An Overview of Le Festival Du Nouveau Cinéma

Le Festival Du nouveau cinéma has been over the past decade, the best film fest in Montreal. Year after year, the organizers have practically outdone themselves in concocting a program that would satisfy the most fervent of cinema fans.

Over the next 14 days, I will be cramming into my schedule close to 40 movies from more than 20 countries. You can call it a film geek’s wet dream or you can call it movie overload. If you are a fan of cinema and always think outside the box, Le Festival Du nouveau cinéma is for you with its eclectic selection and all around satisfying vibe.

A Selection a Movies to catch at this year’s FDNC

David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars got pushed back to 2015, in spite of the probability that Julianne Moore’s performance could have easily nabbed a best actress nod. She plays a down-and-out actress, desperate for her next big shot. In fact, every time she’s on screen the film ignites with excitement. Moore hasn’t been this fascinating in years and fully deserved her Best Actress prize at Cannes earlier in May. In Map to the Stars she plays a down and out actress desperate for her comeback role, suffice to say, it never comes. Cronenberg pushes every character in his movie to the furthest edge possible, no one leaves unscathed and the results –however over the top they may be-are pure Cronenberg: served black. It’s a Hollywood satire that pokes fun at the elite, the characters remind you of stars like Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber among others. The darts are toxic and the end result is disturbing.

In Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal lost close to thirty pounds to give his creepiest performance ever as Lou Bloom. With shades of Travis Bickle, this astoundingly intense movie has Gyllenhaal chasing down murder scenes and videotaping them for L.A news outlets in exchange for cash. It’s a shady business and Gyllenhaal’s character is a dirtbag trying to make it to the big time, even if it means having to blackmail, lie or murder his way through fame and fortune. Bloom is a driven man, reminiscent of a sociopath, whose motivation and seeming lack of empathy make him successful at what he does. As a character, he grows more and more “motivated” and seems to learn his business in such a way to bring him amazing success, but to the determinant, perhaps, of his assistant and the victims of these crimes. This was the best acting performance I saw at TIFF and at festival’s end everybody was still talking about Gyllenhaal. It’s the kind of performance that can’t be forgotten—and the best of his exceptional but young career.

Jean-Marc Vallée struck gold last year for Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club and this year he might do the same magic for Reese Witherspoon’s passionate performance in “Wild” as a grief-stricken woman who decides to go through a gruelling 1000 mile hike through the pacific crest trail all by herself. The highly talented actress has never been better than in this movie, and the film itself is bravely directed and shot by Vallée. The film recalls Sean Penn’s Into the Wild and Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours in its main characters’ brave and isolated searches for their own identities and self worth.

Belgian Director Fabrice Du Welz doesn’t make safe, comforting movies. His movies are raw, edgy and tremendously provoking to the senses. His newest film is called Allelujah and is his twist on the Honeymoon Killers. Starring Lola Duenas and Laurent Lucas in memorably twisted performances, it’s the kind of movie that it’s better to know nothing of before immersing yourself into its no-rule world. I can say this: A man and a woman fall in love and decide to go on a Bonnie and Clyde-like killing spree filled with jealousy, violence and lustful vengeance. The result is unshakeable and the kind of film with the potential to achieve cult status.

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