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The meaning of Christmas is something that we all kind of intuit, but it’s also something that Christmas movies have a very hard time agreeing upon. A Christmas Carol and its many reiterations celebrate the holiday’s potential for personal redemption; Miracle on 34th Street and Elf think Christmas is a time to believe; A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas set out to save the holiday from its worst consumer impulses; and...
“I thought you would love me forever,” says Nathalie to her husband of thirty years, after he suddenly declares that he’s leaving her for a younger woman. It’s likely not the response you’re expecting to hear uttered from Isabelle Huppert, the formidable actress best known for her defiant, icy portrayals in such relentlessly unsentimental films as The Piano Teacher and this year’s Paul Verhoeven come-back Elle. And while she delivers the disappointment matter-of-factly, as...
Things to Come Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve Opens December 2 A perceptive drama about big changes at middle age, the writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve’s deceptively modest fifth feature, Things to Come, follows a philosophy professor as she faces a series of personal and professional upheavals. Over the course of the film, which earlier this year won the 35-year-old Hansen-Løve a best-director prize at Berlin, Nathalie Chazeaux (Isabelle Huppert) suddenly separates from her fellow-philosopher husband of 25 years (André Marcon),...
The 66th annual Berlin International Film Festival ran February 11-21. Walking around Berlin in the thick, grey winter (perhaps, specifically, as a foreigner) is oddly analogous to the moviegoing experience: there’s a strange sense of freedom to be found amid the pervasive, yet decidedly shared, sense of isolation that hovers over the city. Now in its 66th year, the Berlinale unfolds primarily in and around the bubble of Potsdamer Platz, a central, post-war creation that’s...

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