The Tie That Binds: ‘lnsults our Intelligence’

Take Natural Born Killers and cross it with a standard television adoption movie. and this could be the bothersome offspring. Not that The Tie That Binds has any of the visual flair and topical comment of Oliver Stone's offering: the only similar element is the pairing of Keith Carradine and Daryl Hannah as a second-rate Woody and Juliette white trash couple. The tone of the movie is much closer to Pacific Heights, Unlawful Entry and The Hand Thar Rocks The Cradle. a territory of increasing blandness that is passing itself off as slick cinematic thriller. It's like Hitchcock had never been born.

With these gridlocks in place. the plot lazily finds its way home. Six-year- old Janie (Julia Devin) is the withdrawn child of Leann and John Netherwood (Hannah and Carradine). career criminals and rootless drifters. When a burglary goes wrong and her parents flee the site. she is taken into custody and is eventually adopted by nice. comfortably rich. childless couple Russell and Dana Clifton (Vincent Spano and Moira Kelly). But the ideal home life is threatened when the Netherwoods come stalking at the door. and an over-the-top and bloody finale is assured.

it goes without saying that contentious issues of nature vs nurture and biology vs social context are shoved aside for some easy and unnecessarily violent scares. Screenwriter Wesley Strick (Cape Fear: Final Analysis. Wolf) makes his debut as director. but insults our intelligence with some plot short cuts. These genres. styles and tones just don't go together; or maybe they would if there was some indication of putting heart into filmmaking and not just into formula. (Alan Morrison)

The Tie That Binds ( l8) (Wesle_v$trick, US. 1995) Daryl Hannah. Keith Carradine. Moira K elly. Vincent Sparta. 97 mins. F rmn Fri I 5. General release.

trauma ls moving enough; from it, the I

, i film spins a wearin old-fashioned tale g

i i of repressed family life. ; __»-.'-

5 ' At root, Unstrung Heroes seems to be I \ ~_ L

i "us‘rm‘mn HEROES an expression of homesickness: for i,

the parental home and for the sense of ':

3 ! tr

3 belonging a natural outsider can find

Diane Keaton has turned director, and . _ ,

- her feature debut is like one of her I i" "w" "and? tia'gfly' The!“ s loopy brown suits: all nostalgia and a . “mm char? 5 tfm' m.“ 3" self-conscious attempt at being , “mm. we 3"“? ‘3’ ,M'" '5 ,

, irrelevant. Unstrung Ileroes is shot in F”"'"”‘ by. s "m "s “cm , the sentiment“, {and “mes a, illness and disturbed by :is father s grandpa’s threadbare corduroy jacket : “fleas.” moans“ "t "he" he

I and peopled by {ogeyish eccenmcs . finds solace at the home of his wacky

whose oft-beat antics will have you ; ("Maigglgargalfdssnaalr : :ggymnm wigglamggi is an i Chaykin), it is as if we are being I offered a sop to the pain. Be a goon

emwonam "mess menu" 0' and you’ll be all right. For all its azimscgnéfipflgggsfigzgfi :33", interest in the underlying loneliness of with wife Selma (Andie MacDowell, , flffi’gfflm '5 PM" 9””- who looks too all-American and ; resilient for this film, though there are i

: weird moments when she apes kooky l Unstrung lleroes (PG) (Diane Keaton,

Keaton and says ‘gosh’ a lot). Selma is E US, 1995) Andie MacDoweII, John

an idealised mother-figure - loving, " Turturro, Nathan Watt. 95mins. From giving and balancing - until she is Fri 15 Dec: Cameo, Edinburgh. From ?

. struck down by cancer. The domestic Mon 15 Jan: Glasgow Film Theatre.



Unstrung Heroes: ‘old-fashloned tale of repressed family lite'


; Drawn from the Serge Gainsbourg song Elisa. Elisa. Elisa'. which figures 3 prominently during the action and plays

confection of a melodrama has an 5 appropriatejailbait ring to it. Vanessa . Paradis ~ she of ‘Joe Le Taxi‘ has I grown up a bit. so on the surface . " appears perfect forthe role ol‘the wised-up. council-raised girl whose

i campaign to exact revenge for her

i mother‘s suicide moves from council estate to sleazy hotel to windswept lighthouse where father Gerard Depardieu is holed up. ' Although she has attracted criticism.

on. I

\ is. g \A a"

Elisa: ‘bizarre confection of a melodrama' . manages to exude the roughed-up

out over the closing credits. this bizarre ‘.

I Paradis isn't bad exactly; shejust never

; cynicism such a part demands. And her

weird old-young features tncan she's suspended somewhere between Charlotte Gainsbourg -- who's made

such roles a speciality and

Emmanuclle Bean. who has set French

: templates for female sensuality in Un

(‘aeur [in Hirer and [a llr'lle Noiscuse. Jean Becker‘s film also has an

awkward change of tone signalled by

Depardieu's intrusion into the action *

as funny. strect~sman. buddy action

gives way to weirdly overblown father—

daughter anguish and mind-games. As

, a result. Paradis is asked to cover too much ground and ends up appearing

embarrassed by some of it. (Andrew l’ulvcr)

[Elisa (/5) (Jean Becker. France. I994) lit/tessa l’ararlis. (ie'ranl Ut’ptll'i/lt’ll. C'hlnrhilrle Conrail. [/5 mins. .S'uhtiiles. 3 From 5 Jan: Edinburgh Film/muse.

l traditionally unforeseen complications leave the thieves and francs imprisoned within the confines of the

1 racetrack.

e Glenn’s film is specifically a homage to Kubrick’s The Killing. It would be a

. remake were it not for the cops’ and

robbers’ awareness of the film itself,

; in which they feel trapped: ‘Stanley

! Kubrick didn’t write my dialogue!’

These meditations and a prolonged

, philosophical cop-out ending become

; Glenn’s own caper movie is as dense a bit pretentious, jarring with the fun

3 with film references as a Tarantino pulpy narration that The Killing also

script. From The Magnificent Seven to , revelled in. Lacking the pace of the

Point Break, they come in all forms: j racetrack, 23:58 is far more

imagery, dialogue, cuts from another i interesting in its film buttery than

film and plot similarity. 3 exciting as a tense heist movie. (Miles

A gang of crooks (including a funky . Fielder) pair of Parisian martial artists) pull off I

a six million franc heist during the le ; 23:58 (15) (Pierre-William Glenn,

Mans 24-hour motorcycle race - the France, 1992) Jean-Francois Stevenin, .

. film’s title comes from the ritual track . Jean-Pierre Mala, (mam cam/er, 33 ‘g

} invasion by the public, cuttlng the mins. Subtitles. From Tue 9-Thurs 11: i race short by two minutes - but those . Edinburgh Filmhausa,


I Police superintendent to inspector:

‘This whole business makes me think of a movie’ (which turns out to be

, Sydney lumet’s hi-tech caper, The

l Anderson Tapes). Pierre-William

23:58: ‘dense with film references'

38 The List 15 Dec 1995-” Jan I996