10 May 2019.
AVENGERS: ENDGAME ***
A quality blockbuster from the Marvel studios, this is a dark, detailed but too lengthy (just over 3 hours!) final episode.
Fun for the aficionados of the franchise, with all the Marvel characters brought in at various points of the scenario, sometimes with drama, sometimes with great fun, it could be tiresome for those not in the groove. But it plays out with fine respect for all the heroes, from top dog Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) to Captain America (Chris Evans), a chubby Thor (!) and even naughty Rocket Raccoon of the Guardians….Good fun, but you gotta be a fan.
AFTERMATH (Coeurs ennemis) **1/2
It’s Hamburg, 1946, under English occupation after WWII. A British commander of the occupying forces is joined there by his wife (Keira Knightly) after years of separation. Their relationship seems tense and distant, due to English reserve or perhaps deeper reasons, which will soon become evident.
Their new home is a grand mansion, recently sequestered from a wealthy German family whose owners – an attractive, erudite architect (Alexander Skarsgard) and his teenage daughter – try to be civil and welcoming to their new occupants. The scene is obviously set for melodrama and romance…
The harder the wife tries to be disagreeable to the Germans, the more sympathetic her husband is to the plight of the innocent citizens of this destroyed city. As he says, “more Allied bombs fell on Hamburg in one weekend than German bombs on England during the whole war”.
Something obviously has to develop…and it’s all quite clichéd, with much overacting except for the decent husband, played by character-actor Jason Clarke. Emotional beings that we are, we trail along with incredulous, bated breath, wondering how it will all end.
This is certainly no “Casablanca”, but the last five minutes make up for much of the previous mush.
GLORIA BELL **
Sebastián Lelio’s original Spanish-language “Gloria” back in 2013 was about a lonely woman in Chile who trawled the nightclubs looking for men. She seemed to have no self-respect, just an insatiable hunger for male company. It was not pleasant to watch, unless you were a voyeur.
This version, adapted and directed by the same director, but with top Hollywood star Julianne Moore, is vying for bigger glory. Gloria is a divorcee, American-style this time, again going from dance to dance to meet men. The one she falls upon is a schlemiel (John Turturro) who cannot commit fully. There is that lingering idea of low self-respect. Is this Mr. Lelio’s view of the modern woman? But then his ideal of ‘A Fantastic Woman’ is a transgender one, as in his last film…
For me the story feels sad and tawdry, not free-spirited and joyful as critics are proclaiming, but to each his own…
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.