May 22, 2022

CANAL+ GRAND ÉCRAN, the channel dedicated to films to see once in a lifetime

Job by Canal Cinema February 4, 2022

From February 8, CANAL+ will give all its subscribers access to a new channel devoted to the great recent cinema classics. Essential films, sometimes cults, that you must have seen in your life, because they have the power to change it. A few days before the launch of CANAL+ GRAND ÉCRAN, a brief overview of the first masterpieces available on the channel and on demand on myCANAL.

A launch under the sign of great rewards

For its opening night, CANAL+ GRAND ÉCRAN honors two major French films of the last fifteen years, both of which have won the Oscars. One crowned Marion Cotillard, the other Jean Dujardin: of course we want to speak respectively of LA MÔME (Olivier Dahan, 2007) and THE ARTIST (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011). The first is a great popular biopic on the dramatic destiny of an absolute French icon, Edith Piaf, embodied in a moving way by an unrecognizable Marion Cotillard and who finds there the role of her life. Barely less touching, THE ARTIST is the great silent UFO in black and white which revealed to the eyes of the world the mad talent of Michel Hazanavicius, by staging Jean Dujardin in the role of a star actor of silent cinema, old-fashioned by the arrival of talkies in the interwar period. This tribute from the director to the beginnings of the golden age of Hollywood is formally stunning, and Jean Dujardin forms an unforgettable trio with Bérénice Bejo and a certain little dog. Unforgettable and unmissable.

The two feature films released the following days also won the Oscar for best film, a reward not stolen in either case. First there will be the very touching THE KING’S SPEECH (Tom Hooper, 2010), a film based on the true story of King George VI, forced to overcome his stutter to carry out his duties during a crucial period which covers the Second World War. Colin Firth (Oscar for best actor) is imperial there, and the same can be said of Kathryn Bigelow’s production in DEMINERS (2009), a feature film which made her the first woman to receive the Oscar for best director. A war film as brilliant as it is suffocating in its staging of its subject, DEMINERS is a major chapter in the work of Kathryn Bigelow, which however does not lack great moments.

The new version of an underrated film

The beginnings of the channel will also be marked by a small event: the first broadcast on television of the new version of THE GODFATHER 3 (Francis Ford Coppola, 1990), director’s cut supervised by the emblematic director of New Hollywood for the thirtieth anniversary of this unfairly unloved film. Renamed THE GODFATHER OF MARIO PUZO, EPILOGUE: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE, this superbly restored new montage shows how this third part of the most famous mafia saga in the history of cinema actually comes to close it perfectly. In addition to the once again heartbreaking performance of Al Pacino, this twilight film reveals the talent of the very charismatic Andy Garcia, in the role of the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone. And before (re)discovering this classic, why deprive yourself of the pleasure of rewatching the first two episodes of the saga, broadcast just before as part of a special evening, and legitimately considered as unsinkable masterpieces of the seventh art?

THE GODFATHER (1972) and THE GODFATHER 2 (1974) are not reserved for fans of gangster films: they are great tragic family frescoes, carried by a trio of legendary actors: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro . And if you haven’t had your dose of Hollywood classics yet, the rest of the program is in keeping, since we can also find the epic confrontation between Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio in GANGS OF NEW YORK (Martin Scorsese, 2002), the fearsome BLOOD FOR BLOOD (1985), the Coen brothers’ first film and first masterstroke, not to mention some stunning performances by actresses: Natalie Portman in the chilling BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky, 2011) and Sharon Stone in the very sulfurous BASIC INSTINCT (Paul Verhoeven, 1992). It’s the base for any cinephile worthy of the name, and it’s on CANAL+ GRAND ÉCRAN.

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