4 December 2020.
This week I’ve picked five of my favorite films for you. Each is completely different in theme and genre, yet there is a common thread of intelligence, charm and nostalgia to them. Another similarity is the excellence of their directors, the ultimate visionary behind any unforgettable film. There are obviously many more gems like these, but these just felt right for now, up there on top. Five to take on that desert island… But will there be electricity and wifi…?
TWO FOR THE ROAD (1967)
Stanley Donen directs the glorious Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finley at the height of their youth and charm.
The story is of the beginnings of their romance, marriage, his sky-rocketing career, infidelities and the final bitterness of their relationship, all told in scattered road trips through southern France, plus a great soundtrack. Both amusing and tragic, it’s life lived too fully.
OUT OF AFRICA (1985)
A Danish woman joins her husband in Africa and creates a life there with tremendous ups-and-downs in her surroundings and relationships.
This supreme romance has it all – great actors such as Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, directed by Sidney Pollack, glorious music and vistas, the feel of colonial Africa. This is a standard-bearer of grand drama.
STAND BY ME (1986)
This gentle, touching coming-of-age tale is about four 12-year-old buddies in small town Americana in the late 1950s.
The mood is of a lazy summertime, adolescent conversations, an agreement to find a disappeared body. Rob Reiner creates the perfect touch of innocent youth, with all its fantasies and turmoils. His knack for the smallest details of childhood is timeless, as is the film itself.
Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1978 hit musical, the film directed by Alan Parker starred Madonna as the controversial Eva Peron, the First Lady of Argentina in the 1940s, Antonio Banderas as Che, and Jonathan Pryce as Peron.
A sweeping musical of her tumultuous years from poverty to the heights of power, it’s an anthem to a woman who bewitched a nation.
WHATEVER WORKS (2009)
This is one of Woody Allen’s lesser-known films, yet it has all the marks of his continuous genius. A nasty, ageing NewYork intellectual (played by a perfectly Allenesque Larry David) tells us about his botched suicide, the pretty, young runaway from the deep South who inadvertently moves in with him, their strange relationship, her eccentric mother, and a whole bunch of other unconventional characters as only Allen can create.
It’s about the coincidences of life, the perplexities of existence, the acceptance of differences and the obviousness of whatever works… An amusing, philosophical delight.
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.