Elective Affinities (La Affinita Elettive)

BB.5 (out of 5) Unable to get funding from Italian movie studios, the Taviani brothers sought support from French production companies for this adaptation of Goethe’s novel and were thus obliged to cast French actors in the leads, who were subsequently dubbed in Italian. Fans of Isabelle Huppert will cringe at the prospect of having to…

Rate this:

Fiorile

BBB (out of 5) The generational saga of an Italian family, beginning with poor origins on a dirty farm through to the wealth they achieve thanks to a heartless crime. The Taviani brothers have fashioned a memorable narrative in this gentle drama that never makes a strong enough impression. French-American actor Michael Vartan plays a dual…

Rate this:

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)

BBBB (out of 5) Paolo Sorrentino turns his camera on the ritzy citizens of Rome’s high society for an update of La Dolce Vita that begins where Fellini’s film ended off:  rather than a soul degraded by the discovery of banality beneath a world that was originally so seductive, we start with a journalist (Toni…

Rate this:

Beware Of Greeks Bearing Guns (Fovou Tous Ellines)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Twin brothers are raised in Greece on the island of Crete by their stern grandmother, told at a young age that they must avenge a family vendetta against the man who killed their grandfather. Thirty years later, the villain is found in Australia, and the eldest of the two sons (both…

Rate this:

Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans

BB.5 (out of 5) Oh thank you so much for clearing up the origin of this story, I couldn’t sleep without knowing where Kate Beckinsale’s Catwoman outfit came from. In an ancient castle in what looks like upstate Bavaria, a coven of vampires brood in the dark while wearing gorgeous Armani couture, and fight over…

Rate this:

Trafic

BBB (out of 5) Jacques Tati survived the unfortunate disaster of his misunderstood Playtime and came back to make this charming, minor film. Set in the world of automotives, it stars him as his perennial character Mr. Hulot, who works for the Altra Motor Company designing camper vans. His latest model is set to appear at…

Rate this:

Mon Oncle

BBBB (out of 5) Jacques Tati continues the adventures of his popular character Monsieur Hulot. This time Hulot takes on the modern world when his sister and her husband buy themselves a super-futuristic house complete with instant oven and antiseptic pebble garden. Thinking him behind the times in his charmingly rustic existence, his brother-in-law gets him…

Rate this:

M. Hulot’s Holiday (Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Somewhere between Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp and Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean lies the hilarity of Jacques Tati‘s famous character Mr. Hulot. The first of many adventures featuring the title character, in this one the winsome hero takes a vacation in the French countryside. We are privy to all the antics of…

Rate this:

The Glass Bottom Boat

BB.5 (out of 5) The Doris Day formula is tired but still has its moments in this bubbly comedy. She plays a NASA employee (and part-time mermaid for her father’s titular tourboat!) who is assigned to write a biography on a brilliant scientist (Rod Taylor) who has come up with a highly classified project for the…

Rate this:

Artists And Models

BB.5 (out of 5) Splashy colours and some fun songs don’t do much for this forgettable Martin and Lewis comedy. Dean Martin plays a cartoonist who is down on his luck for his inspiration until he realizes that Jerry Lewis‘s nocturnal dreams are a goldmine of ideas. Anita Ekberg appears as one of his models, and Shirley…

Rate this:

And God Created Woman (Et Dieu…Crea La Femme)

BB.5 (out of 5) Seeing as how the film was only famous for featuring Brigitte Bardot‘s naked body in numerous scenes, I don’t think it’s unfair of me to say that this smarmy little potboiler has not aged well. Bardot plays a bad-ass sex kitten who wins over the heart of Jean-Louis Trintignant in the town…

Rate this:

The Past (Le Passe)

BBBB (out of 5) Ali Mosaffa arrives in Paris at the home of his ex-wife (Berenice Bejo) to sign divorce papers and allow her to marry her current lover (Tahar Rahim).  As soon as he gets to her house he is drawn into family drama as she asks him to help resolve issues with her daughter…

Rate this: