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CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PART 4

“SUNDOWN” Set within the sizzling confines of Acapulco, Mexico. Director Michel Franco, sustained by a momentous performance by Tim Roth, questions man’s dominance over his choices and subsequent consequences.

THREE & ½ STARS

“LOVE, CHARLIE: THE RISE AND FALL OF CHEF CHARLIE TROTTER” Director Rebecca Halpern’s dissection of Trotter’s escalation from childhood to eminence is a “must see” triumph; Shakespearean in scale, his quest for Michelin’s THREE STARS, categorically consumed him. This analyzation of a man whose ambition catastrophically altered the nation’s perception of cuisine is meteoric.

FIVE STARS!!!!!

“PETITE MAMAN”   (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) Director Celine Sciamma (“Portrait of a Woman on Fire”) in this lovely, subtly enchanting film where two eight-year-old girls connect and fantasize a future where their paths entwine; the potency lies in the film’s capacity to awaken memories, long dormant, of childhood traumas, haunts, loves, fashioning the adult one has become.

FOUR STARS!!!!

“SILENT LAND”      (POLISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) Director Agnieszka Woszczynska places an almost too perfect couple on a blazing Italian island; their self-centeredness comes to the fore when an immigrant worker suffers a freakish demise while fixing their swimming pool; relevance rests in how one continues life after an irrevocable decision. The final scene consummately answers the question.

FOUR STARS!!!!

“CAPTAIN VOLKONOGOV ESCAPED”  (RUSSIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) Directors Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov have in the persona of “Captain Volkonogov” fashioned a metaphor for redemption after committing the most heinous crimes: torture of innocents, until they confess; Volkonogov’s mission after stealing the file of victims is to seek out their survivors, assure them of their kin’s innocence, his culpability, and begs for forgiveness. Poetically profound.

FOUR STARS!!!!

“A CHIARA”     (ITALIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) Director Jonas Carpignano’s pulsating scenario of fifteen-year-old “Chiara’s” hunt as to why her adored father has deserted his family; Swamy Rotolo overwhelms as the incorrigible Chiara, dynamiting rules, dictates, until she finalizes her undertaking. Commencing and concluding with an eighteen-year-old birthday party, here is a film that scores with extraordinary verisimilitude.

FIVE STARS!!!!!

Peneflix 

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