SNOW THERAPY (TURIST/FORCE MAJEURE) **** (vo Swedish/French) Powerful is the word that best describes this Swedish film that, among its other awards, deservedly won the Jury Prize in the Certain Regard section at Cannes last year. It starts as a pale, austere skiing tale about a man who momentarily fails his family in an act of cowardice. The bizarre incident develops into a slow, searing study of the fragility of the male ego, the anxieties of the children, and the bewildered psyche of the wife. This razor-sharp analysis of relationships is the work of director Ruben Ostlund, with an amazing portrayal by Johannes Kuhnke as the guilt-ridden husband. A film to ponder and discuss at length with fellow cineastes.
(Photos – Look Now!)
Two comedies that have been badly maligned are the recently controversial
THE INTERVIEW **1/2 (about an assassination plot in North Korea) and Johnny Depp’s MORTDECAI **. Neither can claim to be a great work of art or intelligence, but I found the first crazily entertaining (despite the usual below-the-belt vulgarity), mildly thought-provoking and energetically performed by the loony duo, James Franco and Seth Rogan, with the latter turning out to be also co-writer/director of this political spoof. An attempt to raise the intelligence quotient of Franco’s low-brow TV show turns into an international catastrophe (eerily mirrored in actuality with the ensuing Sony/North Korean fiasco), with both hilarious and satisfying consequences… MORTDECAI is less amusing and well-written, but it’s fun nevertheless to see top performers such as Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow being silly in this supposedly elegant spy/art scene yarn. But the trusty-buddy character actor Paul Bettany is an absolute hoot and possibly worth the price of the ticket!
(Photos – MORTDECAI – Ascot-Elite films)
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Germany and Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.