7 February 2020.
THE GENTLEMEN ***
Hugh Grant is unrecognisable, but such sleazy fun; the usually cool Colin Farrell looks like a geek here, but is razor sharp; handsome Charlie Hunnam is hidden behind glasses and a goatee as a loyal lieutenant, while Matthew McConaughey rules the roost as a smooth operator from the U.S. of A. who’s created a highly lucrative business in the marijuana trade in the middle of the peaceful, gentrified English countryside. And the action and dialogue come at you with the wit and speed that is Guy Ritchie’s speciality, as in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” or “Snatch”.
You’ve got to love Ritchie to fully appreciate his frenetic, wacky style – the English version of Tarantino’s mad genius. And often more hilarious.
There are so many layers to the story, all such fun, that I won’t tell you any more. If you like great action, a crazy yarn and top actors having a whale of a time, don’t miss this latest Ritchie extravaganza. And check out demure Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame playing a fierce gangster’s moll. Super cool!
ADAM **** (Arabic)
Two women in Morocco – one, a grieving widow with a sweet daughter and a warm, cozy home; the other, homeless and pregnant, looking for a job. The widow, despite her initial hesitations, allows the pregnant woman to stay in her home for just a few days.
This beautifully acted film, directed by another woman, Maryam Touzani, describes the slow but profound relationship that develops between the two females and the little girl as a catalyst. With exquisite photography and pacing, Touzani brings a whole world of emotions into this delicate tale of charity and bonding. Cooking together, helping with the little pastry booth of the widow, their complicity becomes a learning curve for both women, as their wisdom and caring transforms each of them.
The visitor brings a lightness to the widow’s strict lifestyle and opens her up to a possible suitor, while she also augments the food stand with her delicious concoctions. But as the pregnancy advances and the baby is due, the question of society’s pressures, the shame of an illicit child and its future hangs heavy upon the expectant mother.
This sublime film which came out in the Certain Regard section in Cannes last year ,should have won the top prize. It didn’t, but then who says life is fair…? Run to it for a moment of grace.
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.