Movies – 231

Chinese Puzzle

Most of the characters we first met in The Spanish Apartment and later in Russian Dolls are back in Cédric Klapisch’s delightful new comedy. Xavier (Romain Duris), now a dad and trying to write his new novel, is finding life very complicated. He decides to help best friend Isabelle (Cécile De France) have a baby with her girlfriend, but soon after, Wendy (Kelly Reilly) the mother of his kids decamps and moves them to New York.

Xavier followes them over. Sham marriages, affairs and the complicated return of ex g-f Martine (Audrey Tautou) all mean life in the cultural melting pot of NY’s Chinatown is far from dull. The comedy’s success rests on Xavier, and fortunately Duris’s easy charm – combined with these appealing characters as well as the film’s lively pace, all make it a winner.

You don’t need to have seen the earlier instalments to enjoy this one and it’s great to see the crew back together – no matter how complicated all their lives have become. M15+ from April 17.

Thanks to Transmission Films we have 10 double in-season passes to give away.
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movies-LFLSLike Father, Like Son

Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) is not an easy man to like, workaholic, neglectful of his wife Midori (Machiko Ono) and demanding of his 6-year old son Keita (Keita Ninomiya). Clearly well off, they live in an immaculate high-rise apartment in a Japanese city. Without a doubt they are a caring and loving family and Keita wants for nothing. But here’s the rub: He is not theirs.

For reasons which are at first unclear, two babies were swapped at birth, and another family, an easy-going working class one, have raised their real son. That’s the set-up, and the bare bones of an impossible dilemma: What next? The couples met, and a cautious program of exchange is agreed upon.

Hirokazu Kore-eda (I Wish) is brilliant with child actors, but the focus of this story is on both sets of parents. Impeccably presented clipped scenes chart their painful journey briskly, and right from the start we know tears will flow. But such is the impact of this thought-provoking drama, that when they come, that moment is still a beautiful, well-earned surprise.

PG from April 17.

Thanks to Rialto Distribution we have 5 double in-season passes to give away.
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movies-Dom-HemingwayDom Hemingway

We first meet Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) in prison delivering a surprisingly literate soliloquy to his penis. Soon he’s out to team up with Dickie (Richard E Grant) and collect his pay-off for the job which sent him away. Which during an hilariously deranged  drug-fuelled binge, he promptly looses.

Dom’s a motor-mouthed thug, but does have functioning brain cells behind his manicured muttonchops. And even a heart beneath the dandy double-breasted blue suit – we see that as he struggles with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke, GOT’s Queen Daenerys).

Richard Shepard’s wildly funny oddity should come with a special language warning category all of its own, and maybe that’s why it missed its scheduled theatrical release.  But that won’t deter fans of cult Brit indies. They’ll find Dom!

MA15+ Available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital on April 23.

Thanks to Transmission Home Entertainment we have 5 DVDs to give away.
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movies-GrandBudapestThe Grand Budapest Hotel

The actors – Jude Law, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe and especially Ralph Fiennes as the gay but sexually versatile hotel concierge Gustav (he beds elderly rich ladies for money), all have huge fun in Wes Anderson’s latest confection. The audience less so.

Set sometime vague somewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Alps, it’s like a glorious and elaborate meringue, delicious but empty. It generates titters rather than real laughs, and the tone is facetious and mocking. Few will have a clue what the point of the satire is.

M15+ on now.



ReviewsRussell Edwards

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