November 2nd, 2008

Slartibartfast

Reader, Valkyrie, Christmas Tale, The Class, Reclaiming the Blade

The Reader     HD480p 33MB   HD720p 107MB
Adaptation of the novel written by Bernhard Schlink that opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg (David Kross) becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna (Kate Winslet), a stranger twice his age. He recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. He discovers that she loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and he is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life - this time as a defendant in the courtroom.
Ralph Fiennes plays Michael as a grown-up, Lena Olin, Bruno Ganz and Alexandra Maria Lara round up the cast of the intense drama. Directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours). For German readers, the size of their roles probably won't be big but there's a long list of further respectable German actors: Burghart Klaußner, Karoline Herfurth, Hannah Herzsprung, Susanne Lothar, Matthias Habich, Claudia Michelsen, Jürgen Tarrach.
It looks less ambitious than Revolutionary Road but I think there's still a chance that Winslet will compete with herself this year at the Oscars.

Valkyrie     HD480p 51MB   HD720p 126MB
I don't think it was really necessary but another, totally differently cut trailer for the movie about Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), the aristocratic German officer who led the heroic attempt to bring down the Nazi regime and end the war by planting a bomb in Hitler's bunker. Extensive cast includes Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Eddie Izzard, Tom Hollander, Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp and Kevin McNally. Directed by Bryan Singer.
My dislike of Cruise aside, despite all the delays, it sure looks like a very thrilling movie.

A Christmas Tale - Un conte de Noël     HD480p 45MB   HD720p 110MB    UK 16MB
A French contribution to the always popular dysfunctional-family-meets-on-holiday genre. The Vuillard's shared history of physical and mental illness, estrangement, self harm, and loss doesn't lead itself to the idea of a cheerful holiday season. But can a Christmastime reunion, a scheme concocted by three of the youngest family members, finally bring peace their clan? Among the family members are Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Anne Consigny, Emmanuelle Devos, Hippolyte Girardot, Chiara Mastroianni and Melvil Poupaud.
While almost 2 1/2 hours long it nevertheless looks pretty entertaining. You can choose between the US and a UK trailer version. The US one looks funnier but I suspect the UK one gives a better impression of the movie.

The Class - Entre les murs     HD480p 44MB   HD720p 101MB
US trailer for this year's winner in Cannes and France's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film which is based on the book by François Bégaudeau who plays a version of himself. It's a documentary-like movie in which he and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighbourhood. Armed with the best intentions, they brace themselves to not let discouragement stop them from trying to give the best education to their students. Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom, a microcosm of contemporary France. As amusing and inspiring as the (real) teenaged students can be, their difficult behaviour can still jeopardise any teacher's enthusiasm for the low-paying job.

Reclaiming the Blade     HD480p 28MB   HD720p 95MB
I can't even say if it's more a documentary about the use of swords in movies or about swords in general, but it features Viggo Mortensen and Karl Urban as talking heads which might be enough for some of you to get interested. At least in the trailer.