A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT | MOVIE REVIEW

A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT is a Norwegian/Irish produced English language film with occasional subtitles, I am very keen on seeing it, the cast is great, love Juliette Binoche and who doesn’t like Jamie Lannister, oops I mean Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. And the cinematography – WOW. Enough of my excitement to see it, have a read of Kernel Vanessa’s review of the movie. A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT is out this coming Thursday 27th November in Australia from Regency Film Distribution, it is on limited release and I have listed the venues screening the film at the end of the article. It is rated M and runs for 117mins. All the best…..JK.

 

A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

REVIEW BY VANESSA CAPITO

Every filmmaker strives for a sense of authenticity, a desire to present a personal connection to a real or imagined world. In A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT, the nail-biting wartime drama, Norwegian director Erik Poppe – himself a ex-photojournalist – draws inspiration from his own career but gives his story a new dimension by altering the lead role to that of a female and casting the impeccable Juliette Binoche. As a woman driven by her career and ambition to affect global change, Rebecca (Binoche) must reconcile her dangerous job as a war-zone photojournalist which repeatedly brings her in close proximity with some of the most oppressed people in the world, and her family, who live in constant fear that she won’t return home. Playing the part of Rebecca, trying to come to terms with the hardships of her dangerous work yet also maintain her family with husband Marcus, (GAMES OF THRONES’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and two daughters, Binoche acts with such vehemence and intensity that you’re compelled right into the film from the beginning. For a movie about horrifyingly dramatic situations, A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT surely encompasses some outstanding visuals, courtesy of Norwegian cinematographer, John Christian Rosenlund.

 

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A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | REBECCA (JULIETTE BINOCHE), STEPH (LAURYN CANNY) & MARCUS (NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU) SET ALOFT A SKY LANTERN

 

Between her torturous assignments of venturing into the heart of the conflict and disorder in Afghanistan, always with her camera in hand and almost always facing death, Rebecca returns to a picture-perfect existence at her home on the Irish seacoast. Married to husband Marcus, a marine biologist who frets every time Rebecca departs for a job on the war front. The strain in their relationship begins to show as arguments constantly arise over the anxiety Marcus has with the gruelling risks his wife takes on as part of her work. Despite the pressure and the tension in their marriage, fuelled by the fact that they also have two daughters, Rebecca and her family live quite a fortunate life in Ireland. These small interludes in the film that resemble luxuries often taken for granted in everyday life give the us the impression that Rebecca’s dedication to her strenuous work is more or less a form of atonement for the good fortune that she perhaps feels she does not deserve.

 

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A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ONE OF REBECCA’S (JULIETTE BINOCHE) PHOTOGRAPHS

 

A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT begins with an almost wordless opening sequence set in Kabul, the Afghanistan capital, with Rebecca working undercover on a story about life inside the Taliban, photographing the process of explosives being strapped onto a female jihadist suicide bomber by other women. Now, there is nothing beautiful about suicide bombings, let that be made perfectly clear so that what follows isn’t seen as misguided or misconstrued, but in A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT, the process, and rituals taken during the process of the suicide bombing are shown in such a visually striking manner. The ceremonial washing, the prayers and the grieving goodbyes are all captured so beautifully by Rosenlund, making them deserving for the pages of National Geographic. The still images shot by Rebecca which aren’t revealed till later in the film are comparably artistic. In this opening sequence, screenwriter Harald Rosenløw-Eeg shows that Rebecca’s willingness to die for her work is similar to that of the women’s acceptance of such gruesome sacrifice for a religious cause. Eager to be at the centre of the action, she begs to her handler, “I want to tell the story”. Insisting on travelling in the van, carrying the suicide bomber on this fateful mission right into the heart of the Afghan capital. As they approach the checkpoint, Rebecca’s survival instincts kick in and she forces herself out of the vehicle, beginning to warm people of what is to come. As the bomber detonates the explosives, Rebecca is thrown to the ground, yet still able to snap a few more shots before collapsing and waking up in a Dubai hospital with her husband hovering over her.

 

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A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | REBECCA (JULIETTE BINOCHE) & MARCUS (NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU)

 

What makes A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT more than just a dramatic film on wartime journalism is Binoche’s honest portrayal of a woman of conscience, driven by a mixture of guilt, nobility and self-importance, trying to find reason with her destructive impulses. The fact too that the film itself is such a notable instance of international cooperation also aids to this, as an English-language film from a Norwegian director, with French and Danish leads, filmed with such geographical diversity in Ireland, Afghanistan, Kenya and Morocco.

There are however, certain points in the film that seem slightly overworked just to offer symbolism and meaning, for example, when Rebecca is in a war zone, hiding in a tent while militants storm the camp around her, she pokes her camera out of the tent opening, as you would expect a soldier would place his rifle. The gunshots then reverberate with her snapshots, an all-too-clear metaphor. Subtlety is not a strong point of A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT, and the screenwriters sometimes struggle balancing powerful moments with heavy-handed melodrama. However, Binoche is stellar company, lending each moment of grief and anguish a delicateness that few actors could create.

 

VENUES SCREENING  A THOUSAND TIMES GOODNIGHT

NSW              PALACE NORTON STREET CINEMA, LEICHHARDT

PALACE VERONA CINEMAS, PADDINGTON

UNITED CINEMAS, AVALON

VIC                PALACE COMO CINEMAS, SOUTH YARRA

PALACE BRIGHTON BAY CINEMAS, BRIGHTON

KINO CINEMAS, MELBOURNE

CAMEO CINEMAS, BELGRAVE

QLD               PALACE CENTRO CINEMAS, FORTITUDE VALLEY

REGAL TWIN CINEMAS, GRACEVILLE (DEC 4TH START)

S/A                PALACE NOVA EASTEND CINEMAS, ADELAIDE

ACT               PALACE ELCTRIC CINEMAS, CANBERRA

W/A              LUNA CINEMAS, LEEDERVILLE

TAS                HOBART STATE CINEMA, NORTH HOBART

 

3 Pops