Welcome to New York Screen 80 of 23 reviews

Welcome to New York

2014

Welcome to New York Poster
  • Like most of Ferrara’s recent work, Welcome To New York has the aura of a modern day parable, and achieves a sense of grand universality despite its minimalist design... Like that under-seen masterwork [Go Go Tales], Welcome To New York expresses an incredibly intimate portrait of the city.

  • Cynical self-loathing seems to be the core emotion, Ferrara also tossing in digs at privileged rich people - like the great, unexpected shot that comes to rest on a random black defendant just after Jack has made bail - and showing his (or Ken Kelsch's) genius for visually evoking a twilight of the soul, a state of complete moral lassitude. That's mostly in the first half-hour, then DSK's encounter with the NYPD is even better, then the second hour flags a little but remains full of vivid images

  • Depardieu carries on his gargantuan body the weight of a magisterial performance, incarnating the neo-tribal chief of a most powerful clan whose daily routine of immaterial speculations is inversely mirrored in its impetuous carnal ravenousness... Depardieu completes with this film his own accidental trilogy about contemporary masculinity, that in almost reverse order recounts the undead corpse of the patriarch (the previous two episodes being Ferreri’s La dernière femme and Bye, Bye Monkey).

  • The film's peculiarly exhilarating effect can be attributed to a sense of social outrage that's transcended for the sake of metaphoric social clarity.

  • Ferrara's directorial achievement in "Welcome to New York" is mighty and terrifying. The filmmaker has every right to be upset—but should also, nonetheless, remain proud. It seems likely that his own R-rated cut of the movie would have remained much closer to his own original version. At the same time, for all the indignities inflicted on the film by Wild Bunch, the movie is still Ferrara's own.

  • Here we are trying to square the circle, or trying to reconcile the perfect image of evil with the perfect image of license—but in a way divorced from Christian moralizing: more Nietzschean. Orgiastic, a trainwreck, the far side of what some might call privilege, but which is here perhaps better termed sovereignty. Mere privilege is the watered-down version; these manifestations of sovereignty are what are running/ruining the world—a far more important target.

  • I don’t have feelings. I don’t feel guilty," Devereaux announces as he awaits trial, while his wife, Simone (Jacqueline Bisset)... exasperatedly chastises his behaviour. Ferrara continues to excel in his depiction of such moral grey areas, and Welcome to New York proceeds to end on an appropriately ambiguous note — slyly appropriate, that is, as the film has long since handed out its verdict.

  • Welcome to New York has three distinct acts, a softcore fiction, a crime procedural and a chamber drama. On the first two one works always from the idea of going beyond the strengths of documental (and it says a lot about Ferrara’s genius that it treats pornography and the verite crime film as coming from the same process) until arriving in a third one where drama has two be sustained by itself, in which there is no way around confront its central figure heads on.

  • Depardieu is a true modern day god who stumbles in one of many trips to earth. Yet only his body and indifferent, almost unflappable aspect, his abstracted lust and anger, indicate his godliness. The film cloaks him well in scenes of checking into and out of his hotel, going from and to the airport, getting undressed and dressed with gross difficulty. But Ferrara exposes him... in a gorgeous shot on a Tribeca rooftop as a god working out the concerns of his human form and finding them confusing.

  • Welcome to New York is a bold, sometimes absurdly funny, and often-horrifying look into theDominique Strauss-Kahn affair... Welcome to New Yorkis a pulsating reflection of capitalism gone amok that prefers solemnity to ludicrous and indulgent depictions. If The Wolf of Wall Street was drunk, Ferrara is asking us to sober up.

  • As is often the case with Ferrara, there's a spiritual dimension. At one point, Devereaux tells a psychiatrist that he's not interested in reforming because "no one wants to be saved." The final shot more or less inverts the one in [The Wolf of Wall Street], showcasing the protagonist unrepentant, willfully refusing to acknowledge that he might have done anything wrong. This is terrific, high-wire filmmaking, even if it gets everyone involved kicked out of France.

  • Such graphically rendered scenes may turn off as many viewers as they turn on, while leaving still others wishing Ferrara would simply cut to the chase. But as in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (a movie “Welcome” complements in several respects), these early moments are crucial to establishing the compulsive nature of the central character, and his sense of impunity.

  • A man, supposedly devoted to the good of others, instead defined entirely by his voracious appetites, allows those appetites to overtake him and consumes someone who doesn’t want to be consumed. A monster movie in which the monster isn’t as obvious as it initially seems, with Ferrara withholding judgment long enough to seek out systemic causes rather than placing all the blame on this lumbering representation of the financial crisis.

  • Ferrara and cinematographer Ken Kelsch, whose collaboration with the director dates back to The Driller Killer, achieve remarkable effects with minimal lighting. Often they cast heavy shadows around the human figures but create swaths of golden light behind them, the lighting scheme a visual metaphor for spiritual decay amid luxury.

  • The film’s first half is truly wonderful... After that, however, the film falters somewhat. Which is odd because these later scenes also feature what might be the best performance in the film — Jacqueline Bisset playing Devereaux’s wrathful, disappointed wife, Simone, herself the heir to a large fortune and whose ambitions for him are perhaps even greater than his own.

  • Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, King Of New York) wildly blurs the line between star and role, opening with an out-of-character interview with Depardieu, and staging Devereaux’s arrest and booking with real cops and corrections officers. Stripped, self-destructive performances are the director’s stock-in-trade; his best work intersects the lurid with the tragic, finding that point where self-destruction and addiction erupt into emotional violence.

  • In short, "Welcome to New York" is flat-out bonkers before it smartens up. But anyone willing to invest in the lunacy will find a satisfying dissection of DSK's monstrous appetite and the global industry that allows his excesses to thrive. With its speculative approach... "Welcome to New York" brings nothing new to the table aside from Ferrara's grimy filter on the official story. But, oh, what a filter!

  • ...Director Abel Ferrara and star Gerard Depardieu offer up a racy and at times, uproarious portrayal of the incident that initially toes the line between performance piece and soft-core porn, before transforming into an auto-biopic where actor and character meld into the same massive body. It’s a rather fascinating bit of artistic self-indulgence that’s both made by, and about, self-indulgent men, although one that can certainly grow taxing...

  • It's through the scenes of Deveraux's most depraved behavior that one gets a full view of his entire outlook on the world from the position of a man who can buy anything. These alterations also disrupt the flow of the film, which originally played as a redux summary of Ferrara's entire career, moving from a softcore beginning to a crime procedural before settling on a chamber drama that uses Cassavetesian exaggeration to reveal subtle emotional truths.

  • After the heady, nauseating bacchanalia of the early scenes and the brightly lit, coldly sober and mean rawness of the prison and court scenes, the film’s final act is a drag, over-banking on the interest of the marital discord Devereaux’s criminal behavior has wrought.

  • Anyone expecting the return of Gérard Depardieu to his former greatness in Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York, aka “the DSK movie,” will be disappointed. Although lawsuits are threatened, the movie is haphazard and unrevealing, except for one voiceover interior monologue by the star, which suggests the movie that perhaps could have been.

  • The ferocious fights between the couple, which, puzzlingly, are carried out mostly in English—even though the UK-born Bisset is fluent in French, a bilingualism that her costar hasn’t quite yet attained—often come perilously close to farce. Depardieu’s untamable vowels (“I don’t need your monay!”) and elision of prepositions (“I jerk on that lady. On her mouth”) are almost as bad as the truisms that Bisset must deliver: “The other side of love isn’t hate—it’s indifference.”

  • Blame all this on a sloppy editing, an obstinate clinging to a visibly unconcluded voyage along kilometers of material. Blame it maybe on an inconclusive production relationship. If a "documentary about the actor," then, not a particularly original one.

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