Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Sentenced to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) is alone in the world and can neither read nor write. On his arrival at the prison, he seems younger and more brittle than the others detained there. At once he falls under the sway of a group of Corsicans who enforce their rule in the prison. As the 'missions' go by, he toughens himself and wins the confidence of the Corsican group.
Since this breakout performance four years ago Tahar Rahmin has steadily continued to develop a reputation as one of the most exciting actors in Europe. His fresh-faced energy slots in perfectly with the gritty dramas he undertakes and as Malik El Djebena that youthful eagerness is on full display.
There is nothing particularly new about the story of a naive young man entering prison or the first time, only to evolve into a much smarter version by the time he is realised. What director Jacques Audiard thankfully avoids is a glorification of that process. Malik's arc through his prison sentence is carefully escalated through the years, not quickly draping him in the kings clothes ready to rule a new empire.…
I'd heard so many recommendations for Un prophète from people with good taste, on Letterboxd and before I joined, that at some point I forgot that it's a two and a half hour prison movie. An extra-large helping of a genre I usually avoid. Fuck.
Not long after Malik's arrival in gaol though, it stops being an account of claustrophobic, intrusive routine whilst isolated amongst thugs - and becomes a mesmerising character drama about the men stuck in this big concrete box for years, with the intense focus of Audiard's earlier films honed to master craftsmanship. And the violence was not nearly so graphic as that for which I'd been steeling myself.
Un prophète is a formidable film in every…
Gritty french prison coming of age story where a petty criminal rises in ranks in the Corsican mob! Strong character driven story riddled with the harsh realities of prison life and its 1st cousin brutal graphic violence!
Are prisons a center for rehabilitation or a gangster boot camp!
The idea is to leave here a little smarter.
I missed Jacques Audiard's 2010 Oscar Nominated Best Foreign Language Film three years ago and I regret it now. I knew it was obviously good by the multitude of high ratings it was getting from Letterboxd users, but I had no idea how much I would love the film. Of course I've always been a sucker for crime dramas, but I wasn't expecting such a fresh and original story in such an unfamiliar setting.
The "how prison changes a man" story has been done numerous times before, but I don't recall ever seeing one like this. The manner in which Malik El Djebena's (Tahar Rahim) character is transformed throughout the…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A prophet is a staggering work of brilliance that only gets better and better every time I see it. At first I thought it was just another depressing or difficult-to-watch film about life in prison, but it's so much more than that. It's about a guy with nothing to lose… who comes of age… explores the limits of his humanity… and rises to power. Yeah, that bizarre description only captures about 90% of what this film is about.
The story begins without telling us anything about this Algerian/French kid named Malik El Djebena"s background or who he is as a person. You do feel pangs of sadness for him because of how the other prisoners treat him and you get…
Epic and bleak prison saga with touches of the fantastic, refreshingly free of the overt glorification of sociopathy and violence that are de rigueur in Hollywood versions of this genre. Not without disturbingly violent scenes, but driven by character development , Tahar Rahim's performance expertly portraying Malik El Djebena's transformation from illiterate petty criminal.
A Prophet is a terrific take on the prison film genre, focusing on one characters journey from a young, naive that has events beyond his control shape and make him into the calculated, adult criminal that we witness by the films end. The setting of the prison and the violence that takes place isn’t glossed or polished over. It’s messy, brutal and clumsy, all with of which can be told in the scene where Malik has to take another prisoners life in order to guarantee his own safety. From here on we see the transformation of Malik as at first he’s made an outsider by the Corsican and by this he simply observes, looks for angles and eventually in time…
This sprawling European crime drama should suffer from what should be flaws. Sometimes it feels like it's not going anywhere. Sometimes it feels like nothing new. Sometimes it's interrupted by jarringly arty flights of fancy. But director Jacques Audiard somehow smoothes these issues into a steady flow, shaping this unwieldy epic into an absorbing and ultimately satisfying movie.
Catch Up If I Cannes 2 - Film 10:
Some of the hybrid identity stuff is cool, but the Cinema-Scope review is kinda right about how its attempt to comment on Arab identity are a little specious - its lead is too much of a blank slate and the commentary too removed from actual Arab-written theory for it to really have theoretical heft. I'm increasingly becoming bored of this kind of token serious aesthetic (though some of the surreal stuff was a nice reprieve), and the movie is super long for an arc this inevitable (and all the times when the "prophet" thing becomes literal feel like a waste). But all in all, I enjoyed this. Though the character…
An excellent French prison drama which revolves around Malik (portrayed by Tahar Rahimand) and Cesar Lucian (played with a methodical ruthlessness by Niels Arestrup). A Prophet is a 2,5h epic about the rise of a small-time crook thrown in a prison system marked by ethnic and cultural diversity. Malik arrives as a 19-year-old teen, convicted of beating up some cops, but as time goes by he manages to rise in the prison hierarchy.
I read somewhere that in directing A Prophet, Jacques Audiard wanted to create an "Arab Scarface". He most certainly succeeded in creating a dirty and psychological intense prison drama which managed to keep my attention to the fullest.
This is not an easy film to watch at all, but it's definitely an important one. I'm glad that I've seen it.
After Goodfellas, I don't know that there's any need to make another rise-and-fall gangster movie (aside from the dubious "young" Joe Pesci, how would you improve upon Goodfellas, really?). This is still a pretty decent, well-acted example of the genre though, and the airline sequence borders on the brilliant. I only wish the other things setting it apart weren't a none-too-subtle-Islamification-of-France subtext, and some really questionable magic realism touches (both a ghost and the head-scratching stuff relating to the title). If, unlike me, you need to see another gangster film, it's a good bet.
TV, con Ines
Prison Drama where a Arab nobody becomes a big crime somebody. Great character study. Gripping.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…