Category Archives: Perth Film Festival 2012-13

Reviews of PFF movies for season 2012-13

I Wish Movie Review

Featuring: Koki Maeda, Ohshirô Maeda, Ryôga Hayashi, Yui Natsukawa, Joe Odagiri, Hiroshi Abe
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda

2012-13 Lotterywest Perth Film Festival season dates:
Somerville 1-7 April, 7.30pm

Reviewer: rolanstein (one-word verdict: charming)

12-year-old Koichi (Koki Maeda) lives with his mother (Yui Natsukawa) and grandparents in the volcanic-ash-ridden town of Kagoshima, while younger brother Ryu (Ohshirô Maeda) resides with their muso father (Joe Odagiri) in the north. A new bullet train line is soon to open, linking the boys’ towns. Taking inspiration from a rumour that wishes will be granted if made at the moment the new trains pass each other at full speed the first time, Koichi determines that this is the opportunity for him and Ryu to be reunited. The boys and their respective friends, each with wishes of their own, set about raising money to travel to the mid-way point of the new line, and arranging an escape from school coinciding with the bullet trains’ debut journey.

Director Kore-eda demonstrated a special affinity with his child actors in his heart-rending 2005 film, Dare mo shiranai (Nobody Knows). Again, he’s drawn out the very best in the kids who feature in I Wish. Koki Maeda is outstanding as lead character Koichi, ably supported by real-life younger brother Ohshirô Maeda as Ryu. The adults all do their bit too, but this gentle, whimsical, charming little film belongs to the younger members of the cast. Continue reading I Wish Movie Review

What’s in a Name? (Le Prénom) Movie Review

(NB: No trailer available online with English subtitles)

Featuring: Patrick Bruel, Valérie Benguigui, Charles Berling, Guillaume de Tonquédec, Judith El Zein, Françoise Fabian, Yaniss Lespert, Miren Pradier, Alexis Leprise et Juliette Levant
Directors: Alexandre de La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte
Writers: Alexandre de La Patellière (original play), Matthieu Delaporte (original play, screenplay)

2012-13 Lotterywest Perth Film Festival season dates:
Somerville 4–10 March, 7.30pm; Joondalup Pines 12–17 March, 7.30pm

Reviewer: rolanstein (one-word verdict: hilarious)

Sorbonne professor Pierre (Charles Berling) and his schoolteacher wife Élisabeth (Valerie Benguigui) have invited Élisabeth’s suave real estate agent brother Vincent (Patrick Bruel) and long-time friend and classical trombonist Claude (Guillaume de Tonquedec) to dinner. The four go way back, and settle into their routine of joshing and paying out on each other. The jovial mood evaporates when Vincent announces the outrageously controversial name he and his partner Anna (Judith El Zein) have chosen for their coming child. All erupt in protest, led by leftist Pierre, who works himself into a frightful lather. But there is even more outrage in store as the evening progresses…

What’s In A Name is adapted from a stage play of the same title, and features virtually the same team of writer/directors and performers (Charles Berling – who plays Pierre – is the only cast member who was not part of the original crew). The film retains a theatrical feel. Apart from some opening establishing shots around Paris, the setting is confined to the dining room of Pierre and Élisabeth’s apartment, all the ‘action’ taking place in the non-stop dialogue.

And what terrific dialogue it is: tight, sparkling with intelligence and wit, laugh-out-loud funny. Comedies rarely hit the spot with me, especially Continental ones, and most especially farces, but this one is irresistible. Just genuinely bloody hilarious. Continue reading What’s in a Name? (Le Prénom) Movie Review

Amour Movie Review

Featuring: Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Michael Haneke

2012-13 Lotterywest Perth Film Festival season dates:
Somerville 25 February–3 March, 8pm Joondalup Pines 5–10 March, 7.30pm

Reviewer: rolanstein (one-word verdict: masterful)

Retired music teachers George (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are in their 80s. They live in an elegant apartment in Paris, and are still culturally engaged and active. When Anne has an aphasic episode and a subsequent operation is unsuccessful, her health begins to deteriorate. As George takes on a care-giving role and Anne becomes ever more disabled and dependent, their relationship and lives enter a heart-rending and testing final phase.

Apart from an early scene in which George and Anne attend a piano recital by one of their now-acclaimed former students, the film is set within the couple’s apartment. Many of the scenes are fixed single-shot, with the camera set back to show both characters in interaction. The subject matter does not make for comfortable viewing, and in confining the action thus, Haneke ensures we have as little respite from the dismal reality of Anne’s infirmity and decline as poor George. Continue reading Amour Movie Review