20 April 2018.
Great week! We’ve got a brilliant French comedy of errors, a touching Italian romance, and this amusing fun-and-games yarn that gets somewhat out of hand. So grab this chance for varied and quality entertainment in our multilingual city of Calvin.
GAME NIGHT ***
Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman make the perfect couple with whom to have game nights – they love each other, but also love winning the tough parlor games they play each week with their regular buddies.
All is fine until hubby’s super-successful big brother comes to town and hikes up the game a notch or two with an elaborate kidnap scheme that’s supposed to be the ultimate challenge. But, this being a clever Hollywood production, things don’t turn out quite as planned…
Well written and fast-paced, this thrilling ride with heart and no vulgarity is an exhilarating movie for the whole family.
PLACE PUBLIQUE **** (vo French)
In the space of a summer evening’s party in a lovely country domain somewhere outside Paris, this light, amusing film manages to cover a panoply of ideas, feelings and moods.
The brilliant writing, directing and acting team of Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri (of the eternal ‘sale gueule’ as the French would say) are back once again to delight us with their incisive viewpoints on society, politics and emotions. With their perfect touch of so-French ambience, they have created a moment of pleasure for the eyes, enchanting music for the ears, and intelligent dialogue for the mind.
Jaoui and Bacri have collaborated in some of the most unforgettable French films such as “Un air de famille”, “On connait la chanson” or “Le goût des autres”. They were married at one time, then divorced, but luckily for us, are still collaborating artistically.
Here, among the champagne and music, they present characters such as Bacri’s ageing, jaded star-interviewer who is desperately jealous over his roaming girlfriend; his humanitarian ex-wife (Jaoui) who seems to find an old love among the party guests; their sad daughter who has written a tell-all book about her upbringing; the hostess who is pulling all the strings, along with her endearing Eastern-bloc beau whom nobody understands; and an irate neighbor with a shotgun. These are just a few of the players in this chess game of life on this summer evening of revelations. It’s funny, it’s surprising and a film not to be missed!
EMMA ***1/2 (vo Italian)
It’s good to see a fine Italian film, for there have been ups and downs in the great tradition of Cinecitta cinema lately, but then Milan-born director Silvio Soldini never disappoints his audience. Since I first saw “Un Anima Divise in Due” in 1993, I was bowled over by Soldini’s style – a great deal of depth with a feather-light touch – delicate and moving. Unforgettable films such as “Bread and Tulips” or “Days and Clouds” are among his many award-winning works.
His latest is a love story about a well-balanced, independent blind girl played by the beautiful and gifted Valeria Golino, and a serial womanizer played by Adriano Gianini (son of Giancarlo).
With light brushstrokes, Soldini takes us into their lives, their careers, their developing relationship, never giving us a clue to how it will all end. Each scene is a precious moment through his seamless editing. It might be a metaphor for the blindness of those who can see, the generosity of the handicapped, or simply a complicated, enchanting romance. Enjoy, while figuring it out for yourself.
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.