8 November 2019.
From sparkling days of glorious colors to overcast mornings and heavy downpours, from tangy oranges and comforting pumpkins, to woolly cardigans, slick raincoats and shiny boots, autumn is back as the days grow ever shorter. And cinema time is here, happy to be indoors and warm, with good things to watch.
We’re lucky with two fine releases this week, each completely different from the other…
If you are into classic war films of great heroism, such as “The Longest Day”, “The Battle of Britain”, “Looking for Private Ryan”, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” or even a rousing blockbuster like “Top Gun”, run to this one.
Roland Emmerich, the German/American director of huge action films like “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow” is back with this thrilling, edge-of-your-seat retelling of the famous battle of Midway, when the Americans took their revenge on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the U.S. into WWII.
Meticulously documenting the real military figures of that era and the exact dates and locations of the events and battles, Emmerich takes us fully into the characters, the action and the incredible heroism in the lopsided battle which determined the outcome of the war.
He depicts not only the American figures but also the patriotism of the Japanese military, as Clint Eastwood did so brilliantly in his dual homage to WWII, “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima”.
From the initial, dazed American response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, to their masterful intelligence department, topnotch military leadership, and the incredible air and naval battles, Emmerich puts us into that crucial moment of history with absolute brilliance.
LA BELLE ÉPOQUE ***1/2 (vo French)
If you like romance, nostalgia and aesthetic images, this rare gem of the genre is your film.
The brilliant young French writer, actor, director Nicolas Bedos (son of Guy), whose first film was “Monsieur et Madame Adelman”, a touching toast to an enduring couple, brought this latest film to Cannes in May where it received a lengthy standing ovation.
Once again about loving but complicated relationships between couples, this time he takes us on a sort of time-warp journey with a star-studded cast including Daniel Auteuil, Fanny Ardent, Guillaume Canet and Bedos’ own longtime companion, Doria Tillier, who played his wife in “…Adelman”.
Auteuil plays an ageing man who is frustrated with the modern world and is in a sort of depression. His wife, played by Ardent, can’t take his terrible mood swings and wants a separation. In desperation he agrees to an experiment in time travel, where he can pick the time he wishes to relive. Of course he picks the mid-1970s when he first met his wife, hoping to somehow alter the course of events.
The man who controls the experiment is played by Guillaume Canet who has his own love complications. And so follow events that are amusing and moving, as well as utterly inventive. Beautifully written and conceived, here’s a wonderfully satisfying film for romantics.
GIFF – November 1 – 10
To all avid Cinephiles of Geneva and environs : The Geneva International Film Festival is celebrating its 25th year with a rich program. In a variety of film formats including the Big Screen, TV Series and Digital innovations, it invites the public to partake from November 1-10, along with outstanding guests as Jean Dujardin, Clotilde Courau, and directors Costa-Gavras, Park Chan-Wook and Xavier Dolan. During the first weekend, all the TV Series screenings will be free for the public!
Check their info and complete program on GIFF.ch or pick up their catalogue at the Grutli or Theatre Pitoeff.
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.