7 October 2016.
HELL OR HIGH WATER (Comancheria) ****
This gripping road movie opposing two reckless bank-robbing brothers (the intense duo of Chris Pine and Ben Foster) and a crusty Texas sheriff (the always brilliant Jeff Bridges) is directed, of all people, by a Scottish Brit. David Mackenzie is an expert at such atmospheric films as the sensual “Young Adam” or the touching “Hallam Foe”. And he is the man behind this modern Western which made quite an impact at the Cannes festival this past May.
There are the drab towns and wide expanses of the Texas countryside. There are the frenetic heists of the two brothers and in between, their arguments and their meals at typical diners. And then there is the side of the law, with the wily, almost-retired Sheriff Bridges and his Native American deputy trying to figure out the next moves of the brothers. This is a film that has us rooting for both sides and feeling for them too.
Make sure you don’t miss this hugely satisfying film which is exciting, laid-back, tragic and wise, all at the same time. It’s quite an experience and one of the best films of the year.
THE LIGHT BETWEEN TWO OCEANS ***1/2
If your are looking for a sumptuously-filmed, strongly-acted, romantic melodrama that will transport you from the humdrum of daily life, run to this movie. And don’t listen to critics that run it down as an implausible tear-jerker. Let them make something so grand and moving themselves.
In the vein of “Wuthering Heights” or “The English Patient”, this story tells of a broken WI veteran, a lonely island, an idyllic love and a baby as a gift from the seas. But it is also a tale of honor, guilt and forgiveness in a more morally attuned era.
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are superb as the torn couple, having actually fallen in love in real life among those grandiose vistas from Down Under. And the director Derek Cianfrance has already distinguished himself with such memorable films as “Blue Valentine” and ” The Place Beyond the Pines”.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY **1/2
Ok, she’s back again, third time around, ten years later. In her early 40s now, there is no excuse for all her cutesie clumsiness and daffiness, and even though she’s expecting a baby, she still hasn’t quite grown up. Maybe that’s her attraction to men, the need for them to take care of her?
Mr. Darcy is back, portrayed by the dour-looking Colin Firth, somewhat tattered with age. The rakish Hugh Grant character has gone to calmer realms, and in his stead is a charming, doting multi-millionaire played by Patrick Dempsey. He does add pizzazz.
How Bridget/Renée Zellwegger attracts all these men is beyond me, but there we have it, plus all sorts of looney shenanigans that lead to her swollen state. This is funny, fluff entertainment, and why not? Go ahead and enjoy this modern woman of today, who gets to choose…
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.