ENTERTAINMENT BY JOHN CAMPBELL
TWO IS A FAMILY Omar Sy is one of France’s most popular actors, and it’s not hard to see why. His combination of charm and elegance with Afro virility can sometimes be too ‘big’ for the moment, but has been ideally suited for films such as The Intouchables (2011) and Monsieur Chocolat 2016). In this serving of double Brie, he plays Samuel, a general dog’sbody and party animal at one of those tacky Euro resorts where everybody sunbathes in neat rows of deckchairs, like sardines in a tin. When Kristin (Clémence Poésy), a fling from last summer, turns up and leaves him with a baby she claims is his, Samuel’s life takes a wacky turn for the better. The kid grows up to be curly-haired Gloria (Gloria Colston), and it is as a gorgeous, perfectly adjusted eight-year-old that we spend most of our time with her and Samuel. It’s a bit rich for director Hugo Gélin to ask us to believe that unskilled Samuel, who can’t speak a word of English, would lob in London and, upon his arrival, riding the
Underground from Heathrow, meet Bernie (Antoine Bertrand), a gay movie producer who immediately hires Samuel and puts him up in a you-beaut house in a hipster part of town. But we go with it because Sy is the sort of irresistible actor who owns the screen. Samuel’s career flourishes, as does the relationship with his adorable daughter – he is the perfect single dad and she the perfect child. The bubble bursts, however, when Kristin arrives back on the scene and demands custody of her kid. The mother’s actions are not entirely unreasonable, but it is with Sy that our sympathies lie – and more so owing to the streak of nastiness that is written into Kristin’s character. It’s hard not to be caught up in the drama as it unfolds, but the twists that Gélin keeps up his sleeve until the very last have too much of a ‘gotcha’ feeling about them. The soundtrack is intrusive, but London looks great and what’s not to love about Sy?
Girls Night Out Preview Screening Wednesday 18th July 6.30pm arrival for a 7pm screening. All Tickets $25. Pre-Show snacks and Complementary Glass of Champagne on arrival served by Wicked Waiters.
44 July 11, 2018 The Byron Shire Echo
LeBa Boardriders community fundraiser. Sunday 15th July 6.30pm arrival for a 7.00pm screening. Enjoy a beer on the house thanks to Seven Mile Brewery. Simon Baker will be doing a live Q&A for the audience following the screening. All Tickets $25
TALKING ABOUT DREAMS IS LIKE TALKING ABOUT MOVIES, SINCE THE CINEMA USES THE LANGUAGE OF DREAMS; YEARS CAN PASS IN A SECOND, AND YOU CAN HOP FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. IT’S A LANGUAGE MADE OF IMAGE. AND IN THE REAL CINEMA, EVERY OBJECT AND EVERY LIGHT MEANS SOMETHING, AS IN A DREAM. FEDERICO FELLINI
MARY SHELLEY Mary Shelley was barely twenty-one years old when she wrote Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, thus creating a ‘monster’ that has been referenced in countless movies while establishing a permanent niche in our collective imagination. Saudi director Haifaa Al-Mansour (who completed her film studies at the University of Sydney) has focused less on that famous novel (for that, see James Whale’s 1931 masterpiece) as she has on the tempestuous and, at the time scandalous relationship that Mary (Elle Fanning) and her half-sister Claire (Bel Powley) shared with Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth), who was already a poet of renown when they met. Given Al-Mansour’s background, you would expect the piece to be the feminist statement that it is, but she averts stridency in her telling of the story and, by looking instead at the personalities involved, she strikes her blow for equality and recognition even more profoundly. As the daughter of writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft (who died of septicaemia just days after giving birth), young Mary was raised in a free-thinking home to be of an ambitious, independent disposition. When Percy arrives at a soiree at which she is present, Mary, still a girl, is swept off her feet (and why not? Booth is even prettier than Fanning.) Percy’s circumstances result in Mary and star-struck Claire being ostracised from the family, but for Mary it’s a case of ‘don’t wish too hard ... ’ as she realises that the Bohemian lifestyle is no less dismissive of her gender than what she left behind. If Percy comes out of this with his reputation somewhat tarnished (odd, that dickheads can write such dreamy poetry), the indulgent Lord Byron (after whom the Bay was NOT named) is presented as an absolute grub. The nineteenth century was not a good time for women with literary aspirations, so Byron and Percy exemplify the selfcentred patriarchy that prevailed in artistic circles of the period. Sets and costumes are realistic and performances shed light on the deep sadness that came to be epitomised by the ‘monster.’
Byron Shire Echo archives: www.echo.net.au/byron-echo
Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.