Posts Tagged ‘Mélanie Laurent’


Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the timely immigration drama “Blue Bayou,” “Copshop,” the new action thriller starring Gerard Butler and “The Mad Women’s Ball.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Clint Eastwood’s latest “Cry Macho,” the timely immigration drama “Blue Bayou,” “Copshop,” the new action thriller starring Gerard Butler and “The Mad Women’s Ball.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE MAD WOMEN’S BALL: 3 STARS. “melodramatic story of survival.”

“The Mad Woman’s Ball,” a new Gothic, French language thriller now streaming on Amazon Prime, is a human look at the dehumanizing oppression foisted upon patients at Paris’s notorious 19th century Pitié-Salpêtrière psychiatric hospital.

Young socialite Eugénie Cléry’s (Lou de Laâge) father is not happy. Her rebellious behaviour, like

sneaking off to read poetry and smoke at cafes, offends his deeply conformist world view. Even worse is her newfound belief in spiritualism. Eugénie believes she can communicate with the dead. Those encounters leave her in a state of anxiety and cher vieux papa Cléry is having none of it. Embarrassed, he forcefully commits her to Pitié-Salpêtrière, a women’s hospital specializing in experimental treatments devised by Professor Jean-Martin Charcot (Grégoire Bonnet).

Diagnosed as “hysterical,” she finds solace in the company of Geneviève (Laurent), a sympathetic nurse who believes Eugénie doesn’t belong at the facility. Together they plan the young woman’s escape on the night of the hospital’s degrading “Bal des Folles,” (Mad Woman’s Ball) where Paris elite mix with the clinic’s patients.

An adaptation from the 2019 book by Victoria Mas, “The Mad Woman’s Ball” is a melodramatic story of survival set against the backdrop of the barbaric beginnings of psychiatric medicine.

Director Laurent paints an evocative picture of life inside the 19th century hospital. Laughs and screams fill the air as Laurent’s camera details the gothic details of the facility. On the inside intimidation and oppression loom heavy, but the storytelling is compassionate. Eugénie and Geneviève are soldiers in the fight against fight against misogyny, personified by men like the arrogant Professor Charcot and Eugénie’s father, who oppress them and ultimately, misunderstand them.

It’s powerful storytelling, buoyed by wonderful performances, marred only by the occasionally overwrought contrivance. “The Mad Woman’s Ball” is best in its quiet moments between Eugénie and Geneviève when the power of their solidarity is heightened.



Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the reboot of “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm” and the kid-friendly “Mia and the White Lion” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

MIA AND THE WHITE LION: 2 ½ STARS. “breathes the same air as ‘Born Free.’”

The family drama “Mia and the White Lion” breathes the same air as “Born Free,” “The Black Stallion” and even “Bedtime for Bonzo.” While it feels like many other humans-and-their-beloved-animal films is its political stance. Woven into the story is strong criticism of South African laws that allow lions to be sold and hunted in enclosed areas. “It’s the way South Africa works,” says Mia’s father John (Langley Kirkwood). “It’s the way it has always worked.”

When we first meet Mia Owen (Daniah De Villiers) she is a young girl upset about leaving her life and friends in London behind when her family moves to South Africa. Alone, separated from all she knows, Mia makes an unusual friend, Charlie, a white lion cub born on her father’s farm. Three years in Mia’s parents worry about her safety. Charlie has grown and while the bond between he and his human is strong, for her own safety Mia’s parents forbid her to see her best friend. When it appears Mia’s father will sell Charlie to hunters to protect his daughter the plucky teen steps up to save her leonine buddy.

Like the Oscar winning “Boyhood,” director Gilles de Maistre’s “Mia and the White Lion” was shot over the course of several years. That allowed De Villiers to form a relationship with Charlie in real life as well as convincingly grow up on screen. The process makes for some startling, realistic moments between Charlie and his lion whispering friend. Unfortunately, their intimacy is the only really surprising thing about the movie. Good messaging about animal welfare aside, “Mia and the White Lion” relies a little too heavily on predictable, family film tropes and cardboard characters to maintain interest.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the reboot of “Hellboy” starring David Harbour as Big Red, the stop-motion animated “Missing Link,” the Ethan Hawke bank heist “Stockholm” and the kid-friendly animal flick “Mia and the White Lion.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 3.14.58 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” the great Greta Gerwig’s “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.38.58 AMRichard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the magically delicious “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” Greta Gerwig’s marvelous “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

NOW YOU SEE ME 2: 3 ½ STARS. “mix of action, intrigue and magic is a fun diversion.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.16.01 AMThree years ago “Now You See Me” played like “Ocean’s Eleven” reimagined by Penn and Teller. A magical heist movie, it introduced a prestidigitation collective known as The Four Horsemen—Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher (replaced by Lizzy Caplan in this sequel), Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco—who outsmarted the FBI and Interpol with some highly focused hocus pocus. The tricksters stole from the rich to give to the poor—the poor people who paid premium prices to see their shows.

When asked how any of this could have happened Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Mélanie Laurent) says, “Some things are best left unexplained.”

Also left unexplained is how a star-studded but modest hit like “Now You See Me” spawned a sequel three years after it briefly played in theatres.

The new film, “Now You See Me 2,” begins one year after the last one ended with the Four Horsemen staging a comeback. This time, however, the trick backfires and the magicians are forced to escape, fleeing from one side of the world to the other via a giant chute.

New York to China in under a minute. “This makes no sense,” says J. Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg) upon arrival in China. Damn right. It’s that kind of movie. Buy into that and the rest of the movie’s twists and turns will seem… if not quite believable than a little less preposterous. The world’s greatest magicians have just become the object of someone else’s magic trick.

In Macau, the Vegas of China, the mysterious tech genius Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe)—imagine Harry Potter with a James Bond villain vibe—forces them to use their skills to pull off a seemingly impossible heist, the theft of “the stick,” a device able to hack any computer on earth. Using misdirection, hypnotism, showmanship and sleight-of-hand—coupled with some good old-fashioned CGI movie magic—the Horsemen must pull off their greatest trick—exposing Mabry.

“Now You See Me 2” has a serious case of the sillies but luckily it embraces its silliness. Revels in it, even. For instance Caplan’s character Lula is best known for a previously unheard of magic trick, pulling a hat out of a rabbit. Make sense? Nope, but in “Now You See Me 2’s” world it doesn’t have to.

It all makes sense in a Harry Houdini misdirected kind of way, but don’t worry if the labyrinthine plot loses you here and there. Every few minutes one of the characters explains what’s just happened, or what is about to happen. Even though magicians aren’t supposed to tell their secrets the Horsemen can’t seem to stop giving away the movie’s riddles. There’s way too much exposition but by and large the mix of action, intrigue and magic is a fun diversion.