9 December 2022.
It seems this week you’ll have a lot of movie-going, for there are four good ones coming out – all with 3 stars, which means ‘very good’. So depending on your inclinations, you’ve got choices galore!
MOTHER TERESA AND ME (Kavita & Teresa) ***
This film is the story of Mother Teresa’s early years in India (from the mid-1940s) trying to save the poor, sick and dying, alongside the modern life of Kavita, a young English girl of Indian origin, who travels to India to find answers to some major questions. This intriguing tale of intertwined destinies is directed by the Swiss/Indian Kamal Musale, known for films such as “Curry Western” and “Millions Can Walk”.
The historical parts about Mother Teresa are brilliantly documented, in black and white and played soulfully by Swiss actress Jacqueline Fritschi-Cornaz, while the modern story of Kavita is portrayed in colour by the Welsh/Indian Banita Sandhu.
The juxtaposition of these two lives is the basis for the film, though at times the two parts feel somewhat alien to each other, for the Mother Teresa part is heartfelt and important, while the modern tale is a fictitious melodrama of a muddled love life. But the film is nevertheless a significant one, for any account of Mother Teresa’s life is immensely worthy, and this one has simply added a contemporary colour to it.
PUSS IN BOOTS: The Last Wish (LE CHAT POTTE 2) ***
What a great holiday treat to hear the lively Spanish accents of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek as the swashbuckling Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws, along with an adorable little runt of a dog who just wants to be friends and believes in all things positive. Obviously Puss is the main character and a wonderfully humorous and humanised one, for in this episode he suddenly realises that he’s run out of lives as he comes face to face with death and cowardice, but it’s the little scroungy dog who is the catalyst for the sweetness and wisdom of this delightful adventure for kids of all ages.
In the chase to find the one wish that might get his nine lives back, Puss meets up with a lot of tough challenges from some other fairytale characters such as Goldilocks and the three bears, the terrible bully, Jack Horner, and his own hangups.
Animations are usually dubbed into French here in the Suisse Romande, but Cine17 and Pathe Balexert will be showing it in both its original version and the French version. See it with the whole family to feel the fun and excitement, especially if you’re a cat lover. Meow!
MAESTRO(S) *** (vo French)
A father and son who are both acclaimed classical music conductors have a strained relationship due to a typical masculine rivalry. This is their story, played respectively by Pierre Arditi as the father, and Yvan Attal as the son who has just won the prestigious Victoire music award. There is also their relationship with the grandson, a budding musician in his own right, and of course the wives and lovers, all navigated with much clarity by director Bruno Chiche, despite a paucity of conversation, which is a gratifying element here.
Some critics might call this an overly predictable family melodrama, but I found it elegant, well acted, musically pleasing and quite satisfying. Voila.
ANNIE COLÈRE *** (vo French)
Strange how films on the same subject occasionally come out at the same time. It happened quite a few years ago with two sublime versions of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” by two brilliant directors, Milos Forman and Stephen Frears, between 1988 and 1989. The latter one by Forman was called “Valmont”.
This season we’ve had “Call Jane” and now “Annie Colère”, both about the fight for women’s right to abortion in the 1970s. The first was the more glossy American version, and this one is about a group of women in France who helped one another when they they had nowhere else to turn for safe abortion. This one by Blandine Lenoir has more of the realism of French cinema, with Laure Calamy (from “Call my Agent”), who is excellent as Annie.
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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.