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Top 3 Critic’s Picks In Theaters this February: Caesar Must Die, Porfirio and No

Apart from some foreign items Lore (Music Box Films – 2/8/13) and Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love (Sundance Selects – 2/15/13), classic re-issue of Little Fugitive (Artists Public Domain – 2/1/13), a guilty pleasure in Soderbergh’s Side Effects (Open Road Films – 2/8/13) and experimental docu A Rubberband Is an Unlikely Instrument (Factory 25 – 2/8/13), it’ll once again slim pickings in the month of February. Here our this month’s top 3 Critic’s Picks.

Caesar Must Die – Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Lincoln Plaza Cinemas & Film Forum on Wednesday the 6th – Adopt Films
Festival Awards: Golden Berlin Bear & Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Berlin Film Festival – 2012)
What the critic’s are saying?: Screen Daily’s Lee Marshall appears to be much impressed stating “now into their eighties, the Taviani brothers show with this remarkable, fresh and moving drama-documentary they have lost none of that mix of observational rigour and sympathy for the underdog that marked early films like Padre Padrone, their 1977 Palme d’Or winner.” Variety’s Jay Weissberg calls the semi-docu a “well-worn idea of prison theatricals and fashioned it into an attractive yet only superficially thought-provoking“, while David Rooney was a little more kind mentioning that “while the excerpts from the much-applauded public performance in a traditional auditorium are dynamic (switching back to color), it’s in rehearsals in such incongruous spaces as prison cells and corridors that the scenes from Shakespeare acquire new resonance.”

Porfirio – Alejandro Landes
U.S. Theatrical Premiere begins at MoMA: One Week Only: February 8-14, 2013 – Magic Lantern
Festival Awards: Directors’ Fortnight selection
What the critic’s are saying?: Variety’s Justin Chang calls this a “true-life account [that] plays out in dryly empathetic, patiently observed fashion“, and a “painstaking study of paralysis, physical and otherwise, that gently blurs the line between documented reality and fictional reconstruction“. THR’s Kirk Honeycutt underlines how the film works best when he mentions that “Porfirio is its own breed of cat that is a tribute both to the filmmaker and his subject in their openness to exploring the seemingly banal in order to gain a greater perspective on humanity, spirituality and the tragi-comedy that is life.”

No – Pablo Larrain
NYC/ Los Angeles 15th – Sony Pictures Classics
Festival Awards: C.I.C.A.E. Award in Cannes and was Chile’s Best Foreign Language Film entry
What the critic’s are saying?: Invited to Cannes, TIFF, Telluride, Sundance, while Screen Daily’s Lee Marshall appears to not get the ingenuity of the film’s key visual choice, “Larrain’s bizarre decision to make his film blend in with its extensive passages of archive footage by shooting in U-matic – the default TV production format of the 1980s – makes for an uncomfortable cinematic viewing experience” we find IndieWire.com’s Eric Kohn is totally on board with the gimmick, “his use of outdated video, initially harsh on the eyes, eventually becomes the movie’s biggest coup: As “No” cuts between the scripted scenes and real footage of the campaign infomercials, the two layers of narrative blend together to create a seamless period piece that inhabits the campaign’s message.”

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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