There’s a glorious tension in Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, the thick paint holding each of the artist’s gestures like an insect in amber, and the long-hardened material still appearing to shiver and pulse. Animators Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman free that contained movement.
Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel’s signature style blends screwball and romantic comedy with playful fantasy, but Lost in Paris lacks the magical elements of their previous features (Iceberg, Rumba, and The Fairy, co-directed with Bruno Romy).
The can-do optimism of Tomorrow (Demain) sets it apart from other documentaries about the environmental crisis. Mélanie Laurent (Breathe) and Cyril Dion sought out creative problem-solving around the world and in their native France, where their film won a César Award.
Benjamin Millepied is an inspirational figure in the lively backstage documentary Reset, despite his troubled 2014-6 tenure as Dance Director of the Paris Opera Ballet. Directors Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai portray Millepied as a dynamo transforming the rigorous institution into an innovative company.
Casablanca is a sharply political movie, displaying overt admiration for anti-fascist activists and sympathy for refugees while subtly probing the corrosiveness of appeasement. Against the current rise of nationalism and xenophobia, the political climate that generations have taken as a backdrop for the romance of Ilsa Lund and Rick Blaine crashes to the forefront.