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I’m a cyborg, but that’s just life (in rose).

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We haven’t been keeping abreast with Berlinale news, so we thought we’d take a break to look at what’s been said about two of the more talked-about films from the festival, Olivier Dahan‘s opening night Edith Piaf biopic "La Vie En Rose (La Môme)" and Park Chan-wook‘s "I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay."

Heureux, heureux à en mourir
"La Môme": Dennis Lim, reporting for indieWIRE, salutes star Marion Cotillard (late of "A Good Year") for her "gutsy, whole-hog performance" as Piaf, but finds there’s little else to the film. James Christopher at the London Times has similar complaints, admiring the performances while remaining otherwise unmoved: "Ultimately Dahan leans too heavily on the blasts of pure sentiment unleashed by the immortal songs. Despite the best efforts of Cotillard, that is never quite enough."

At Like Anna Karina’s Sweater, Filmbrain calls the film "thoroughly entertaining," again calling out Cotillard while finding the direction problematic.

Dahan doesn’t shy away from portraying little sparrow in a less than flattering light, but it seems to lack the courage to dig a bit deeper into how these events helped shape her into the artist she was. A good bit of fun, but leaves you wondering what it would have been like in the hands of another director.

At Greencine Daily, David Hudson calls Cotillard "magnificent" while finding the film both "nearly twice as long as it should be" and lacking in important biographical details. At Variety, Lisa Nesselson has only praise, writing that "the portrait feels rich and rounded… Sweeping, slightly dreamlike result has plenty of forward momentum but also feels unhurried." At the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt declares the film a kind of messy success, one that is "unafraid of extravagant gestures even when they fail to come off."

At the Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis writes that as the film opens in France today, hopes are high that it will be the new "Amelie," and that "Piaf-mania is reaching extreme proportions":

EMI is forecasting record-breaking sales of soundtracks, Piaf’s acquaintances have released books, a musical hits Paris this week and television specials have attracted millions of viewers. Politicians on the presidential campaign have seized on the cult of Piaf – the destitute daughter of a street acrobat who grew up in a brothel, and whose tragic lyrics and piercing voice have made France nostalgic for the postwar years.

"La Vie en Rose" is set for June 8th release from Picturehouse.


Maybe it's not.
+ "I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK": At Greencine Daily, David Hudson discusses Park Chan-wook’s insane asylum-set…romantic comedy?…with his daughter Adrienne. David had a hard time warming up to the film, though as it went on "the mythology, or alternative reality that’s conjured between the two leads does eventually take on breadth and depth, making the film’s second half much better than its first." Adrienne is much fonder, writing that "The film is very much like a fairy tale, with its journeys into almost magical worlds and its themes of friendship, revenge and love."

At indieWIRE, Dennis Lim writes the film off as "a failed feature-length extrapolation of Bjork’s ‘All Is Full of Love’ video."

In the trades, Kirk Honeycutt at the Hollywood Reporter calls the film a "major disappointment from a hot director" and the performances overdone; Derek Elley at Variety thinks the film is a success, if overlong.

And over at Cinematical, Erik Davis likes the film, crediting the writing: "The script, written by Chan-wook and Jeong Seo-Gyeong, delicately dances along that line between comedic and dramatic, presenting us with an eccentric tale about eccentric people who desperately want to believe that they’re special; that they have a purpose in life beyond the white walls of a mental hospital."

"I’m a Cyborg, but That’s Okay" does not yet have a US distributor.

+ Adventurous "Chatterley" Atop Berlinale Crop; Cotillard Shines, Costanzo’s Latest Leads Competition, So Far (indieWIRE)
+ La Mome (London Times)
+ Berlinale Diary 1: No Regrets (Like Anna Karina’s Sweater)
+ Berlinale Dispatch. La Môme. (Greencine Daily)
+ La Vie en rose (Variety)
+ La vie en rose (Hollywood Reporter)
+ France swoons on a wave of Piaf nostalgia (Guardian)
+ Berlinale Dispatch. I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK. (Daily Greencine)
+ I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK (Hollywood Reporter)
+ I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK (Variety)
+ Berlinale Review: I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Okay (Cinematical)


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.