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Blue Is the Warmest Color

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Catherine Salée, Aurélien Recoing, Sandor Funtek, Alma Jodorowsky

10


Lee Seydoux
Blue Is the Warmest Color


If Adele Exarchopoulos’ Adele is the force of nature that can’t be stopped, Lea Seydoux’s Emma is the catalyst through which she faces the facts of life. We first see Emma through Adeles’s eyes, as they cross paths in a random street, her blue hair with traces of what once was blonde, she haunts the young Adele’s dreams before she even knows her name. Once she meets her, it’s impossible for her and for us not to fall head over heels over someone who exudes talent and effortless sensuality. Seydoux allows Exarchopoulos to project all her strongest desires on her, and as such gives a performance that’s equally powerful but certainly quieter. The beauty of her Emma is that when the movie ends we realize that we all have known her and once we all loved her too. Jose Solis


 

cover art

Blue Is the Warmest Color

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Catherine Salée, Aurélien Recoing, Sandor Funtek, Alma Jodorowsky

9


Adele Exarchopoulous
Blue Is the Warmest Color


There is a certain amount of bravery involved in acting. Sadly, it only comes up when a nude scene is involved. By now, anyone who knows anything about Blue Is the Warmest Color knows this certainly applies. Yet the film’s lead actress, Adele Exarchopoulous, deserves more praise for the choices she makes with her clothes on. In what was almost constantly an extremely tight frame, Exarchopoulous utilizes every inch of her limited space. The bravado role requires incredible range, and to display such a spectrum with only a few inches available makes her performance all the more incredible. She draws you into her world at every turn, even when she can’t physically turn. Brave doesn’t begin to describe her achievement. Ben Travers


 

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Saving Mr. Banks

Director: John Lee Hancock
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Colin Farrell

8


Emma Thompson
Saving Mr. Banks


Few people are as delightful to watch onscreen as Emma Thompson. The British legend who had been conspicuously missing from screens in recent years is back to play Mary Poppins’ writer P.L. Travers in a film that deals with the process through which Walt Disney (played with infectious gusto by Tom Hanks) convinced the tough Australian writer to let him make a movie out of her beloved books. Fluff of the best kind, the film is a concoction so sugary that Travers herself would surely disapprove of everything at hand except perhaps for Thompson’s honest portrayal of a woman who learned from an early age that she was all she had in the world. The brilliant actress delivers the catty one liners with unbridled pleasure, but it’s during her quieter moments when we see Travers’ humanity and loneliness shine through. Jose Solis


 

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12 Years a Slave

Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard

7


Lupita Nyong’o
12 Years a Slave


At times it can be hard to distinguish a great performance from an endearing character. You probably see it every awards season, mainly do to the politics, but also because it’s basic human instinct. You fall for what you see, when you see it. No need to separate. No need to worry about it. This could be the case for some when it comes to Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave, but it certainly shouldn’t be. Yes, Patsey is a person for which sympathy is felt at a constant and fervent rate, partly out of the aforementioned human instinct but also because Nyong’o embodies her character with a quiet dignity that slowly morphs into deadened desperation. Her eyes tell her story, and those are all Nyong’o. Ben Travers


 

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American Hustle

Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence
Amy Adams
American Hustle


If there is a heart, and a soul, to David O. Russell’s love letter to the looser elements of the Me Decade, it’s this petite blond flower. At first, breasts barely exposed in lower than low cut dresses and hair tousled like the day after a bad salon job, we believe that her English gentlewoman via a desperate stripper will be nothing but a buzzkill. But as plans flourish, as partnerships are tested and the law becomes involved, Adam’s Sydney Prosser shows her true grifter skills. Working everyone against each other while it slowly destroys her, she’s the counterbalance to the craziness, the ebb in the lunatic flow between her lover, the FBI, and anyone else who will step in front of her need to be on top. A truly great performance. Bill Gibron


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