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Posts tagged ‘Comedy’

Gemma Bovery (2014)

Directed by Anne Fontaine

5 stars

From the book by Gustave Flaubert, but more directly from the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, comes this re-telling of Madame Bovary.

In a quiet village in modern-day Normandy lives baker Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini), a former literary editor whose passion for 19th century literature was evidently too exciting for him. His peace of mind is disrupted by the arrival of an English couple, the dour Charles Bovery (Jason Flemyng) and his vivacious wife Gemma (Gemma Arterton). Read more

Tusk (2014)

Directed by Kevin Smith

3 stars

LA-based podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) and sidekick Teddy (Haley Joel Osment) make a living from videos that celebrate the Darwin Awards candidate in all of us. When a clip of a Canadian wannabe-samurai accidentally amputating his left leg goes viral, Wallace sets off on his first visit to the Great White North, to bag a follow-up interview. Read more

Wild Bill (2011)

Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

4 stars

Bill, released after an eight-year stretch in prison, returns to his council flat in the east-end council estate where he finds two sons, fifteen year-old Dean, and eleven-year old Jimmy, fending for themselves, their mother having left some months before. Read more

Dark Horse (2011)

Directed by: Todd Solondz

3 stars

Overweight thirty-something Abe (Jordan Gelber) lives at home with mom (Mia Farrow) and dad (Christopher Walken), in whose property development business he also works.  At home he is a semi-reclusive collector of action figures, and at work an incompetent time-waster (only rescued from exposure by adoring older colleague Marie, played by Donna Murphy) while in both locations he is an overgrown teenager on a permanently short fuse, resenting everyone else’s success, snapping at every suggestion and externalising every shortcoming. Read more

50/50 (2011)

Directed by: Jonathan Levine

4 stars

My whiskers start twitching when I hear a movie is “inspired by a true story” since it so often means a moralising slice of selective observations about idealised people.  Thus it was a surprise to find that 50/50, based loosely on the experiences of writer Will Reiser and his real-life friend Seth Rogen (who co-stars), is an almost unalloyed pleasure. Read more

Smuggler (2011)

Directed by: Katsuhito Ishii

3 stars

No longer-aspiring actor Kinuta (Satoshi Tsumabuki) gambles in the wrong den, and to expunge his debts he’s forced to take up work as a smuggler: a mover/disposer of the bodies of people killed in organised-crime slayings.  When the fantastically-named hit team of Vertebrae and Viscera wipe out a gangland boss, the smugglers find themselves involved in a complex game of gang wars and double-crossing beauties. Read more

The Descendants (2011)

Directed by:  Alexander Payne

2 stars

Matt (George Clooney) is a Hawaiian lawyer and, through inheritance, the sole trustee of a 25,000 acre estate, which will shortly be sold.  After a water-skiing accident leaves his wife in a coma, Matt must hold himself and his family together, meet the competing demands of relatives, islanders and conscience in disposing of the land – and find a way of coming to terms with the revelation that his wife was having an affair. Read more

Extraterrestrial (2011)

Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo

4 stars

Julio (Julián Villagrán) awakes in the apartment of a woman (Julia, played by Michelle Jenner) he can barely remember from the previous night.  Their awkward, hangover-hazed conversation is soon interrupted by their discovery that the phones and TV are not working, Madrid is deserted and a four-mile diameter spaceship is hovering over the city. Read more