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It’s hard not to be a fan of Mélanie Laurent, thanks to her star turns in films such as Beginners and Inglourious Basterds. But we suspect in due time she will be known as much if not more so for her accomplishments behind the camera, which is why we jumped at the chance to see her sophomore directorial effort at its world premiere in Cannes. Based on a popular French YA novel, the film springboards from its source material to deliver a refreshingly genuine and frightening cautionary tale about the perils of being a teenager. But perhaps what struck us most was the incredible screen presence of ingénue Lou de Laage as the film’s captivating antagonist. Rightfully compared to both Angelina Jolie and Jeanne Moreau by The New York Times, de Laage stole the show in a performance that we predict will be looked back upon as “starmaking.” Ms. Laurent expertly captures her and co-star Josephine Japy in an uncommonly authentic portrait of dangerous youth, employing her honed directorial skill in service of the film’s mounting tension as well as its glorious aesthetic sensibility. By the time the credits rolled, we were left speechless - in fact it wouldn’t be too much to say the film took our breath away.
This month’s Film Club selection is SECOND COMING, written and directed by acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning playwright Debbie Tucker Green and starring Golden Globe Award-winning actor Idris Elba.
Second Coming presents a domestic drama of quietly epic proportions. In a moment of crisis, Jax – played with restrained intensity by Nadine Marshall – discovers she is pregnant under situations that seem to prove this a biological impossibility. Her mysterious condition becomes an incredibly painful test of her marriage to Mark, played by the incomparable Idris Elba. Playwright Debbie Tucker Green treats this narrative, and its potentially controversial ramifications, with insight and assurance. Second Coming has the quality of an urban fable, which allows for a measure of fantasy along with its stark realism. Equal attention to grit and sentimentality yield a potent film which is sure to move its audience as it did us.
Critics continue to rave about #Theeb! NOW PLAYING #LosAngeles - This week’s engagements include showtimes in #BeverlyHills, #Pasadena, #Encino and #Claremont. For complete theater listings visit: Theebfilm.com