But their newest, Two Days, One Night, pulled me in almost instantly and held me to its gripping conclusion. It's a small story -- an individual's fight for her economic life and that of her family in the suburbs of Liege, Belgium.
Say whatever else you want to about 2014, here's one thing I know for sure. It had 365 days. And since new movies opened on screens across the USA on a great many of those days, I feel compelled to consider the year in films.
I've been covering the New York Film Festival since 1987 and have, over the years, developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with it, as an institution (specifically, Film Society of Lincoln Center) and as a festival.
The Dardennes offer a fascinating glimpse of the human face when confronted up-close with a moral choice between compassion and self-interest.
Watching a Dardenne film always reminds of the anxiety and trepidation I felt before getting a tenured job. Their new film Two Days, One Night, which premiered this week at Cannes, did the same.
While not perfect, it is more than just a feel-good sports movie about overcoming obstacles (though it is, in fact, that). Million Dollar Arm is less a movie about sports (in this case, baseball) than a film about one man's transformation from sports agent to human being.
The closing awards ceremony of the Marrakech International Film Festival this evening was unusually emotional for me -- for after a week of running in...
The Marrakech International Film Festival opened this weekend with a ceremony introducing the star-studded jury, including French actress Marion Cotil...
Only some of the crowd greeting French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum, wore his clothes, easily identified by the tab on the back....
The acting is stilted, the orchestral score too sentimental for my taste, and the storyline etched in obvious contours. James Gray's film The Immi...
Cheap, amateurish and sometimes just plain hard to watch, Beasts enjoyed a wave of overwrought critical hosannas, going all the way back to when the film first was shown more than a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival.
Picture the saturated, happy colors of resorts in travel brochures. Now imagine the opposite, beaches in dour tones in perpetual off-season. That is the look of Rust and Bone.
In the balcony, spirits soared. Indie filmmakers labor long and hard to secure financing for their projects so when it comes time to play, pop those corks!
The visual trickery will catch your attention -- but it's the performance behind it that will hold you and move you in Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone, opening Friday in limited release.
Where danger is no longer an option in the form of whale training, Stephanie is drawn, like a moth to the flame, to the volatile volcano that is Ali. He is a construct of unbridled testosterone and is completely temperamental. His temper trigger is slight and his fury explosive.
With Rust and Bone, Jacques Audiard went smaller in scope and perhaps bets too much on the likeability of Cotillard as an actress, but his ability of using visuals to enhance his storytelling keeps him in an important class of current filmmakers.