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Review: Old-Fashioned, Deeply Unadventurous 'Night Train To Lisbon' Starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Laurent & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 7, 2013 11:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In the very finest tradition of Euro-pudding, director Bille August's "Night Train To Lisbon" adapts an international bestselling book, takes place against the picturesque backdrop of a European capital, is half-told in flashback through a turbulent and dramatic period of history, and stacks the cast with notable European thesps. These include: Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Charlotte Rampling, Christopher Lee, Tom Courtenay representing the U.K.; from Germany, Martina Gedeck and August Diehl; Bruno Ganz of Switzerland; Lena Olin of Sweden; and Mélanie Laurent from France. However, bar Irons, this Babel tower of actors all play Portuguese nationals, and so while the films is told through English, they all speak with Portuguese accents. Irons, however, plays Swiss, which obviously means he employs his usual mellifluous British tones. A little silly though all this is, it's not actually particularly injurious to our understanding of the story, but it does give you an idea of the messiness and, well, inefficiency of the approach.

Interview: Mélanie Laurent On Advice From Luc Besson, Gerard Depardieu, 'Night Train To Lisbon' & Her Singing Career

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 23, 2013 4:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It can be hard to remember that Mélanie Laurent had actually been acting for a decade, albeit largely in French-language productions, before breaking out internationally by killing Hitler in “Inglourious Basterds.” Of course the one-two punch of the Quentin Tarantino movie and Mike Mills’ well-received “Beginners” is a relatively recent phenomenon for the actress, but in person, too, Laurent has an engaging freshness about her and a genuine excitement about where she is and what she’s is doing that makes her seem more like an ingenue than a seasoned pro. Or so we found when we got to meet her at the Berlin Film Festival where her latest film, Bille August’s “Night Train to Lisbon."

Berlin Interview: Jeremy Irons Talks 'Night Train To Lisbon,' 'Beautiful Creatures' And The Rationale Behind His Roles

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 22, 2013 10:58 AM
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A quick look through his back catalogue or a few minutes in his company will tell you that Jeremy Irons, despite his Best Actor Oscar (for his creepy, ambiguous Claus von Bulow in 1990’s “Reversal of Fortune”) and despite the many auteurs he has worked with in the past (David Cronenberg, Steven Soderbergh, Louis Malle, Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch etc), regards himself, first and foremost, as a jobbing actor. It’s not every esteemed and awarded star, after all, who boasts a U.S. indie, two lavish TV dramas, a small role in a would-be YA blockbuster, a lead in a European co-production and the voice of a bar rag in an episode of the “The Simpsons” as his credits in just the last 14 months or so.

Berlin Review: 'Night Train To Lisbon' Chugs And Clanks Along In Old-Fashioned, Uninspired Style

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 17, 2013 10:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the very finest tradition of europudding, director Bille August's "Night Train To Lisbon" adapts an international bestselling book, takes place against the picturesque backdrop of a European capital, is half-told in flashback through a turbulent and dramatic period of history, and stacks the cast with notable European thesps. These include, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Charlotte Rampling, Christopher Lee, Tom Courtenay representing the U.K.; from Germany, Martina Gedeck and August Diehl; Bruno Ganz of Switzerland; Lena Olin of Sweden; and representing France is Mélanie Laurent. However, bar Irons, this Babel tower of actors all play Portuguese nationals, and so while the films is told through English, they all speak with Portuguese accents.

Jeremy Irons, Vanessa Redgrave & Mélanie Laurent Join Bille August's 'Night Train To Lisbon'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 18, 2011 3:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Bruno Ganz, Christopher Lee, Lena Olin, August Diehll & Jack Huston Also In CastFor a man with two Palme d'Ors and a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, we don't hear much from Danish filmmaker Bille August these days. The "Pelle the Conqueror" director has only made two films in the last decade, potboiler thriller "Return to Sender," with Aidan Quinn, which we had no idea existed, and Nelson Mandela biopic "Goodbye Bafana," which similarly disappeared without a trace. But he's got a Danish picture "The Passion of Marie" coming next year, and his name still clearly holds enough sway to get an impressive cast for his film after that.

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