Berlin Film Festival – Our Favourite Bits
It goes without saying that the premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey was one of our highlights of this years festival. Despite mixed reviews from some critics which we fans completely ignored, the screening was deemed a success by festival director Dieter Kosslick who said “We would have been crazy to pass up having the premier in the Zoo Palace. Millions of people want to see this film. It’s going to be a hit, in the real sense of the word.” And millions in fact did see it just weekend as it has made $241 million making more than Avatar in it’s opening few days.
Mr. Holmes, the Bill Condon directed movie about an aged, retired Sherlock Holmes who looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman. Of the movie, Variety Cheif Fikm Critic, Scott Foundas said –
McKellen is predictably superb as Holmes, perhaps a touch too stentorious and Gandalf-y at times, but very touching in his sense of the old logician betrayed by his own logic. And Linney, in her third teaming with Condon (after “Kinsey” and “The Fifth Estate”), does beautifully understated work as a simple but proud woman trying to make sure she and her son have a future. The filmmaking itself is among Condon’s most elegant, with d.p. Tobias Schleisser’s widescreen lensing capturing the Sussex countryside in all its verdant splendor, and fine period detailing from production designer Martin Childs and costume designer Keith Madden. Editor Virginia Katz makes seamless braiding of the film’s multiple timelines. Composer Carter Burwell’s richly orchestrated score adds the perfect note of gentle mourning throughout.
Robert Pattinson was in two films at this years festival, Life and Queen of the Desert. The biopic tells the story of Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock, who was famous for his shots of James Dean. Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman and James Franco with Pattinson in a bit part as T.E. Lawrence,chronicles the life of Gertrude Bell, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
And last but not least, Kenneth Branagh’s retelling of the calssic Cinderella. No need for explaintions on this classic story starring Lily James (better known as Lady Rose from Downton Abbey) as Cinderella and Richard Madden (Robb Stark from Game of Thrones) as her Prince Charming. The film was given high praise at the festival. At a press briefing Branagh said, “I did want to make a film that was about courage and about kindness and about a psychological modernity in the middle of this traditional story. The Cinderella myth continues to capture our imaginations.”
Video highlights from the festival below.