Film INDEX Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Paul Dale ✽✽ Indicates Hitlist entry
Aadukalam (12A) (Vetrimaran, India, 2011) Dhanush, Taapsee Pannu. 154min. Tamil film about the lives of craftsmen in Madurai. Showcase Cinema, Glasgow. Alpha & Omega 2D (U) ●●●●● (Anthony Bell/Ben Gluck, US, 2010) Voices of Hayden Pannetierre, Christina Ricci, Justin Long. 87min. Cutesy and unremarkable lupine rom-com featuring Kate (Panettiere) and Humphrey (Long), wolves from opposite ends of the social spectrum who find that they have more in common than they thought after being removed from their pack by some meddlesome rangers. Grosvenor, Glasgow. American Beauty (18) ●●●●● (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch. 121min. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnham (Spacey, giving a career best performance) hates his life, but a close encounter with his daughter’s gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time self improvement: he quits his job, digs out his old rock albums and scores marijuana from the kid next door. And these teenage kicks return to Lester what’s been missing from his life for years: pleasure and happiness. Mildly interesting funny mid life crisis drama. Scotsman Screening Room, Edinburgh. Animals United (U) ●●●●● (Reinhard Klooss, Holger Tappe, Germany, 2010) Voices of Ralf Schmitz, Thomas Fritsch, Christoph Maria Herbst. 92min. Well- meaning but cliché-ridden German animation for very young children with an environmental message that we humans should respect our planet and fellow creatures more. Selected release. Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (E) (Various) 139min. A collection of seven short films selected as the best of their kind at this prestigious mountain festival. The films cover feats of skiing, climbing, white water rafting, and extreme mountain biking and many more daredevil activities in locations from Kashmir to Switzerland. Mitchell Library, Glasgow. Barney’s Version (15) ●●●●● (Richard J Lewis, US, 2010) Paul Giamatti, Minnie Driver, Rosamund Pike. 133min. See review, page 42. General release. The Big Sleep (PG) ●●●●● (Howard Hawks, US, 1946) Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers. 114min. Marlowe gets caught up in the peccadilloes of the Sternwood family as he tries to stop a spot of blackmail. Needless to say, the broad knows more than she lets on. Witty, sultry, atmospheric, mainstream film noir with Bogey and Bacall doing their excellent double act. Part of Hawks season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Bildwechsel Glasgow Presents: Working on It (E) (Sabina Baumann, Karin Michalski, Switzerland, 2008) 50min. A group of Berlin artists gather to explore perceptions of gender and sexual identity, making performances, showing images, playing queer electronics and discussing queer strategies in the field of sexual politics. Screening together with German short Ohne Worte. CCA, Glasgow. Biutiful (15) ●●●●● (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Spain/Mexico, 2010) Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib. 147min. See interview and review, page 41. Glasgow Film Theatre; Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
Aronofsky, US, 2010) Natalie ✽✽ Black Swan (15) ●●●●● (Darren Portman, Mila Kunis. 107min. See review, page 43. General release. ✽✽ Blue Valentine (15) ●●●●● (Derek Cianfrance, US, 2010) Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams. 111min. An emotionally draining but extraordinary story of the decline of a marriage, following Dean (Gosling) as a man struggling to love his wife Cindy (Williams) who has grown apathetic towards him. Claustrophobic and at
44 THE LIST 20 Jan–3 Feb 2011
times almost unwatchable, the pair put in astonishingly good performances in this brutal piece of filmmaking. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Cameo, Edinburgh. ✽✽ Boudu Saved from Drowning (PG) ●●●●● (Jean Renoir, France, 1932) Michel Simon, Charles Granval, Marcelle Hainia. 85min. Renoir’s 1932 class comedy digitally restored. An anarchic tramp, Boudu (Simon), is rescued from drowning by a petit bourgeois Parisian bookseller (Granval) who then takes to his home to recuperate and chaos ensues. This film was remade as Down and Out in Beverley Hills in 1986, but this is the version you should see. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh. Burlesque (12A) ●●●●● (Steve Antin, US, 2010) Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming. 119min. Run-of-the-mill implausible sequinfest featuring Aguilera as a small-town girl who quits her waitressing job to make it as a singer and is taken under the grizzled wing of former dancer (and failing burlesque club owner) Cher. More than faintly ridiculous and an ill-advised directorial debut. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow. Chocolat (12) ●●●●● (Lasse Hallström, US, 2001) Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench. 121min. Adapted from Joanne Harris’ novel, Chocolat unfolds ‘once upon a time’ in a tranquil French village where sexy unwed single mother Vianne (Binoche) opens up a chocolaterie during Lent. Her magical confections are soon having a liberating effect on various locals, though her actions incur the wrath of the reigning count (Alfred Molina), who fears that the traditional order may be irrevocably damaged. Unfortunately, Hallström’s (The Cider House Rules) feelgood fairytale relies on its calculatedly cosmopolitan cast and glossy production values to disguise its lack of substance. St Bride’s Centre, Edinburgh. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 2D (PG) ●●●●● (Michael Apted, US, 2010) Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Tilda Swinton. 112min. Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Keynes) Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace (Will Poulter), where they meet up with Prince Caspian (Barnes) for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, and warriors before reaching the edge of the world. CS Lewis’ saga adaptation continues. Selected release. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D (PG) (Michael Apted, US, 2010) Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Tilda Swinton. 112min. See above Selected release. Class Concert/Giselle (E) (Russia,
We Are What We Are
2011) 170min. This romantic ballet about a peasant girl’s love and loyalty even after death has been choreographed afresh by Yuri Grigorovich. Broadcast live from a performance by the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh. Coco Before Chanel (12A) ●●●●● (Anne Fontaine, France, 2009) Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola. 110min. This sumptuously dressed biopic of the early years of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel faithfully charts the rising hemlines and torn bustiers of a passionate woman repressed by society, with emotion- driven montages of dressmaking as Coco uses sewing machine and scissors to direct her restless energies into clothing. There’s nothing experimental or innovative here, but it provides undeniably classy entertainment. Sloans, Glasgow. The Colour of Pomegranates (18) ●●●●● (Sergei Paradjanov, USSR, 1992) 73min. Director’s cut of the film initially refused an export license. Based on the life of 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, Paradjanov replaces the conventional biopic style, opting instead for a series of painterly images corresponding to moments in Nova’s life. A remarkable and unique film. Part of Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival. Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Conviction (15) ●●●●● (Tony Goldwyn, US, 2011) Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver. 106min. While performances from Swank and Rockwell are undeniably affecting, this tale of a Middle American wild-boy convicted of murder lacks any real gravity. Based on a true story of a sister who fights for her brother’s innocence, its patronising retelling belittles the plights of the real-life protagonists. General release. The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher) (15) ●●●●● (Stefan Ruzowitzky, Germany/Austria, 2006) Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow. 98min. Wartime thriller based on real events, about a Russian Jew, forced to spend his days in a concentration camp manufacturing fake currency with which the Nazis attempted to flood the British and American economies – the largest counterfeiting operation in history. This is a compelling exploration of what men will do to keep themselves alive. Part of Holocaust Memorial Day. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Deathstalker II (18) (Jim Wynorski, Argentina/US, 1987) John Terlesky, Monique Gabrielle, John Lazar. 85min. A mix of humour and action as Deathstalker (Terlesky) joins forces with Princess Evie (Gabrielle) to free the kingdom of Jzafir. Part of Edinburgh Zombie Club’s Sword & Sorcery Night. The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh.
Dhobi Ghat (12A) (Kiran Rao, India, 2010) Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar, Monica Dogra.Hindi movie in which the lives of four people in Mumbai lives become intertwined. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow. The Dilemma (12A) ●●●●● (Ron Howard, US, 2011) Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connolly. 111min. See Also Released, page 43. General release. The Day I Became a Woman (U) ●●●●● (Marzieh Meshkini, Iran, 2000) 94min. One of those small films which takes on the big issues, this Iranian movie presents an intimate three-part portrait of different women. Nine-year-old Havva is introduced to the dark side of Islamic law; married woman Ahoo is indulging in a women-only bike ride when her husband shows up; and an old lady goes on a mass shopping spree. Part of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival. Brass Monkey, Edinburgh. Easier with Practice (15) ●●●●● (Kyle Patrick Alvarez, US, 2009) Brian Geraghty, Kel O’Neill, Marguerite Moreau. 100min. Based on an autobiographical article, the film follows Davy (Geraghty) as he promotes his short story collection. His isolated, lonely life is given a twist when he begins a long-distance relationship with a stranger who phones his motel one night. Geraghty beautifully portrays Davy’s social ineptness, but decent manner. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Eat Pray Love (PG) ●●●●● (Ryan Murphy, US, 2010) Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, James Franco. 139min. Self- indulgent schmaltzfest starring Julia Roberts as a New York writer who embarks on a journey of self-discovery across some of the world’s most photogenic locations, featuring an adequate turn from Javier Bardem as the Brazilian divorcee who captures her heart. A superficial yet bloated travelogue destined for popularity amongst tour operators. Empire, Clydebank. The Edge of Dreaming (E) ●●●●● (Amy Hardie, UK, 2010) 73min. Amy Hardie dreamed of a death, and it happened. When another dream then prophesied her own imminent demise, she was understandably concerned: did her subconscious know something she didn’t? A poetic, personal project, some nine years in the making, this film explores humanity’s relationship with dreams, death and destiny, via Hardie’s own scientific and emotional quest for answers. Hippodrome, Bo’ness. ✽✽ Enemies of the People (15) Sambath, UK/Cambodia, 2009) 93min. Sambath and Lemkin’s horrifying but remarkably redemptive documentary revisits the architects of the Khmer Rouge’s 1970s genocide of the Cambodian people ●●●●● (Rob Lemkin & Thet
Last chance to catch Jorge Michael Grau’s excellent Mexican cannibal horror about a family that must slay together to stay together. ■ Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 21-Sun 23 Jan.