3 items from 2010
It's appropriate that in this present depression there should be a National Film Theatre celebration of Frank Capra (1897-1991) and the re-release of six of the movies that established him as the greatest, or at least most celebrated, director of the 1930s Depression. Too often dismissed as an equivocal populist dispensing Capracorn in Roosevelt's New Deal era, he was a master film-maker, and these two newspaper pictures see him at his best. The little-known Forbidden (1932) is that rare oxymoron, a subtle melodrama, starring Barbara Stanwyck as a self-sacrificing woman torn between her married politician lover (father of her child) and a vengeful journalist husband.
It Happened One Night (1934), Capra's greatest film, is a combination of road movie and screwball comedy in which Clark Gable (down-to-earth reporter) accompanies Claudette Colbert (spoilt fugitive heiress travelling incognito) on a cheerful journey across depression America in the hope of getting a scoop. Roman Holiday is virtually a remake, »
- Philip French
Double lesbian motherhood proves to be no less messed up a family set up than any other here, although it does give two great actresses meaty roles, and open up a fresh set of complications when their teenage children track down their biological father (Ruffalo). Sexual politics play a distant second to character dramedy here, and even if it gets mushy, it's a funny, observant study of real, flawed people.
Burke & Hare (15)
The well-filmed tale of Irish bodysnatchers in Edinburgh gets a Laurel and Hardyish treatment courtesy of Pegg and Serkis, with a dash of romantic comedy and plenty of celebrity cameos amid the irreverent corpse-mongering.
Overtones of Östlund's compatriot Roy Andersson in this penetrating, »
- The guide
Easy A (15)
There's always room for a smart-mouthed high-school comedy in a Juno/Mean Girls vein – it's just a pity they come along so rarely. This doesn't quite make that grade but it aims for it, tackling issues of virginity and sluttishness through the story of a nice girl who lies about who she's laid and suffers the fallout – especially from the Jesus freaks.
The life of the terrorist serves as a thrilling survey of cold war-era geopolitics in Assayas's swift, stylish, serious biopic, which covers a staggering amount of ground. See feature, p10.
Senior-citizen assassin comedy that gets away with a lot thanks to its cast. As a ride, it's more stairmaster than a rollercoaster. »
- The guide
3 items from 2010
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