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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.21.13] thriller drama crime

Actor/director Guillaume Canet is back behind the camera, this time directing an English language remake of Jacques Maillot's Rivals, a film he starred in. With the help of writer/director James Gray (of We Own the Night, Two Lovers fame), Canet has transferred the story of two brothers on opposite sides of the law, to 1970s Brooklyn.

Though it played out of competition at Cannes, Blood Ties had quite a bit of buzz going into the festival. Partly because Canet is a talented director in his own right, partly because of Gray's involvement (he too is premiering a movie at the festival) and partly because of the cast which includes Canet's partner Marion Cotillard along with Clive Owen, James Caan, Billy Crudup, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Matthias Schoenaerts and Lili Taylor.

The movie pits Crudup as Frank, a cop and Owen as Chris, the brother recently release from prison after 12 years for a murder wrap. Chris is trying to keep his life on the straight and narrow but when money's tight, he finds himself lured back into a life of crime. When his cop brother Frank discovers a plan to rob a bank truck, Frank forced to decide between his brother or the badge.

It's a pretty straight forward story, one that fans of Gray will find particularly familiar, but Canet's film seems to be a throwback to the 70s crime dramas and that's definitely a great thing.

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