative moviegoers stormed out of the screening I attended during the film’s brutal final act. As I watched these George R.R. Martin-worthy supply of characters get knocked down one by one, it occurred to me that Tarantino’s recent masterwork ‘Django Unchained’ feels like ‘Sesame Street’ in comparison. I had a blast! QED.
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is by far the finest cinematic achievement of 2014. If I was to pick my favorite moment (in a film filled with many wonderful moments – hardly a moment went by when I wasn’t smiling), it would be the scene where the prison inmates escape by using miniature sledgehammers, and pickaxes that were smuggled past prison officials inside fancy frosted pastries. If I could describe this scene (or the entire film) in two words: joyous artifice. If this sounds like a Wes Anderson picture, that is because it is.
On the surface, this is a comic caper that defies description. But, it’s a story about storytelling. It’s 1985, and we see a young girl carrying a book called ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Then we see a status of that very writer; following this, we see the writer as an old man (Tom Wilkinson) telling the story behind the story to a documentary crew. Then, we jump back nearly twenty years when he (Jude Law) arrived at the one-time glamorous but now fading Grand Budapest Hotel situated in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. He ends up having dinner with the owner, Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), who tells the story of how we came to run the place (the story that would later become the novel). Rewind back to 1932 when Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori) was the new lobby boy working under the strict command of M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes). M. Gustave not only keeps the hotel and its staff in tiptop shape but also attends to the needs of his clientele – this includes fulfilling the bedroom desires of 84-year-old Madame D. (Tilda Swinton).
When she ends up dead (her death sets everything else in motion), Gustave learns from her attorney (Jeff Goldblum) that he has inherited a priceless painting. This news doesn’t sit well with her adult son Dmitri (Adrien Brody); and there’s a cold-blooded assassin Jopling (Willem Dafoe) to make sure Gustave never gets it. But, Gustave and Zero manage to grab the painting and return to the hotel; at this point, Gustave is framed for her murder. Other players enter: Agatha (Saorise Ronan), an apprentice in Zubrowka’s pre-eminent bakery, Captain Henckels (Edward Norton), the military police chief after Gustave and Zero. The excellent cast also includes Lea Seydoux, Mathieu Amalric, Harvey Keitel, and Anderson devotees such as Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson.
All of this material is presented in standard Wes Anderson style, which is to say, there is nothing standard about it. The recursive story-within-a-story structure signifies the importance of storytelling, or at least how it provides weight to something seemingly meaningless. The filmmaking consists of densely packed compositions and framing, meticulously composed and designed shots, precise and detailed traveling shots to supplement his ingenious and oddly practical imagination, and action sequences absent of digital wizardry in favor of something more old school. The story itself is presented in narrow, orthogonal dimensions that are reminiscent of the films of its 1930s setting. Or at least a third of it; actually, the film presents us with three different layers of history. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is set in three different time periods: present day 1980s, 1960s, and 1930s – early 1940s. Anderson switches between three different aspect ratios so we know where we are (1.85 in the 1980s, 2.40 in the 1960s, and 1.37 in the 1930s-1940s).
Anderson is now one of my favorite filmmakers and I think this is because he has one thing most filmmakers lack – an original vision and one that is expressed seamlessly. Even with a reasonably short runtime of 100 minutes, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is Anderson’s most ambitious undertaking yet. In tackling a complicated section of 20th century European history, and by merging playfulness and humor with some serious and ugly history, Anderson is tasked with the challenge of maintaining tone, but the balance between comedy and drama is perfect. His style has become so distinct and evolved that revisiting his debut feature ‘Bottle Rocket’ will have you thinking “This doesn’t quite feel like Wes Anderson yet.”
For those hoping that Anderson would take a new direction, this isn’t the movie where he does what you want him to. His distinct visual sensibilities remain intact, and he continues to elaborate on familiar themes, and present us with eccentric characters – they appear silly on the surface but contain a lot of depth. Despite its setting, the dialogue is contemporary American. (Almost) no one bothers with European accents – this only adds to the film’s playful absurdity. For some reason, Gustave has an English accent (though his character is modeled after an Austrian). Fiennes’ performance is brilliant; downright hilarious when he needs to be, yes, but his angry outbursts only allude to the darkness of this period. Anderson’s last two efforts had an MPAA PG-13 rating – this one has an MPAA R-rating and so the screenplay offers up plenty of naughty words, naughty deeds, grisly slapstick, and a cat is thrown out the window (well, in ‘The Royal Tenanbaums’, a beagle is flatted by a sports car and a dog is shot with an arrow in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’). These elements don’t sit well with everyone and a cheap argument can be made about how Anderson dislikes pets. But I admire him for having the courage to “bring these pets into the equation” (his words to a Toronto Star reporter). Don’t animals face the same cruel world we humans do?
The movie credits the writings of Stefan Zweig, the Viennese writer whose memoir ‘The World of Yesterday’ was the film’s inspiration. I’m not the least bit familiar with Zweig’s work (and clearly, it’s not a prerequisite to enjoying the heck out of this picture).
On more than one occasion, Gustave speaks of a “glimmer of civilization in the barbaric slaughterhouse we now know as humanity.” He is a fierce survivor. In real-world 1930s, places akin to Zubrowka were on the brink of barbarity and carnage, essentially surviving as an object of nostalgic longing – this longing is embraced by Mr. Anderson. Secondary settings include a muggy prison, a sublime bakeshop, the railway (and other steam-powered modes of transportation); objects (physical and intellectual): telegrams, handmade luggage, paintings, poetry, and psychoanalysis. Anderson captures the strange essence of a bygone world.
The movie is a blast, yes. But, it’s at the service of something more substantial. Others may feel differently, but I can admire the use of comedy as a means of opposition against political oppression. There is a lot going on in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ – Anderson has conjured a world which is subject to tensions that exist on the outset. We don’t see Hitler or Stalin; for all intents and purposes, they don’t exist in this world. But, offhand references to tragic occurrences call attention to the unseen; the darkness that exists outside the frame. And this tension is reflected within the Gustave character – his refined appearance masks some adolescent vulgarity, and angry outbursts, eluding to the darkness of the period. This isn’t real life, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a mostly tasty pasty; that is until, we discover the corrosive properties contained within the bottom layer.
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is Wes Anderson’s eighth feature and I think it is best since ‘Rushmore’. I was charmed (as I usually am with his work) but didn’t expect to be as moved as I was. Here’s to the best film of the year so far. QED.
Last weekend, my friend sent me a text saying “Hey, let’s go see ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman. It’s playing in 3-D at Varsity at 5:05 p.m.” These characters weren’t familiar to me; I hadn’t heard of the film. Apparently, I had seen a trailer for it prior to ‘The Lego Movie’, but it escaped my memory very quickly. Then, there’s the 3-D aspect, which I always dread (unfortunately, a 2-D version of the picture wasn’t playing at a convenient time for us). Then, I read the synopsis online only to discover that the movie’s two main characters were a time-traveling talking dog and his human son. My reply text was “O…k, if that’s what you want to see.”
I’m glad I went. I can’t comment on whether purists who know every episode of the circa 1960s television show will have a great time, but as a newbie who wasn’t in the least familiar with these characters or the premise, I found it to be an imperfect, but fast-moving, witty, consistently funny, and well-intentioned picture.
Like ‘The Lego Movie’, ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ has a number of sight gags and pop-culture jokes that will ricochet off the heads of younger viewers only to have the adult audience members bursting with laugher. One scene in particular had me laughing louder than anyone else in the theater, including the young ones – without spoiling it, be on the lookout for what Beethoven does when he finds himself in 2014.
Oh, and it has some terrific voice performances (which any successful animated comedy needs). Ty Burrell (or Phil Dunphy from ‘Modern Family’) has the perfect line delivery; you know, for Earth’s lone talking dog and the planet’s smartest creature. His credentials: Harvard graduate, Nobel Prize winner, pun enthusiast, Olympic medalist, political advisor, master of every musical instrument, and language known to man. His greatest challenge, though, is being a father to his adopted human son, Sherman. He teaches Sherman about world history by traveling through a time machine he invented called the WABAC (pronounced “Way Back”, get it?). Together, they manage to meet everyone from Gandhi to Jackie Robinson. Does this sound like ‘Bill and Ted’ to you? I was reminded of those pictures. In any event, the best parts of ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ are the encounters with these storied figures.
Max Charles voices dorky 7-year-old Sherman, and Ariel Winter (Alex from ‘Modern Family’) is Penny Peterson – she’s threatened by Sherman’s intellect and life experiences. The two get into a fight at school; Mr. Peabody then arranges a dinner party to meet and smooth things over with Penny’s parents. Sherman tries to impress Penny by showing her the WABAC. Their time-tripping adventure results in a rip in the space-time continuum; and so, they must work together (alongside Mr. Peabody) to repair it.
I noticed all the characters have big heads and large eyes; I guess if you want to illustrate cartoonish facial expressions, um, a cartoon works best for this? Animated feature? You know what I mean. But, for a “large head” animated feature, the human characters don’t seem the least bit freaked out by a talking dog, and so the animation design doesn’t fully serve its purpose.
Because this is a family film, the recipe includes several drops of unabashed sentimentality. Part of the present-day plot involves a child services worker who is unable to accept that a dog (even one as brilliant as Mr. Peabody) is fit to parent a child. Mr. Peabody standing up for his parental rights can be seen as a testament to the increasing prominence of non-traditional family units in our real world. Sherman shows signs of rebelliousness; his genius father always calls the shots and takes care of everything; canine parents don’t seem to recognize the importance of their children’s independence (ahem, or human parents, ahem). I admire the fact that the movie didn’t hit me over the head with this message of family love; the preachyness is limited to a teary, short set of speeches towards the end. The focus is where it ought to be - on the father-son relationship; in this case, the father just happens to be a beagle.
The feature was directed by Ron Minkoff (‘The Lion King’). Now, ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ isn’t nearly as memorable as that picture. It isn’t even in the same league as the recent ‘The Lego Movie’, or ‘The Wind Rises’. But, it succeeds in what it sets out to do: it is a bright, gentle, funny, and good-natured picture.
As fun as the adventures were, they aren’t able to justify the in-your-face 3-D surcharge. Even with the limitations presented by the added dimension, the visuals are vibrant and richly detailed. And, I didn’t suffer a headache watching it (what a complement!). See it in 2-D if you can. QED.
Hayao Miyazki has made nine animated features, including ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Spirited Away’ since he founded Studio Ghibli in 1985. Now, at the age of 72, the filmmaker has announced his retirement and so ‘The Wind Rises’ is his last picture. My guess is he will pass the reigns over to his son, Goro Miyazaki, whose animated feature ‘From Up On Poppy Hill’ played in limited release last year.
Just this past week, we saw ‘Frozen’ win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. However, the picture that deserved the win in this category is ‘The Wind Rises’ if only for the beautiful way it captures the dream of flight. This isn’t the first Studio Ghibli production to feature flying machines (‘Castle in the Sky’, and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ come to mind). Even the name of the studio, Ghibli, means “wind”. To call Miyazaki an aviation enthusiast may be an understatement
It might seem crazy to say ‘The Wind Rises’ is grounded in reality but I’m going to say it. The best animated films make us forget that we’re watching artificially created characters and immerse us into the story. What’s especially distinctive about this work is the absence of fantastical elements, which is usually the trademark of Miyazaki’s features. Instead, this is something of a biopic; a story based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi. That is to say it is the story of a young man who pursues his dreams of being an aeronautical engineer in Japan during the 1930s.
What he ends up designing, though, is Japan’s zero fighter plane – which we know from History class was the aircraft used in the attack on Pearl Harbor. In his dreams, Jiro meets the Italian aircraft designer Count Gianni Caproni who shows off the nine-winged flying boat he would one day build and throws in several philosophical lemmas such as: i) airplanes are beautiful dreams, ii) engineers turn dreams into reality, iii) airplanes are not tools of war, iv) airplanes will be used to bomb cities. Notice the conflicting nature of axioms iii and iv. Jiro seems aware of but seemingly unconcerned with how the fighter plane will be utilized by the military in the event of war.
Personally, I would have preferred a little more attention to Jiro’s inner conflict extending beyond his various dreamed interactions. Any ounce of self doubt or reservations about what he’s doing is shrugged off with serene resignation. He is fascinated with design, even mundane aspects, such as the curvature of a mackerel bone. Of course, such rudimentary fascinations eventually lead to more substantial scientific discoveries – for example, how flush rivets reduce drag.
There is a lot going on in this picture; on top of Jiro’s transition into adulthood and how that is shaped by Japan’s rigid nationalism, we get a glimpse into Japan’s tempestuous history between the two world wars (including the Kanto earthquake, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic, the thought police, and the nation’s dependence on Germany for technology).
But, what ‘The Wind Rises’ lacks in thematic elements it compensates for with a hypnotically mesmerizing visual palette. No one does dreams better than Miyazaki, particularly the dream of flight. The flying sequences, among others, are lyrical, luminous and painted with a surrealism-dabbed vibe, which makes it completely different from the photo-realistic image-sharp quality of today’s 3-D computer-animated features.
Some will dismiss the film as a celebration of a weapon’s designer. This is hard to argue, and consequently for such viewers, it will be difficult to see Jiro from a nonjudgmental lens. Somehow, I was able to, maybe because I saw the picture as a celebration of an artist actively pursuing his dreams. Especially true is the burden of trying to balance work life from family life (even when his new bride is dying from tuberculosis, Jiro remains hard at work).
If this is indeed Miyazaki’s last film, he is certainly flying out on a high note. So, thank you, Hayou Miyazaki, for the cinematic memories you’ve given us for the last 30 years. ‘The Wind Rises’ is currently playing in an English-language dubbed version and in Japanese. A colleague of mine gave the picture a 3/4 star review claiming what hurt the picture was “brutal dubbing”. Lucky for me, I saw it in Japanese with excellent English subtitles and award the film 3.5/4 stars. You should too. QED.
’12 Years a Slave’
‘Dallas Buyers Club’
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Will win: ’12 Years a Slave’
Should win: ‘Her’
’12 Years a Slave’ – Steve McQueen
‘American Hustle’ – David O. Russell
‘Gravity’ – Alfonso Cuaron
‘Nebraska’ – Alexander Payne
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ – Martin Scorsese
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Alfonso Cuaron
Should win: ’12 Years a Slave’ – Steve McQueen
Christian Bale in ‘American Hustle’
Bruce Dern in ‘Nebraska’
Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Chiwetel Ejiofor in ’12 Years a Slave’
Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Will win: Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Should win: Chiwetel Ejiofor in ’12 Years a Slave’
Amy Adams in ‘American Hustle’
Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’
Sandra Bullock in ‘Gravity’
Judi Dench in ‘Philomena’
Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County’
Will win: Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’
Should win: Judi Dench in ‘Philomena’
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi in ‘Captain Phillips’
Bradley Cooper in ‘American Hustle’
Michael Fassbender in ’12 Years a Slave’
Jonah Hill in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Jared Leto in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Will win: Jared Leto in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Should win: Michael Fassbender in ’12 Years a Slave’
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins in ‘ Blue Jasmine’
Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle’
Lupita Nyong’o in ’12 Years a Slave’
Julia Roberts in ‘August: Osage County’
June Squibb in ‘Nebraska’
Will win: Lupita Nyong’o in ’12 Years a Slave’
Should win: Lupita Nyong’o in ’12 Years a Slave’
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
‘American Hustle’ – Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
‘Blue Jasmine’ – Woody Allen
‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
‘Her’ – Spike Jonze
‘Nebraska’ – Bob Nelson
Will win: ‘American Hustle’ – Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Should win: ‘Her’ – Spike Jonze
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
‘Before Midnight’ – Richard Linklater, Julie Deply, Ethan Hawke
‘Captain Phillips’ – Billy Ray
‘Philomena’ – Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
’12 Years a Slave’ – John Ridley
‘ The Wolf of Wall Street’ – Terence Winter
Will win: ’12 Years a Slave’ – John Ridley
Should win: ‘Before Midnight’ – Richard Linklater, Julie Deply, Ethan Hawke
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ (Belgium)
‘The Great Beauty’ (Italy)
‘The Hunt’ (Denmark)
‘The Missing Picture’ (Cambodia)
Will win: ‘The Great Beauty’ (Italy)
Should win: ‘The Great Beauty’ (Italy)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
‘The Act of Killing’
‘Cutie and the Boxer’
’20 Feet from Stardom’
Will win: ’20 Feet from Stardom’
Should win: ‘The Act of Killing’
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
‘Despicable Me 2’
‘Ernest & Celestine’
‘The Wind Rises’
Will win: ‘Frozen’
Should win: Can’t comment yet, as I haven’t seen ‘The Wind Rises’; it opens in Toronto later this month.
‘The Grandmaster’ – Philippe Le Sourd
‘Gravity’ – Emmanuel Lubezki
‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ – Bruno Delbonnel
‘Nebraska’ – Phedon Papamichael
‘Prisoners’ – Roger A. Deakins
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Emmanuel Lubezki
Should win: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ – Bruno Delbonnel
BEST FILM EDITING
‘American Hustle’ – Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alen Baumgarten
‘Captain Phillips’ – Christopher Rouse
‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – John Mac Murphy, Martin Pensa
‘Gravity’ – Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger
’12 Years a Slave’ – Joe Walker
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger
Should win: ‘Gravity’ – Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
‘American Hustle’ – Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
‘Gravity’ – Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woolard
‘The Great Gatsby – Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
‘Her’ – K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena
’12 Years a Slave’ – Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
Will win: ‘The Great Gatsby’ – Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
Should win: ‘Her’ – K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
‘American Hustle’ – Michael Wilkinson
‘ The Grandmaster’ – William Chang Suk Ping
‘The Great Gatsby’ – Catherine Martin
‘The Invisible Woman’ – Michael O’Connor
’12 Years a Slave’ – Patricia Norris
Will win: ‘The Great Gatsby’ – Catherine Martin
Should win: ‘American Hustle’ – Michael Wilkinson
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
‘The Book Thief’ – John Williams
‘Gravity’ – Steven Price
‘Her’ – William Butler, Owen Pallett
‘Philomena’ – Alexandre Desplat
‘Saving Mr. Banks’ – Thomas Newman
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Steven Price
Should win: ‘Her’ – William Butler, Owen Pallett
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
‘Happy’ – ‘Despicable Me’ (Pharrell Williams)
‘Let It Go’ – ‘Frozen’ (Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez)
‘The Moon Song’ – ‘Her’ (Karen O, Spike Jonze)
‘Ordinary Love’ – ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Paul Hewson)
Will win: ‘‘Let It Go’ – ‘Frozen’ (Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez)
Should win: ‘The Moon Song’ – ‘Her’ (Karen O, Spike Jonze)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
‘Gravity’ – Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Shrik and Neil Corbould
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
‘Iron Man 3’ – Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick
‘The Lone Ranger’ – Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ – Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Shrik and Neil Corbould
Should win: ‘Gravity’ – Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Shrik and Neil Corbould
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – Adruitha Lee, Robin Matthews
‘Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa’ – Stephen Prouty
‘The Lone Ranger’ – Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny
Will win: Dallas Buyers Club’ – Adruitha Lee, Robin Matthews
Should win: ‘Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa’ – Stephen Prouty
BEST SOUND MIXING
‘Captain Phillips’ – Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro
‘Gravity’ – Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ – Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson
‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ – Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
‘Lone Survivor’ – Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro
Should win: ‘Gravity’ – Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro
BEST SOUND EDITING
‘All Is Lost’ – Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns
‘Captain Phillips’ – Oliver Tarney
‘Gravity’ – Glenn Freemantle
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ – Brent Burge
‘Lone Survivor’ – Wylie Stateman
Will win: ‘Gravity’ – Glenn Freemantle
Should win: ‘Gravity’ – Glenn Freemantle
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
‘Karma Has No Walls’
‘The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life’
‘Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall’
Will win: ‘The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life’
Should win: ‘Cavedigger’
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
‘Get a Horse’
‘Room on the Broom’
Will win: ‘Get a Horse’
Should win: ‘Room on the Broom’
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
‘Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)’
‘Avant Que De Tout Perdre’
‘Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?’
‘The Voorman Problem’
Will win: ‘The Voorman Problem’
Should win: ‘Avant Que De Tout Perdre’