Home' LOTL : November 2005 Contents 23
Film Reviews By Belinda Hazelton
DIRECTED BY BEN YOUNGER
Who could resist a film starring both Meryl Streep and Uma
Thurman? In Prime, they play a psychoanalyst and her client
respectively, and both are superb. Rafi (Thurman) has just
finalised her divorce, and with the support of her therapist, Lisa
(Streep), she is tentatively back on the dating circuit. She meets a
much younger man, and they are soon passionately in love. Rafi
shares details of her new relationship, including some of its most
intimate moments with Lisa, who is eventually horrified to realise
that Rafi’s new man is her 23 year-old son, David.
This is such a New York film! Besides its sensibilities, many of
the scenes were shot in real-life locations, and as is so often the
case, the city itself plays a role in the film. However, this does
not distract from the performances and Younger’s strong writing.
Streep is marvellous, and very funny, as the over-protective
Jewish mother of an adored son, attempting to balance her
professional and personal lives.
DIRECTED BY CARLOS SORIN
52 year-old Juan has just lost his job in a garage on a lonely
stretch of road in the Patagonian desert. In the name of progress,
new owners are employing younger, prettier staff, and he has no
redress. Living with his daughter and her family, the conditions
are cramped and awkward, and Juan is all too aware that he is in
the way. One day he stops to assist a stranded motorist, and as
thanks for his help, she gives him a champion dog, Bombon. The
dog is large and Juan wonders how he will afford to feed him, but
soon Bombon is providing his new owner with opportunities that
he could never have imagined.
I was partially attracted to this film by its exotic setting in
Patagonia, the most southerly region of South America. It is an
unforgiving, desolate landscape in which only the strong survive.
The story behind Bombon is simplistic, but it has such heart and
charm, it is irresistible. No one in the cast is a professional actor,
but the performances are completely natural and believable.
Recommended for lovers of dogs and remote places!
DIRECTED BY HANY ABU-ASSAD
While this challenging film, centred on the fictitious lives of two
Palestinian suicide bombers, was being shot in Nablus, filming
was interrupted every day as members of the crew were caught
in Israeli-Palestinian crossfire. Not surprisingly, the setting
enhances the tension captured by director Abu-Assad, as
the 24-hour period prior to a suicide bombing mission in
Tel Aviv is depicted.
Two long-term friends have been chosen for the mission
and we witness their last hours with their families and
loved ones. We learn details of their backgrounds and their
reasons for doing what is ahead. This film has been made
without judgement, and it never condones the actions of the
bombers. Rather it provides a view of their lives and seeks
to flesh out the background of what is, for most of us, an
DIRECTED BY SCOTT MCGEHEE AND DAVID
The Naumanns are an upper middle-class family, living a
cloistered, and outwardly successful, existence in northern
California. Beneath the surface, relations are strained as the
obsessive father (Richard Gere) dominates his wife (Juliette
Binoche) and children, and directs his affection for them in
inconsistent ways. When his daughter reveals a prodigious
talent for spelling and wins the local competition, he moves
his focus on to her, and considers the possibility that her ability is
a unique gift from God.
This ambitious film never quite makes it. Tackling themes such
as the elusiveness of good communication, the difficulties of
family relationships and managing mental illness, it never deals
with any of them successfully. Performances are fine, and the
story’s potential is evident, but it needed better writing and more
time to develop.
MERYL STREEP AND UMA THURMAN
Out this month on DVD is the classic dyke romantic comedy The Incredibly True
Adventures of 2 Girls In Love (1995). Marvel at The L Word’s Laurel Holloman (Tina)
playing a baby butch! Lose yourself in the story of two girls, Randy (a blue collar lesbian)
and Evie (a wealthy, popular girl with a boyfriend) as they fall madly and passionately in
love with each other. This sweet, tender romance will capture your heart.
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