Except for the few who have retired I do not know anyone who does not need to work for a living. If I sit and think about it I believe I know at least one person who works in almost every industry, from medical to Fortune 500 to horticulture. Even a stay at home parent who is raising a child is doing a job in essence. It would never occur to me to judge a person based on their occupation, yet I see so many people who do that very thing. For some time now I still get amused by the reactions I get from people when I tell them what I do for a living. When I mention I am a credit manager the usual response I get is one of curiosity bordering on fear as if I can investigate their credit report. If I say I am a fitness/yoga instructor I either get a look of disbelief because I assume I do not look like a typical instructor or a look of admiration for lack of a better description. Now I am curious as anyone else so I enjoy asking a person what they do for a living because I want to know why they do what they do or how they wound up working in that industry. To me it is another avenue in getting to know someone. Also, I know there is a big difference between doing what you want as opposed to doing something because you have to survive. EARLY in the 20th century women had less opportunity to make a living let alone stay alive. This award winning drama captured the look and feel of the time period. I had a general feeling of sadness as I watched this DVD because of the women’s circumstances. Starring Noemie Lvovsky (Camille Rewinds, My Old Lady) as Marie-France, Celine Sallete (Rust and Bone, Marie Antoinette) as Clotilde, Iliana Zabeth (Saint Laurent, Young & Beautiful) as Pauline and Hafsia Herzi (The Secret of the Grain, The Source) as Samira; I thought the acting was very good. It was not an easy story for me to watch personally just because I do not enjoy seeing anyone who is being taken advantage of and in this story there was an abundance of it. What I thought was a poor choice and ruined a scene for me was having these early 20th century women dancing to a piece of current music; it was so out of synch for what had been created that I found it jarring. The script kept a slow smoldering type of pace that did not provide for much action; almost all the scenes stayed in one location. Even now I am still processing the couple of bloody scenes and the ending because I do not feel complete with them. If one is uncomfortable with nudity there was a majority of it in this film. Without making a judgment I have to say life was much harder back then. French was spoken with English subtitles.
2 ½ stars – DVD
The passage of time quickly vanishes any time one sees the person responsible for them having stored inside of themself fond memories. It does not matter if it is a real or fictional person; the fun feelings do not discriminate. It is like this old friend I have who lives across the country from me. We may not talk or see each other for months and months, but as soon as we do it seems as if we had just been together a day or two before. That bond we formed decades ago continues just as flexible and permanent as it did back then. I experienced a similar reaction when I saw some of my classmates when I attended my high school reunion recently. It is relatively easy for me to attach these types of feelings onto an actress or actor based on their screen roles. There is one actress I am especially fond of because I know every time I go to see one of her movies I will never be disappointed by her performance. Even if the film is not that good, she still shines in it. This explains why some people do not bother reading reviews (except for mine I hope) when their favorite movie star is in the cast, since they are going to see them anyway. It does not matter what genre or time period; the feelings people have for their actors never waivers unless something blatant changes their opinion. For me, once I saw one of the actors in this action adventure film I was reminded of his comical martial arts skills. VITAL for continued growth throughout the region Hua An, played by Jackie Chan (Rush Hour franchise, Shanghai Knights), and his band of trained warriors would stop at nothing to protect the Silk Road. When a new threat appeared, Hua An would need to forge alliances between warring factions if he wanted to keep the road from falling into enemy forces. This award winning drama was filled with massive, spectacular fight scenes. Seeing Jackie back on screen after all this time was fun to see. His style of martial arts always had a comical goofiness to it. Where someone like Bruce Lee was always serious in his fighting, Jackie comes across as if he stumbled in the situation; he incorporates any and all objects around him into the fight. With John Cusack (Maps to the Stars, Love & Mercy) as General Lucius and Adrien Brody (The Pianist, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Tiberius, the three of them could have done so much better if the story was not so over the top filled with melodrama. For such an historical moment, the script did not do anyone justice here. If it was not for my fond memories of this type of action hero movie, I would have been bored. There was blood and violence throughout the film.