Films to see (or not) on January 15

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“1917”, “Swallow”, “Selfie (of the influence of digital technology on honest people)”, “A beautiful team” … They hit theaters this Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Here is the editorial opinion.

1917

Watching certain films, you can guess that they will make a mark. 1917 of Sam Mendes is one of these. After directing the last two parts of the James Bond saga, the British filmmaker tackled another major project with this war film, a true immersion in the horror of the trenches. Or the story of two young English soldiers, who undertake to cross enemy lines in order to transmit a message which could prevent the death of hundreds of soldiers on the battlefield. Yes 1917 is so successful, it is above all thanks to its technical aspect. The film is nothing more or less than a long sequence shot. Of course, Sam Mendes did not shoot it in one go. But on the screen, the illusion is absolutely perfect. As in Celine’s novel, we travel at the end of the night and the horror. More than just another war feature, 1917 is above all a real sensory experience facing the spectator. Both testing and moving, the film also benefits from a luxury cast, between rising stars (George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman …) and Hollywood stars (Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch …). Very large cinema.

  • From Sam Mendes. With George MacKay, Dean Charles-Chapman, Richard Madden … 1h55
  • Express Rating: 18/20

Selfie (of the influence of digital on honest people)

People addicted to their mobile phones and new technologies will certainly recognize themselves in the characters of Selfie (of the influence of digital on honest people). An extended title, which could be that of a thesis in sociology. And that’s just a bit of what it is all about. In this (very) funny sketch film, five directors explore the relationship that we, the ultra-connected human beings of the 21st century, have with our smartphone. The diagnosis is final. The abuse of digital technology makes you jealous, vile and even a bit stupid. Looking at all these characters entangled in their contradictions and their bad faith, one thinks of the comic genius of monsters by Dino Risi, a true reference in terms of sketch film. Some passages are more successful than others (special mention to Blanche Gardin, hilarious as a mother ready to do anything to break through on You Tube). But overall, selfie manages to keep up with the pace, to the end that is as funny as it is disturbing. It’s fair and uplifting. After this movie, you may well look at your phone in a completely different way. We take bets.

  • By Thomas Bidegain, Marc Fitoussi, Tristan Aurouet, Cyril Gelblat, Vianney Lebasque. With Blanche Gardin, Elsa Zylberstein, Manu Payet … 1h46
  • Express Rating: 16/20

A great team

Mohamed Hamidi likes culture clashes. In born somewhere, a Frenchman met his funny Algerian cousin during an initiation trip. With So far, so good, it was about the confrontation between Paris and its suburbs. His new film, A great team, also evokes two distinct worlds which were not intended to intersect. On the one hand, football and on the other, the daily life of some housewives from a small town in the North. Following a fight that results in the suspension of all of its players, a coach decides to save the club by constituting a team of women. A decision that does not take long to cringe. A great team is a real feel good movie. If the feature film is not necessarily surprising from a purely cinematographic point of view, it still manages to make an impression on certain points. Starting with its feminine cast, whose eclecticism causes sparks. Take the cerebrality of Celine Sallette, the sweet madness of Laure Calamy, the explosive temper of Sabrina Ouazani, shake well and you get a warm comedy. The ideal family entertainment for the start of the year.

  • From Mohamed Hamidi. With Kad Merad, Celine Sallette, Sabrina Ouazani … 1h35
  • Express Rating: 14/20

Swallow

Be careful, this is a real UFO! In English, “swallow” means “swallow”. Hunter, a young woman with no stories and no apparent neuroses, becomes pregnant and gradually begins to swallow funny food. Earth, nails, razor blades … Everything that comes to hand ends up in his mouth. Around her, her husband and relatives end up worrying. First feature film by the American Carlo Mirabella-Davis, Swallow is a strange work, halfway between thriller, comedy and the study of manners. From Pica, a compulsive eating disorder that actually exists, the filmmaker makes a film that makes us delightfully uncomfortable. We think of David Cronenberg’s cinema in front of the story of this woman whose fad ends up becoming a real barrier in her social relationships. With its direct production and its surprising scenario, Swallow stands out as an atypical experience to say the least. Above all, there is Haley Bennett. Somewhere between Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence, she radiates the screen of her diaphanous beauty and her talent which leaves no doubt. A (great) actress was born.

  • By Carlo Mirabella-Davis. With Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Dennis O’Hare … 1h34
  • Express Rating: 15/20

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