1 item from 1995
In this bright Castle Rock film, Crystal stars as Mickey, a commitment-shy NBA referee who bounces around the country dating NBA cheerleaders and leading the kind of charmed life that only guys in beer commercials seem to attain. He has no real woman, until he meets a sardonic airline representative (Debra Winger) in Paris.
Beneath its breezy banter, which adeptly allows Crystal to drill a bunch of long-range comedy bits between serious moments, "Forget Paris" is ultimately a sobering look at the dynamics of a relationship.
Screenwriters Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel and Crystal have rimmed this serious story with a delectably frothy garnish of apt one-liners and droll observations, which, when wedded to director Crystal's zingy visual compositions, make "Paris" a bubbling treat (HR 5/14).
DIRTY MONEY Northern Arts
James Bruce's contemporary noir thriller has all the atmosphere and quality of an episode of "America's Most Wanted". No surprise; Bruce was a regular director of that television show, and his debut feature was filmed on the fly, on weekends, with a cast that was recruited almost entirely from the series.
Lately, there have been many stories like this with happy endings (awards at Sundance, major studio distribution deals, etc.), but this is not one of them. "Dirty Money" betrays its slapdash beginnings with regularity and is unlikely to cash in on the independent film-noir craze that has lifted "Red Rock West" and "The Last Seduction", among others, to surprisingly good boxoffice.
The film is refreshingly free of pretensions but is simply not done well enough to convince, with the technical aspects all too reflective of the low budget. The acting, too, isn't up to feature standards, with Frederick Deane (who also scripted and co-produced) not exactly having the charisma of Harrison Ford as a fugitive (HR 5/12-14).
THE POSTMAN Miramax Films
Romantic and humorous, bucolic and political, "The Postman" (Il Postino) is a thoroughly Italian missive directed by an Englishman that features the brilliant final performance by Massimo Troisi.
The Miramax release is a perfect seasonal alternative to the early summer offerings from Hollywood and should deliver excellent returns on the select-site circuit.
Directed with care by Michael Radford ("1984", "White Mischief") in consideration of the fragile state of his star, "The Postman" concerns the friendship between exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) and an inquisitive local (Troisi) when the former takes up residence on a beautiful Mediterranean island.
Before filming began, writer-director-actor Troisi ("Ricomincio da Tre"), who had undergone heart surgery in his mid-20s, became seriously ill. But he put off a heart transplant to make the film. He was available only a few hours each day, and 12 hours after the production wrapped, he died in his sleep at age 41.
The basic elements of Antonio Skarmeta's original novel have been transported from Chile to the small confines of an Italian fishing village with no discernible compromises. Cinematographer Franco Di Giacomo captures the simplicity and timeless splendor of the Salina Island locations (HR 5/11).
Also reviewed last week was "Dreaming of Rita" (HR 5/12-14).
(c) The Hollywood Reporter
1 item from 1995
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