12 August 2016.
This week’s releases are French and German, and why not, for we are after all living in the heart of Europe, aren’t we? And they are excellent ones, so take your pick or see all three, for you will be amused, moved and enlightened, respectively.
C’EST QUOI CETTE FAMILLE ? *** (vo French)
This amusing French comedy about the absurdity of today’s mixed and intermingled marriages and divorces is a wise delight. The seven related kids of various ages and colors of multiple parents simply revolt in a very smart fashion, and turn the tables on their elders. And rightfully so. Go, find out and learn from the “mouths of babes”.
Let’s hope this sweet, good fun of a film becomes as big a hit as last year’s comedy on multi-racial marriages, “Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au bon Dieu?”
L’AVENIR *** (vo French)
French actress/director Mia Hansen-Love has created here a straightforward, very “French” film, somewhere between a Woody Allen analysis and an Eric Rohmer reverie. Or simply, the truth (about a life) and nothing but the truth.
Despite her young years (35), Hansen-Love offers us multiple truths – about long-standing relationships, about the futility of philosophy vs emotions, about responsibility towards the elderly, and the bare truth about loneliness. And who else to personify a cold yet vulnerable woman as Isabelle Huppert, quite perfect in this role.
Huppert plays a woman trying to juggle her career as a philosophy teacher and a spoiled, clinging mother, along with her married life, which may be unraveling. Here is a mature look at a woman coming to many crossroads, and possibly having to face life alone.
STEFAN ZWEIG – ADIEU L’EUROPE ***1/2 (vo German, French, etc.)
There are films that stay in your heart and mind. Because of their subject, the beauty of the cinematography, the acting, but above all because they both enlighten and touch you deeply. And often because they reflect what is happening today.
This biopic of the great Austrian writer is such a one, aesthetically filmed and showing the crucial moments at the end of Zweig’s life from 1936 in Brazil to Argentina and New York, when he was a celebrated though wandering refugee, along with his young wife, away from his beloved homelands of Austria and Germany.
Maria Schrader, a German actress and director, has managed to bring to life the greatness and tragedy of one of Europe’s most revered writers. Being Jewish and feeling the onslaught of Nazism, Zweig left Europe for South America, where he was received everywhere as a celebrity. But the politics of the era weighed upon his morale and his will to live. This is his story, told with great style and compassion.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
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.