25 March 2022.
NOBODY HAS TO KNOW (L’Ombre d’un mensonge) ****
On the Isle of Lewis and Harris, a windswept island somewhere off Scotland, we find a Belgian man who has come there to work on a farm owned by a taciturn old man and his two sons. It’s not quite clear why he’s there, but he seems to like the solitude and privacy it gives him, as he slowly becomes part of the community. When he’s struck down with a stroke, he completely loses his memory. A local woman (Michelle Fairley) who has previously known him, comes to a decision. She will tell him that they were lovers before his stroke.
Bouli Lanners, the fine Belgian actor who has the same burly, worn charm as Brendan Gleeson, plays the main character and is also the director of this gentle film about a quiet, secret love that brings two lonely people together, for a while.
The realistic acting, the harsh landscape and the rough people are all incredibly moving, and they will remain with you long after you leave the film. Like the little gem that was “After Love”, this is a small film with great talent and a big heart. Not to miss!
This bombastic action film from Michael Bay, who specializes in such blockbusters, is pure adrenaline from beginning to end, with a few personal moments thrown in, between colleagues, husband and wife, and brothers.
Needing funds for his wife’s experimental operation, a war veteran gets coerced into a huge bank robbery with his adoptive brother, who has always been the bad boy of the family. As the heist goes terribly wrong, the two end up taking an ambulance as their getaway car, with an exceptionally dedicated paramedic (the beautiful Eiza Gonzalez) and a badly wounded cop as hostages.
From there it’s a wild, free-for-all chase through Los Angeles, with cars exploding and bodies flying all over the place. Not for the weak-hearted, this is constant action, much of it unbelievable but well-executed and thrilling.
The brothers are the anti-heroes we may be rooting for, played by a fierce Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul Mateen II, while the real heroine is the paramedic in their careening ambulance.
This is a heart-in-the-throat ride!
LE TEMPS DE SECRETS ***1/2 (vo French)
Now if you’re looking for a tender, old-fashioned tale of a bucolic summer in the Provence, this story of Marcel Pagnol’s reminiscences of his childhood at the turn of the 19th century is your cup of tea.
You can almost smell the lavender, feel the gentle breeze and hear the crickets as he goes off on adventures with his rustic buddy. But then he meets a charming damsel and is bewitched by her haughtiness, her grand home and her exotic parents. Hers is a different world from that of his decent, earnest parents.
This is a beautifully filmed story of first experiences and a first love, which sometimes take one away from what is true and real. Director Christophe Barratier has illuminated author and filmmaker Pagnol’s third volume of his childhood memoirs with great delicacy and care.
QU’EST-CE QU’ON A FAIT AU BON DIEU 3 *** (vo French)
Like the current sweet and hilarious sleeper, “Maison de Retraite”, this third edition of the successful French comedy franchise about an uptight bourgeois Catholic couple facing the marriages of their four daughters to men of vastly different backgrounds, is a hoot.
In the past two episodes, the couple has dealt with the shock of an Arab, a Chinese, a black, and a Jewish son-in-law, one after the other. In this latest one, ALL the in-laws are coming to visit for a big anniversary of the besieged couple.
It’s ultra-clichéd and stereotyped and the whole thing is a delightful romp through politically incorrect territory. But that’s the gist of these films – bringing out the outrageous feelings and reactions to prejudices that no one dares face. And why not, for it clears the air and they let it rip, to hilarious effect. It’s over-the-top, silly at times, but good fun, as it’s meted out to one and all. Christian Clavier and Chantal Lauby are perfect as the overwhelmed couple.
ALORS ON DANSE – (vo French)
It seems recent French films referring to dance, like the embarrassing “Rumba la Vie” by and with Franck Dubosc, should be avoided at all costs. This one is an attempt by an actress, Michele Laroque, who is also trying to turn director, with equally dismal results. A good comedy is rare and can be a work of art – these are not!
LE PLAZA – on Chantepoulet – a temple to CINEMA
with the works of MARK COUSINS – 18/3 – 3/4/22
MARK COUSINS was born in Belfast like Kenneth Branagh, and like Branagh, as a child he found solace in the movies, where he felt both protected and released from his anxieties. When he recently saw Branagh’s film, “Belfast”, he cried through much of the film, moved by its reality and its emotions. Having never met him, he called Branagh and made a lunch date with him, to talk of films.
Partly Scottish and now living in Edinburgh, he fell in love with cinema in his early twenties, traveling the globe in search of films from all corners of the world – Africa, India, the Nordic countries, Iran. He had studied Kiarostami’s films and met him. He says the master told him his films were poor on the outside, rich on the inside.
And so he has made films about the history of cinema, about the works of women directors, about his own eyesight, how he views films and the world. He has been invited to Cannes, to Venice and other festivals, for he is a fanatic of cinema, and word grew about his work and dedication.
And now Le Plaza has given him their amazing space, in 3 different screening rooms, to convey to us his passion for this magnificent Seventh Art. Some of his films last hours, but the audience in Geneva can go in and out as they wish, like the Plaza’s previous offering, “The Clock”.
Check the times and scheduling on their site, leplaza-cinema.ch.
It is on-going, with FREE entrance – starting 18th March through 3rd April.
Geneva is a marvelous city for FILM!
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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.