INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (US) dir. Quentin Tarantino
Tarantino's long in gestation WWII flick.. let's see the reaction:
Todd McCarthy, Variety, was entertained, "By turns surprising, nutty, windy, audacious and a bit caught up in its own cleverness, the picture is a completely distinctive piece of American pop art with a strong Euro flavor that's new for the director. Several explosive scenes and the names of Tarantino and topliner Brad Pitt promise brawny commercial prospects, especially internationally, as the preponderance of subtitled dialogue might put off a certain slice of the prospective domestic audience."
Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter, is tepid, "Inglourious Basterds" merely continues the string of disappointments in this year's Competition. The film is by no means terrible -- its two hours and 32 minutes running time races by -- but those things we think of as being Tarantino-esque, the long stretches of wickedly funny dialogue, the humor in the violence and outsized characters strutting across the screen, are largely missing."
Alex Billington, First Showing, writes, "is it a masterpiece? Not exactly. Tarantino doesn't reach those heights this time, though he does kick things up a notch in a way that even I wasn't expecting. Basterds is a bit light on the action, heavy on the talking, and full of great performances. It's as awesome as Tarantino's first two films and as entertaining as his most recent few. It's the WWII movie we've been waiting to see."
LES HERBES FOLLES (aka Wild Grass) (France/Italy) dir. Alain Resnais
A wallet lost and found opens the door - just a crack - to romantic adventure for Georges and Marguerite.
Dan Fainaru, Screendaily, writes, "Resnais is offering a deceptively simple and elegant picture, which will grow in depth and meaning with every additional viewing."
Duane Birge, Screendaily, writes, "at its roots, "Wild Grass" is merely a compilation of eye-candy fluff. It distracts with its warm visuals, but never fully fleshes out. With its thin narrative and elliptical story jumps, "Wild Grass" crashes and burns in a pretentious and unsatisfying manner."
Jordan Mintzer, Variety, writes, "the pic is marked by superb performances and a dazzling technical display by the helmer and praiseworthy cinematographer Eric Gautier. "Grass" should spread abundantly among the auteur's enthusiasts, but probably won't grow far outside the arthouse lawn."
EINAYM PKUHOT (aka Eyes Wide Open) (Israel/France/Germany) dir. Haim Tabakman
(En Certain Regard) A first feature for Tabakman, Eyes Wide Open is a gay love story in the heart of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem.
Alissa Simon, Variety, writes, "Taboo-breaking "Eyes Wide Open" is an intense, restrained drama about a married butcher who falls in love with a seductive younger man in Jerusalem's insular ultra-orthodox community. Sensitively helmed feature debut by Haim Tabakman boasts a tightly structured, multi-layered script by Merav Doster, intimate lensing and strong, credible performances."
NANG MAI (Nymph) (Thailand) dir. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
(En Certain Regard)
Twitch Film has a review and calls is, "supernaturally tinged drama...a languidly paced film...a stunning, virtuoso single take shot that tracks the would-be rape through the forest on what appears to be a blend of dolly, steadicam and crane work - Ratanaruang is beyond deliberate in his pacing of things...Though very well acted and clearly well constructed, Nymph is certainly the least commercial film of Ratanaruang’s career."