and Sombogaart and screenwriter Marieke van der Pol's wilful refusal to contextualise the sisters' dual narratives. (Eddie Harrison)
I Fi/mhouse. Edinburgh from Fri lO—Thu 76 Jun; GET, Glasgow from Fri 77 Jun.
WE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
(15) 98min 0000
John Curran's film about COuples inadvertently sharing partners is likely to draw comparisons to the similar themed Closer. StateSide. We Don't Live Here Anymore was brushed aside by the Julia Roberts/Jude Law vehicle. but the box office returns and awards are less an indicator of the relative merits of the film than reaffirmation that mass audiences prefer star names and overwrought melodrama to hard-hitting and vague denouements on the human condition. Steering clear of cheap. sterilising gimmicks. We Don’t Live Here Anymore is the better film of the two. Mark Ruffalo (the best American actor of his generation) plays Jack. a college professor who shares with fellow teacher Hank (Peter Krause) a passion for literature. running and women. The affair that Jack is haying with Hank's wife Edith (Naomi Watts) is more a reaction to his own dysfunctional marriage to the alcohol reliant Terri (Laura Dern) than a sign of strong feelings for Edith.
Based on two short Andre Dubus stories. the movie deals in the grey areas of love that so brilliantly serve another movie inspired by Dubus' pen. Todd Fields' In the Bedroom. Yet it's the relationship that doesn't involve sex between Jack and Hank that's the real clincher. Their games of one- upmanship and bravado fizzle With a kinetic tension as they strive harder to demonstrate their manhood to each other than to their wives. while it's the women who hold both the trump cards and the bigger balls. Home is where the hatred is indeed.
I UGC. Renfrew Street, Glasgow. UGC. Edinburgh and Odeon. Edinburgh from Fri I 7 Jun.
SHAGGY ooc s'roav BOMBON EL PERRO (15) 98min no
Argentinean director Carlos Sorin follows up the tripartite Historias Min/mas With another ambling road movie. also set in Patagonia. But Bombon El Perro only concentrates on one story — that of unemployed fiftysomething Juan (Juan Villegasl. who has lost his (ob as a garage mechanic after 20 years of work. Having helped a stranded driver. he's rewarded Willi the gift of a ferocious- looking hunting dog named Bombon.
which is impervious to pain. And. according to the trainer Walter (Walter Donadol. the animal's impeccable pedigree makes him a prime candidate both for canine competitions and stud services.
As With many recent Argentinean films. the underlying sublect of Bombon is the collapse of the nation's economy and the impact of this catastrophe upon the cOuntry's inhabitants. The dog shows themselves aren't treated as Best in Show—style satires. but as legitimate ways for the characters to stay afloat in depressed times.
Yes there's an element of sentimentality in the way the film observes the relationship between owner and hound (whose libido proves to be far from reliable). proViding a convenient reunion for the pair after a period of separation. But there's also a genial charm to Bombon, noticeable in the affection with Which Sorin observes the odd-couple duo of the softly spoken Juan and the ever excitable Walter. Thanks in part to the impresswely dignified performance of the non-professional Villegas and to some accomplished landscape Cinematography. this serves as an amiable tribute to Patagonia itself and to the resilience of its inhabitants.
(Tom Dawson) I Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri If Jun.
DRAMA COMEDY KINGS AND QUEEN (15) 152min 0000
Arnaud Ma Vie sexue/le Desplechin's brilliant new effort is not so much a film aboet mad people. but one. perhaps like The Idiots. With a madness running through it. As if taking off from Jean Renoir's comment that 'everyone has his reasons' and inverting it to unreason. Desplechin's style and characterisation suggests characters emotionally )ump-ciitting from scene to scene.
This is loosely the tale of two former lovers. Nora (Emanuelle Devos) and Ismael (Matthieu Amalric). Nora wants to settle down into a comfortable marriage With a wealthy older man~ While Ismael gets locked up in a mental institution. It's not so much, it seems. because he is madder than anyone else but more of a case that he feels more obliged than most to justify his moments of instability.
Not that Ismael's apparent mental ill- health bothers Nora as she proposes that he adopts her young son. conceived With a now dead lover from her youth. She believes that because Ismael was so present during the boy's formative years. he knows better than anyone how to bring him up.
MoVIng between the two leading
.. 3 QUEEN OF THE FACADE
Tom Dawson meets one of France’s most earnest and prolific film
actresses, EMMANUELLE DEVOS.
The female star of Arnaud Desplechin’s exhilarating melodrama Kings and Queen, Emmanuelle Devos (pictured) turns out to have serious doubts about her own screen acting career. ‘Right now, I’m in a crisis with the cinema,’ reveals the 41-year-old actress. ‘Cinema takes a lot out of you as an actress and it doesn’t give you much back in return. I’ve done another ﬁlm recently - La Femme de Gilles, which died at the French box ofﬁce and the experience of the two ﬁlms left me feeling drained. And I hate going on television to promote ﬁlms, which you’re obliged to do.’
Devos’ professional and family background lies in the theatre. Both her parents were stage actors and she started acting in plays at the age of 14, making her cinematic debut in her mid-20$. The ﬁlm for which she is best known and for which she was awarded the French Cesar in 2002 is Jacques Audiard’s inventive thriller Read my Lips, in which she was cast as a deaf secretary opposite Wncent Cassel’s ex-con. ‘Now that was a role that every major French actress wanted to play, and they chose me, even though I wasn’t very famous,’ she says without arrogance.
Kings and Queen represents Devos’ fifth collaboration with Desplechin, and the dark-haired actress didn’t hesitate to accept her role. ‘lt’s very simple with Arnaud,’ she says. ‘He tells me what he has written and asks me would I like to play the part. I don’t ask myself many questions because I know it’s always good. He’s more cerebral than me, and I’m more instinctive and that combination works well in our creative relationship.’
And what was so interesting to Devos about her Kings and Queen character Nora, a woman who has spent her life concealing her true emotions beneath her radiant facade? After a long pause she says: ‘lt’s not the character I was interested in; it’s her situation and what she is going through. There are very strong moments in the ﬁlm and I had powerful feelings about them, like when Nora has to go and tell her son that his
grandfather is going to die.’
Devos admits that she’s disappointed that some viewers of Kings and Queen have found Nora to be ‘monstrous and calculating.’ ‘I think in France it’s unacceptable that a woman in a film can go through so many difﬁcult things without becoming hysterical,’ she says. ‘Nobody criticised the Martin Landau character in Crimes and Misdemeanours for being monstrous even though he arranged for his mistress to be killed. But when
it comes to Nora . . .’
I Filmhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 70 Jun— Thu 76 Jun and GFT. Glasgow from Fri
77 Jun. See review, left.
characters (based loosely on his own relationship With actress Marianne Denicourt) Desplechin shows how Amaliic's 'madness' lies in the eyes. While Nora's is in the mouth. as if by some congenital, physiognomic disorder. But then the deeper into the
film we get. as we see (’Zatheiine Deneuve's psychiatric nurse Vasset at work. say. or Nora's father, played by the iiiai‘\.'elloiis Maurice Carrel, whose final liying gesture indicates a seething despair of his own. we see that the film is permeated With an tinsentiinental sense of sympathy. The director says he hopes this ".vill shake you up a little'. Desplechin even manages to throw in a couple of snatches of "Moon Hiyei' from Breakfast at 'lillan‘.”s for good measure. A treat tron: start to finish (lony McKibbini
I Film/louse, Edinburgh ‘iom lri it)
Juri—lliu lb‘ Jun and (if I. (ilasgoi‘.
from Fri If Jun. See .nteiyiet‘u above.
“ Lit .‘ ~07" THE LIST 49