- Thursday, 16 February 2012
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (StudioCanal). The good old days have always been in the past and never in the present. A young American writer (Owen Wilson) imagines he is back in the Paris of the 1920’s and meeting all the great writers and artists of the Jazz Age. If you are on first name terms with Zelda, Scott, Ernest, Cole, Gertrude, Pablo (to name but a few) then Woody Allen’s fantasy, a nostalgic, rose-tinted soufflé, may well be a delight for you, too. Wilson sounds like Woody but makes the role his own.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (BBC). If you have seen the definitive 1946 David Lean version, which has so many unforgettable performances by Finlay Currie, Martita Hunt, Francis L Sullivan, Alec Guinness, etc, it’s difficult to accept any other version as the genuine article. The present production doesn’t feel as Dickensian as Lean’s; but there are good things in it and Gillian Anderson is a strikingly original Miss Havisham.
TOMBOY (Peccadillo). A 10-year-old girl passes herself off as a boy when she comes to live in a Parisian suburban estate and starts playing with the other children. Zoe Heran is so convincing that this mini-French drama would have had more impact if director Celine Sciamma hadn’t let cinemagoers know she is not a boy until much later in the film, or at least not until the mother learns what she has been up to.
BY THE BLUEST OF SEAS (Ruscico). This very Russian love story with two young men in love with the same young woman is set on a collective farm in 1935 and is directed by Boris Barnet. This politically charged piece advocates putting the Communist Party always first and advises young women not to have affaires whilst their fiancés are abroad.
DAYS OF GLORY (Odeon). Gregory Peck’s first film was released in 1942. He is cast as an extremely good-looking and spotlessly clean guerrilla in World War 2 on the Russian front. When he is not blowing up German trains and tanks he is kissing a ballet dancer (Tamara Toumanova). It’s always was a highly unconvincing propaganda piece, with terrible wooden acting, and it is certainly not worth seeing now.
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