Berlin Film Festival: LIFE reviews

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Here are some reviews from the ‘LIFE’ Press Screening

Little White Lies

Robert Pattinson impresses in this stylish drama about the relationship between celebrity and the media.

An intense mob formed around the Berlinale press screening of Anton Corbijn’s Life — such is the continued allure of Robert Pattinson. His fans beyond the festival will be pleased to hear that his brittle performance as LIFE magazine photographer, Dennis Stock, outshines Dane DeHaan’s over-baked rendering of James Dean, although the latter is poignant enough to enliven this tale of men helping each other to take a leap into greatness.

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Pattinson’s performance is as crisp as the white shirt and black suits his character always wears. This is acamouflage for his own problems that slowly unfurl, adding colour and improving the film.

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Pattinson steps up, allowing more of his character’s insides to come out. As Life proceeds the pace picks up and by the third act, it is a compelling dramatisation of an artistically fascinating alliance.

More reviews after the jump

The Hollywood Reporter

While Pattinson has endured a lot of gratuitous bashing post-Twilight, he gives arguably the most fully rounded performance here, even if the character is inconsistently drawn. The photographer’s challenges seem as much due to his own insecurities as to the subject’s flakiness. But the conflict concerning whether James will or won’t deliver for Dennis’ camera never packs much urgency.

Cine-Vue

Owen Pallett’s jazz-infused score and Corbijn’s sharp, conservative framing capture the essence of a decade in which America was shifting towards a more liberal perspective on life and the arts. DeHaan and Pattinson are also both terrific, at once elegant and charismatic, yet equally uncomfortable in the skins they inhabit. Dean’s ability to mirror the dilemmas of a disenfranchised generation of youngster made him a star and whilst DeHaan’s performance is a little over-exaggerated, he still manages to capture that sense of relatable despondency. This also affords Pattinson time out of the spotlight in one of his strongest roles to date.

Variety

DeHaan and Pattinson enact this anti-romance beautifully, each man quizzically eyeing the other for leads and clues, while coyly retreating from scrutiny. Pattinson, adding to his post-“Twilight” gallery of sharp-cut screw-ups, brings intriguing layers of childish dysfunction to a character who is only ostensibly the straight man in the partnership.

Canvas

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“Stock (a show-stealing Robert Pattinson) first meets Dean at an LA party hosted by director Nicholas Ray.”

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“As it is, the main things you’ll remember are Pattinson’s best performance and the finest projectile vomit scene you’ve ever seen.”

Boston Herald

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“Robert Pattinson is perfectly cast as Stock, a man adrift with an ex-wife from a teenage marriage and guilt filled about the young son he never sees.”

Gone with the Movies

“For Robert Pattinson, his take on iconic photographer Dennis Stock is equally as impressive as he enters the world of Hollywood from the other side of the carpet (and at bottom). Spotting Dean’s talent early, Stock, in the two-hour running time attempts to get photographs of Dean before fame kicks in. Deadlines, pressure and awkwardness soon mount-up, and Pattinson expertly presents it onto screen.”