17 July 2020.
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE? ***
Oscar-crowned Cate Blanchett – the younger version of Meryl Streep – for she is a chameleon of an actress, plays here a celebrated architect with a happy and loving family, who suddenly disappears, probably off to Antarctica. She has not been practicing her profession for some years, has become a sociopath, but has a very close relationship with her teenage daughter who is soon going off to boarding school.
Richard Linklater, the director of intimate character studies such as the “Before Sunset” films and “Boyhood”, has taken this acclaimed bestseller and created an intriguing study of a woman stifled in her life when she has not followed her passion in creation. It’s both baffling and heart-warming, an elating moment of pleasure. It’s like the bubbles in champagne, exhilarating but soon gone after the delightful high. Catch it anyway, it’ll make you smile and think…(At the Cine17).
ÉTÉ 85 *1/2 (vo French)
François Ozon is one of France’s most talented directors. The 52 year-old, multi award-winning director and scriptwriter has a vast range of themes in his films, such as “8 Femmes”, the amusing musical thriller (almost a modern Bunuel yarn) starring an array of France’s top actresses snowbound in a villa with a corpse; “Potiche”, with a radiant Catherine Deneuve alongside Gérard Depardieu and Fabrice Luchini in a delicious satire about a woman finally coming into her own; “Jeune et Jolie”, about a young girl who takes up prostitution just for the fun of it; “Frantz”, a superbly romantic tale of war-torn lovers; and “5×2”, the story of a marriage coming apart.
Ozon is versatile, irreverent, often sexually ambiguous, an elegant story teller, and can also be completely serious as with his last one, “Grâce à Dieu”, based on the trial of the Lyonese Catholic priest who preyed on his young parishioners. It was an important, powerful study of the devastation to the individuals involved and the utter hypocrisies of the Church.
His films are usually in the Cannes Festival lineup and awaited impatiently by his many fans. So that much more disappointing to witness this trite, almost amateurish mishmash about the fleeting love affair between two young boys during a Normandy summer. “Été 85” tries to cover too many themes – death, police investigation, first love, jealousy, a flighty mother to one boy and staid parents to the other, plus a young English au pair thrown in for some foreign spice…
What happened to Ozon’s sharp wit and discreet innuendos on sexual games, his stylish sophistication and intelligent dialogue? Hopefully this is just an unfortunate hiccup in his long line of excellent films.
There’s a lot on offer in the Geneva and surrounding cinemas that are trying to get back on their feet:
Run to I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, one of the most important and moving documentaries by the brilliant Haitian director Raoul Peck, on the last writings of James Baldwin. Or QUEEN AND SLIM and DEGAULLE, if you have not yet seen them. (All showing in Ferney-Voltaire, near the big Carrefour)
There is “L’été aux cinémas du Grütli” from July 1st through August 18. Check out their schedule of a huge range of old and new classics from Bunuel to Tarantino.
And the ongoing Christopher Nolan retrospective at the Pathé Cinemas and the Clint Eastwood films at The Empire.
It’s either our lovely lake, pools or a cool cinema after the heat… Enjoy them all!
Look up the films, times and cinemas on cineman.ch.
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.