Synopsis: In reflecting upon his time spent in the Israeli army, filmmaker Ari Folman has produced WALTZ WITH BASHIR, a profoundly moving antiwar meditation that is equal parts personal memoir, history lesson, and animated fever dream. In 1982, Folman was a soldier during Israel's first invasion of Lebanon. This was a painful moment in history, when the newly elected president of Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel, was killed in an explosion. Furious, his party, the Christian Phalangists, retaliated by storming into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps and massacring thousands of innocent victims. Over 20 years later, Folman is disturbed to realize that he has no memory of this incident even though he was there at the time. In order to remember, he tracks down several of his friends and soldiers who were there with him to find out what really happened. WALTZ WITH BASHIR is as difficult to categorize as it is to forget. It is a truly startling achievement, a film that can be classified as animation and documentary and history and fiction. It is all of those things at once, and it is also much more than that. Folman uses a combination of Flash animation, 3D, and classic animation to bring his film to visual life, but it is the beautifully haunting score by acclaimed German composer Max Richter that provides the film with its heart and soul. As WALTZ WITH BASHIR unfolds in dreamlike waves, Folman understands that guilt is a dangerous thing, and war is even worse.
Synopsis:Young fans of Anne Hathaway's previous roles in family films such as THE PRINCESS DIARIES and ELLA ENCHANTED probably wouldn't know what to make of her character in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Hathaway's Kym is a recovering drug addict who leaves rehab behind to attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt, MAD MEN), but Kym's problems follow her home. Rachel cannot forgive or forget Kym's many drug-fuelled transgressions, and their father (Bill Irwin, LADY IN THE WATER) dotes on his returned daughter. As the wedding grows closer, the spotlight shifts from Rachel to Kym, much to the bride's irritation. The alternately hilarious and heartbreaking dialogue in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED adeptly walks the line between wit and reality, giving audiences a picture of a family that feels entirely authentic. Before directing this indie-feeling drama, director Jonathan Demme spent time doing a few documentaries, such as THE AGRONOMIST, and JIMMY CARTER: MAN FROM PLAINS. These films seem like a departure from his normal oeuvre--including THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS--but they work as a bridge to RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Demme chose to shoot this film with handheld cameras, lending it a naturalistic feel, as though a cameraman is simply shooting the family videos of a fascinatingly flawed group of people. The cast certainly deserves praise for the film's authenticity as well. Much has been made of Hathaway's masterly shedding of her usual roles to play the damaged Kym, but credit should also go to the other members of the cast, particularly Irwin as the too devoted father and DeWitt as the overlooked sister. Stories about dysfunctional families are nothing new in the world of cinema, but RACHEL GETTING MARRIED stands out thanks to its talented cast and excellent script from Jenny Lumet, daughter of director Sidney Lumet (NETWORK).