20 November 2015.
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.
Don’t forget: Geneva’s refurbished EMPIRE CINERAMA is open!
For Geneva’s film lovers, the brand-new Empire cinema at 72 rue de Carouge is open. It’s a lovingly restored and renovated venue born from an old movie theater that came into being in the 1920s, and went through various phases, last called the Cinestar. At one point it may have been torn down, but was saved by a team of enthusiastic film lovers, Didier Zuchuat, Jamal Zeinal-zadeh, Jean-Pierre Grey and Sylvain Prévost, who also revived the exclusive Cine17 at the rue Corraterie. It has a state-of-the-art screen, 330 red-velvet seats and a VIP balcony.
L’HERMINE **** (vo French)
Winner of best scenario, and best actor for Fabrice Luchini at the Venice film festival, this film by Christian Vincent (last of the delicious “Haute Cuisine”) is about a stuffy judge who blooms when an old flame turns up in his courtroom. Known for being pedantic and severe, he insists on being called “le Président de cours d’assises”. Until the day he is confronted with a difficult case concerning a father accused of killing his child, and sees a woman in his jury whom he secretly loved years ago.
The delicate scenario interweaves the austere courtroom setting with growing emotions and attraction as the cold judge turns into an eager, tender suitor. The great Luchini is a like a blank canvas that keeps attracting various hues, with added lights and shadows. And his lady love is the luminous Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen from the TV series “Borgen”.
Vincent has amassed a strong ensemble cast and created a film of multiple levels that gels perfectly, leaving you both fulfilled and in awe of its sublime simplicity.
This film is now showing in French-speaking Switzerland and will be released in German-speaking regions in March 2016. Cinemas and show times can be found here.
NOUS TROIS OU RIEN ***1/2 (vo French)
Here’s an extraordinarily-polished first film by and with the talented Iranian/French comedian, Kheiron, who tells his life story starting with his parents and grandparents in Iran. It covers three generations of a close-knit family while illuminating the dramatic events of his home country Iran, both under the Shah and the Islamic revolution. And he melds it into his own life as a baby refugee who grows into a success story in his new country, France. He turns the rough moments into bearable ones with subtle humor and manages to throw in laughter mixed with the tears and fears of leaving one’s home. Leila Bakhti, Gerard Darmon and Zabou Breitman are excellent as his mother and his grandparents.
This fine homage to his father’s strong principles is also a salute to hope and solidarity everywhere, especially in these times of world turmoil.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars