The 67th Berlin International Film Festival culminated with the presentation of the awards on Saturday, February 18. (See list of prize winner)
Over eleven days, the Berlinale drew movie fans and the international film industry to cinemas and a large variety of events. Its reputation as the world’s biggest public festival was reconfirmed: a total of 334,471 tickets were sold. And with more than 7,000 visitors, the program of the Berlinale Open House in the Audi Berlinale Lounge – with its Berlinale Lounge Nights and a variety of other events – was a crowd-puller.
Not only the Berlinale but also the European Film Market (EFM) can look back at a successful edition. With 9,550 trade professionals from 108 countries at 192 stands, the EFM once again recorded a significant increase in participants this year. It was gratifying to observe the huge crowds at many different new EFM initiatives. The “Berlinale Africa Hub”, which debuted this year, achieved its goal of providing African film-making with an exceptionally attractive platform. Events within the framework of the “EFM Horizon presented by Audi” initiative, which focussed on the film industry of the future, were very popular as well.
In its third round, the expanded “Drama Series Days” again registered a rise in attendance. And with Mexico, the very first “Country in Focus” at the EFM also proved a resounding success.
Once more, the Berlinale’s activities for refugees were received with great enthusiasm: the Berlin International Film Festival had urged visitors to make donations for the traumatized children and adolescents at Zentrum ÜBERLEBEN. With the 17,574 euro (on Feb 20, 2017) collected, the center will be able to provide its young patients with additional social and psychological support, as well as recreational activities.
About 1,400 people participated in a “movie mentoring” project in which volunteers from Berlin’s non-profit refugee aid organizations accompanied refugees to Berlinale screenings.
The 68th Berlin International Film Festival will be held from February 15 to 25, 2018.
Quite an eventful 67th Berlinale. Some fantastic films. I had the good fortune to view all but one of the award-winning films, Silver Bear for Best Screenplay, Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza’s Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman). Pokot Spoorwinner of the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives from Agnieszka Holland did not receive my recommendation. Thank you to the jury for all their hard work and diligent efforts!
*Members of the Jury: Paul Verhoeven (Jury President), Dora Bouchoucha Fourati, Olafur Eliasson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Jentsch, Diego Luna and Wang Quan’an
HALLE BERRY, JAMIE DORNAN, CHRIS EVANS, GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, DAKOTA JOHNSON, KATE MCKINNON, SHIRLEY MACLAINE, HAILEE STEINFELD WILL BE PRESENTERS ONSTAGE
LOS ANGELES, CA – Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd today announced the second slate of presenters for the 89th Oscars® telecast. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live on Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.
“These actors are why we love to go to the movies,” said De Luca and Todd. “From blockbusters to art house films, these artists deliver every time and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the 89th Oscars stage.”
The presenters, including past Oscar® winners and nominees, are Halle Berry, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Shirley MacLaine, Kate McKinnon and Hailee Steinfeld.
Berry won an Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for “Monster’s Ball” (2001). Her feature credits also include “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), “Cloud Atlas” (2012), “Frankie & Alice” (2010), “X-Men The Last Stand” (2006), “X2” (2003), “Die Another Day” (2002) and “X-Men” (2000). She will next appear in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and “Kings.”
Dornan’s film credits include “Fifty Shades Darker” (2017), “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015) and the Oscar-winning film “Marie Antoinette” (2006). Additionally, he has appeared in “Anthropoid” (2016) and “The Siege of Jadotville” (2016). His upcoming films include “Fifty Shades Freed,” “Robin Hood” and “Untogether.”
Evans is known for “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and the Oscar-nominated features “Captain America: The Winter Solider” (2014) and “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012). His film credits also include “The Iceman” (2013), “Puncture” (2011), “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010) and “Fantastic Four” (2005). Evans will next appear in “Gifted,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Jekyll.”
García Bernal’s credits include the Oscar-winning films “Babel” (2006) and “The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004) as well as the Oscar-nominated films “Y Tu Mamá También” (2001) and “Amores Perros” (2000). Additionally, he has appeared in “Neruda” (2016), “Desierto” (2016) and “Bad Education” (2004). His upcoming films include “Z” and the animated feature “Coco.”
Jackson earned an Oscar nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role for “Pulp Fiction” (1994). Notably, he also appeared in the Oscar-winning films “The Hateful Eight” (2015), “Django Unchained” (2012) and “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). Jackson will next appear in “Kong: Skull Island,” “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “The Incredibles 2” and “Inversion.”
Johansson appeared in the Oscar-winning features “Her” (2013), “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008) and “Lost in Translation” (2003) as well as the Oscar-nominated films “Iron Man 2” (2010), “Match Point” (2005) and “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (2003). Her credits also include “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and “Lucy” (2014). Johansson will next be seen in “Ghost in the Shell,” “Rock That Body” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Johnson’s credits include “Fifty Shades Darker” (2017), “Fifty Shades of Gray” (2015) and the Oscar-winning feature “The Social Network” (2010). Her other credits include “How to Be Single” (2016), “A Bigger Splash” (2015) and “Black Mass” (2015). Johnson will next appear in “Fifty Shades Freed” and “Suspiria.”
MacLaine won an Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for “Terms of Endearment” (1983). Additionally, she garnered nominations for her leading roles in “The Turning Point” (1977), “Irma La Douce” (1963), “The Apartment” (1960) and “Some Came Running” (1958). She also received a Documentary Feature nomination for “The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir” (1975). Her notable credits also include “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013), “Bernie” (2012), “The Evening Star” (1996), “Postcards from the Edge” (1990) and “Steel Magnolias” (1989). MacLaine will next appear in “The Last Word.”
McKinnon’s feature credits include “Ghostbusters” (2016), “Masterminds” (2016), “Office Christmas Party” (2016) and the animated features “The Angry Birds Movie” (2016) and “Finding Dory” (2016). In addition, she has appeared in “Sisters” (2015) and “Ted 2” (2015). McKinnon will appear next in “Rock That Body.”
Steinfeld received an Oscar nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role for “True Grit” (2010). Her recent credits include “The Edge of Seventeen” (2016), “Ten Thousand Saints” (2015), “Barely Lethal” (2015), “Pitch Perfect 2” (2015), “Begin Again” (2014), “The Homesman” (2014) and “Ender’s Game” (2013). Steinfeld will next appear in “Pitch Perfect 3.”
The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m.
ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by De Luca and Todd and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, also will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.
CRYSTAL BEARS AND DEUTSCHES KINDERHILFSWERK (THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF GERMANY) AWARDS IN GENERATION KPLUS
Piata loď, Amelie rennt, Promise, Hedgehog’s Home
The members of the Children’s Jury in Generation Kplus give the following awards:
Crystal Bear for the Best Film: Piata loď (Little Harbour)
By Iveta Grófová, Slovak Republic / Czech Republic 2017
We selected a film that is creative and authentic. It’s about two children who create a little world of their own, rules. We found the story very moving and the actors are very believable too.
Special Mention:Amelie rennt(Mountain Miracle – An Unexpected Friendship)
By Tobias Wiemann, Germany / Italy 2017
With great wit and fast-paced dialogue, this film describes the development of an unlikely friendship between two fascinating characters.
Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film: Promise
By Xie Tian, USA 2016
Set in a breath-taking landscape, this film tells the moving story of a Chinese boy. The convincing performances and masterful cinematography lend the film great authenticity.
Special Mention Short Film:Hedgehog’s Home
By Eva Cvijanovic, Canada / Croatia 2016
The message of this tale, that a home of one’s own is very important, is beautifully conveyed by the creative use of felt animation. We were also impressed by the unusual verse form of the narrative in this stop-motion film.
Becoming Who I Was, Estiu 1993, Aaba, Sabaku
The members of the International Jury Generation Kplus – Fabian Gasmia, Aneta Ozorek, Yoon Ga-eun – give the following awards:
The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for the Best Film, endowed with € 7,500 each by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (The Children’s Charity of Germany):
Becoming Who I Was
By Chang-Yong Moon, Jin Jeon, Republic Korea 2017
In this beautifully shot tale we learn in a wonderful bittersweet way how much a parent and a child can learn from each other. The filmmaker achieved the most difficult: making the audience laugh and cry many times. The film gave the jury confidence in humanity and if the values of the young hero of this story would be only reflected a little bit by its audience the world will become a better place.
Estiu 1993 (Summer 1993)
By Carla Simón, Spain 2017
In this remarkable film we learn through the eyes of a little girl how to cope with loss. The lesson that this incredible heroine learns and that moved us to tears is that no matter how much it hurts, it is the unconditional love of the people around you that will ease your pain. Besides the outstanding performance of the young main actress the jury was also very impressed by the beautiful cinematography and sensual mise-en-scène!
The Special Prize of the Generation Kplus International Jury for the Best Short Film, endowed with € 2,500 by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (The Children’s Charity of Germany): Aaba (Grandfather)
By Amar Kaushik, India 2016
It tells a story of the circle of life in an elegiac and slow pace with a beautiful cinematography.
By Marlies van der Wel, The Netherlands 2016
This very short film tells with simple but very efficient use of extremely skilled artistic animation technique the story of a bird that goes around the world to find a new friend. The jury was blown away by its pace and incredible joy of the filmmaker to entertain her audience.
Award ceremony and screening of the winning film of the Crystal Bear take place today at 3.30 pm at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
The public has cast its votes: the 19th Panorama Audience Awards – presented by the Berlinale Panorama section in collaboration with radioeins and for the first time in co-operation with rbb television (Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting) – go to Insyriated by Philipp Van Leeuw for best fiction film and I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck for best documentary.
Insyriated is a tautly-constructed chamber drama about trying to live a normal life in a war zone. It is the second film starring Hiam Abbass that has won the Panorama Audience Award (she also played the lead in Eran Riklis’s Lemon Tree in 2008).
Raoul Peck’s filmic essay I Am Not Your Negro about James Baldwin and his three assassinated friends – civil rights activists Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X – has also been nominated for an Academy Award as Best Documentary Feature.
The official award ceremony will be held at 5 pm on Sunday, February 19 in CinemaxX 7 at Potsdamer Platz. The prizes will be awarded by rbb director Patricia Schlesinger. Knut Elstermann, radioeins film expert, and Panorama curator Wieland Speck will host the event. Directly after the ceremony, the winning fiction film will be shown. The Panorama Dokumente winner will be screened at 8 pm, also in CinemaxX 7.
The Panorama Audience Award has been given since 1999. Since 2011, not only the best fiction film but also the best documentary film have received awards. During the festival, moviegoers are asked to rate the films shown in Panorama on voting cards after the screenings. In 2017 a total of 29,000 votes were cast and counted.
This year Panorama presented 50 feature-length films from 43 countries, of which 21 screened in the Panorama Dokumente series.
Panorama Audience Award Winner Fiction Film 2017 Insyriated
Belgium / France / Lebanon 2017
By Philippe Van Leeuw
2nd place Panorama Audience Award Fiction Film 2017 Karera ga Honki de Amu toki wa (Close-Knit)
By Naoko Ogigami
3rd place Panorama Audience Award Fiction Film 2017 1945
By Ferenc Török
Panorama Audience Award Winner Panorama Dokumente 2017 I Am Not Your Negro
France / USA / Belgium / Switzerland 2016
By Raoul Peck
2nd place Panorama Audience Award Panorama Dokumente 2017 Chavela
By Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi
3rd place Panorama Audience Award Panorama Dokumente 2017 Istiyad Ashbah (Ghost Hunting)
France / Palestine / Switzerland / Qatar 2017
By Raed Andoni
German Director Thomas Arslan brings it home with his latest Golden Bear nominated film, Bright Nights (Helle Nachte). Arslan had been previously nominated for the Golden Bear, the festival’s top film prize in 2013 for his film Gold. Bright Nights, making its world premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in Competition, tells the story of a single, working father, Michael, who reunites with his son, Luis, after the loss of his own father.
Arslan proves he is a master of cinematic language from the opening scene set within an industrial batch plant on a waterway. The image of a plant operator seated at his indoor work station wearing a protective hard hat speaks volumes. The lighting recedes from a medium to high key to low key lighting. The man removes his hard hat and drops his head into his hands exasperated. The scene transitions to the solidly built man walking through the night in profile. Reinhild Blaschke managed theProduction Design. Director of Photography Reinhold Vorschneider allows much of the story to unfold with long takes.
Later in the film, after discovering his father has died, the man has opted to bring his son to help remediate his father’s cabin. As Michael is packing up his father’s belonging, a silence ensues where Michael comes to the realization, he doesn’t really know his own son.
With a sense of his own mortality now, Michael seeks to reconnect and re-establish a relationship with Luis. Visually pleasing mise-en-scene depicts scenes of father and son hiking and fishing in breathtaking Austrian locations. However, not everything is perfect in this natural sportsman’s paradise. Luis feels confused and rebels.
The relationship teeters in the balance when an young woman befriends the son and the two share their experiences. The son decides to give his father a second chance. Going for one last hike the father drives for through a gray, fogged in road. The drive goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time signifying the large amount of gray space in the relationship.
The film transitions revealing vibrant colors of green and yellow symbolizing a time of joy and healing with a touch of red foreshadowing a powerful element of emotionality is still present. The relationship dynamic between Michael, played by Georg Friedrich and Luis, played by Tristan Göbel drives the narrative. Both actors deliver very compelling performances.
In my opinion, the climatic image comes quickly thereafter, as the son goes off on his own. A wide angle long shot of the man running across a mountain ridge with a large mountain range looming in the background slightly out of focus reminiscent of Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia as he rides solo across the barren Arabian desert. Again, the cinematic language is so much greater than mere words. The lengths the father is willing to go to in order to re-establish the father/son relationship bond is beyond measure. Reinhold Vorschneider served as the film’s Director of Photography.
While there are many father/son relationship dynamic films, there is only one Bright Nights. Highly recommended. A cinematic language extraordinaire.
*Featured photo courtesy of Berlinale.de and @Schramm Film / Marco Kruger
On Friday, February 17, the jury members – filmmakers Feo Aladag, Sigrid Hoerner, and Johannes Naber – presented the 2017 Compass Perspektive Award for Best Film. Awarded for the first time this year and endowed with EUR 5,000, the prize goes to the fiction film Die Beste aller Welten by Adrian Goiginger. The trophy is a small compass conceived to provide orientation and direction to a new generation of Perspektive filmmakers.
The jury members watched the 14 films in the Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino section. After debating passionately, they picked their favorite.
Jury statement – The Best of All Worlds
The film is the story of seven-year-old Adrian, who lives in 1990s Salzburg with a heroin-addicted, but loving mother and her friends. His life is like an adventure playground – until both child services and the brutal reality of drug addiction threaten to destroy his world.
Director Adrian Goiginger’s film is based on his own childhood and is a disturbingly realistic portrayal of the seemingly hopeless battle between maternal love and addiction. Goiginger leaves open to interpretation whether it is the drug itself, or society’s way of dealing with it, that presents a greater threat to the child protagonist.
With his sensitive direction of a brilliant ensemble cast, the film is touching without becoming kitschy; the unpretentious cinematography gets under your skin without being voyeuristic.
Liu Jian mortgages the house to make films! Chinese artist/filmmaker Liu Jian delighted the house at the Berlinale Palast Theater during the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.
Utilizing a warm color palette and an exceptional musical score mixing classical American jazz with traditional Chinese sounds, Liu Jian takes the viewer on a colorful journey through a southern Chinese city drawing several people from diverse backgrounds with different motives into bloody conflict in the darkly comedic, animation feature film, Have a Nice Day. But wait, there’s more!
Have a Nice Day is Liu Jian second foray into feature animation film. His first Piercing I, a cold, hard look at the 2008 global financial crisis. Liu Jian is now in production on his third film, a self-reflective animation feature, School Town, an autobiographical look at Liu Jian’s own life.
In Have a Nice Day, Liu Jian allows a bag containing a million yuan to take center stage. Greed and selfish motives take over. The gangster boss who lays claim to the bagful of yuan holds court and wistfully recalls days from future past while pontificating to a subordinate who has spunk and maintains he’s an artist. Some philosophical discourse takes place on what exactly constitute art and who can call themselves a true artist. The bag has been lost and/or stolen and a butcher/hitman is sent to recover the money-laden bag.
The bag representing progress continues to move from one point to another. Various, vicarious and unsuspecting, dialoguing individuals reveal social and moral issues issues while clutching the bag of money tightly in hopes of securing a better life. In the end, it’s all just an illusory pipe dream fantasy.
Nevertheless, Modern China is in flux and a real war for control is ripe with violence and dangerous activities. With the animation format, Liu Jian is adeptly able to circumvent and soften some of the more distasteful aspects of this movement toward progress while heightening and stylizing the mood in China today.
Along the way, Liu Jian adds some subtle Western influences as he develops nuances of character. For example, the Hitman is a butcher when he’s not working for the mob boss. To add depth to the butcher, Liu Jian inserts a Rocky movie poster starring Sylvester Stallone on the Hitman’s locker at the meat processing plant.
In recent time, much is made of China’s growing economic power and goal of world dominance and, by the film’s end, one of the film’s protagonists, the Hitman, laments, “without high-technologies we just can’t win.” The film closes with an earthy mise-en-scene as a large city-scape with shades of browns and grays sits silently while a long, steady rain cascades across the screen in a vertical fashion.
Another beautiful film in the Berlinale Competition. While Chinese animation short films have been in previous Berlinales, Liu Jian’s Have a Nice Day, is the first feature-length, Chinese animation film to be screened at a Berlinale. It’s a touching expose. And, it’s a worthy contender for the Golden Bear. Warmly recommended.
*Featured photo: Courtesy of Liu Jian/Berlinale.de
The 15th edition of Berlinale Talents was rounded off yesterday by Berlinale International Jury member and artist Olafur Eliasson as well as director Raoul Peck, who is at the festival this year with the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro (Panorama) and Le jeune Karl Marx (Berlinale Special). During the last six days, over 100 experts, 250 Talents and well over 6,000 visitors turned HAU Hebbel am Ufer into an international hub of discussion and networking for film lovers.
“Once again, this year’s Berlinale Talents proves to be the festival’s innovation lab. Where else can young filmmakers and experienced experts from every culture, country and profession have such open, inspiring exchange and collaborate on bringing new films to life? I wish these Talents success as they turn their ideas into reality. And above all: Have courage!” said the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Prof. Monika Grütters, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Berlinale Talents.
Courageous Mutual Exchange
In a time of political and social upheaval, this year’s theme has been a call to take a clear stance on cinematic narratives and aesthetics as well as a reminder against discouragement to rally our optimism and work together to bring about change. Throughout over 100 events and workshops, Talents discussed and worked with renowned experts and mentors, including Paul Verhoeven and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Christo, Agnieszka Holland, Ana Lily Amirpour, Isabel Coixet, Andres Veiel, Gurinder Chadha, Laura Poitras, Timothy Spall and many more.
Sunday’s opening panel, with this year’s Berlinale International Jury President Paul Verhoeven and Berlinale International Jury member Maggie Gyllenhaal set the tone for this year’s edition. “Be courageous and step into the unknown,” was Paul Verhoeven’s encouragement for the Talents. Christo, in his 90-minute discussion with the audience, called for creative work to be based in real contexts: “The most important thing of all our work is that it is about real things: real wind, real wet, real dry, real fear.” The days to come were a journey towards discovering personal, creative and filmic moments of courage. Talents alumna Ana Lily Amirpour, who returned this year as an expert, summed up what makes Berlinale Talents so special: “I loved it here when I came in 2010, and I still feel the same. It’s invigorating to be around so many people from everywhere in the world who are just madly in love with their ideas.”
Prizes during Berlinale Talents
Once again, prizes were awarded to filmmakers during Berlinale Talents.
As part of the “Talent Project Market,” the VFF Talent Highlight Award, endowed with € 10,000, went to the project The Bus to Amerika by producer Nefes Polat and director Derya Durmaz (Turkey). Cash prizes of €1,000 each were awarded to the Cuban producer Maria Carla del Rio and the Singaporean producer Jeremy Chua for their nominated projects.
For the fifth time, the Robert Bosch Stiftung awarded during Berlinale Talents film prizes to promote international cooperation between German and Arab filmmakers, endowed with up to € 60,000 each.
Animation: Night by director Ahmad Saleh (Jordan) and producers Jessica Neubauer (Germany) and Saleh Saleh (Jordan)
Short Film: The Trap by director Nada Riyadh (Egypt) and producers Eva Schellenbeck (Germany) and Ayman El Amir (Egypt)
Documentary: Behind Closed Doors (Mor L’Bab) by director Yakout Elhababi (Morocco) and producers Karoline Henkel (Germany) and Hind Sah (Morocco / France)
Co-Partner Nespresso kicked off the vertical video contest “Nespresso Talents 2017” during Berlinale Talents. The competition is open for entries until April 17, 2017, at nespresso.com/talents. Winners will be officially announced during the Cannes Film Festival and receive a cash prize and participation in a mentoring programme.
And tonight, Berlinale Talents and Perspektive Deutsches Kino will jointly award the inaugural Kompagnon-Fellowship during the closing evening of Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
For press information and interview requests please contact:
Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, with the support of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board.
Writer/Director James Mangold’s Logan is hot out of the box! Making its World Premiere last night, February 17th, at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, Logan brings back Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine and has blockbuster written all over it!
Set in 2029, the film opens in low-key lighting as a band of Latino roughians are in the process of stripping tires from Logan’s (Wolverine) small limousine. Unfortunately for the desperadoes, the vehicle has chrome plated lug nuts and even more so, the Wolverine is coming to after having tied one on.
This scene sets the tone for the film as the Wolverine winds up taking a beating but still manages to fend off the aggressors. Logan looks haggard and worn. This scenario is carried out repeatedly in several action sequences Logan without it getting old.
Patrick Stewart returns as an ailing Professor X with his now mind control registered as a weapon of mass destruction. The albino, Caliban, played again by Stephen Merchant, reprises his mutant tracker role. Newbie Dafne Keen plays young mutant, Laura Kinney/X-23, to great affect. Laura appears as a fugitive pursued by dark forces led by Boyd Holbrook. She’s a showstopper with plenty of moxie!
Logan is the tenth installment in the X-men series of film and the third and final installment of the Wolverine franchise following the successes of The Wolverine (2013) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). Both films grossed in excess of $130,000,000 at the box office. Logan is sure to match and/or surpass this figure. All three films are big-budget film. While budget numbers for Logan are not made readily available, the film boasted it created 15,000 jobs in its production.
In addition to the hand-to-hand combat fighting scenes with the Wolverine’s wielding his bristling, shimmering trademark claws, the narrative in Logan has a slightly familiar feel as the mutants are portrayed as very open and loving towards one another. And, again, they are portrayed primarily social outcasts pursued by predators for diabolical purposes. There’s also a new twist added to the story.
Nevertheless, Mangold manages to keep it fresh. Just when situations seem to be hopeless or on the verge of becoming mundane, Mangold injects a new catalyst propelling the film forward in dramatic fashion. Costumer Daniel Orlandi does excellent work keeping characters believable while imbuing them with just enough complementary edginess to enhance the narrative. Director of Photography of John Mathieson teams up with Editors Michael McCusker and Dirk Westervelt to unveil some wickedly fun action sequences.
Unfortunately, Jackman has said this is his final go with the Wolverine character. Quite frankly, it’s a shame. But, to have had one of the world’s great, great actors – onstage or on the big screen – portray a comic book action/adventure character for the films spanning just over a decade has been an unexpected delight.
While Jackman tends to carry most scenes, young Dafne Keen gave the audience quite a thrill with her own acting chops and sharp-witted quips. Hats off to screenwriters Mangold, Michael Green and Scott Frank for keeping any semblance of staleness at bay. Newly added character, Donald Pierce, played by Narcosstar Boyd Holbrook, brings an energetic, counterbalancing dynamic to offset the mind-boggling powers of the mutants consistent with the previous Wolverine films.
Granted, Logan has the look and feel of the previous two Wolverine films. For fans of the previous Wolverine prequels, Logan is a must-see. For anyone not seeing the prequels, Logan stands on it’s own merits and is sure to make a believer out of the uninitiated . Highly recommended!
The film is scheduled to open in US theaters this Friday, March 3rd, 2017.
Logan was produced by Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and employed over 15,000 personnel in its production.