From Musicians to Spies, College Hijinks to Tsunamis --
Tropic Cinema Delivers Both Comedy and Danger
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Smiles and Shivers, this week’s Tropic Cinema lineup covers a gamut of emotions.
Still showing, “Quartet” will deliver a smile and maybe a lump in your throat as you visit Beecham House, a retirement home for British musicians. There you will meet Reg, Wilf, and Cissy, noted opera singers enjoying their golden years … until the diva Helen Horton joins their ranks. Tom Courtney, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Maggie Smith are magnificent in this first movie directed by Dustin Hoffman. One of my favorites this year.
A different kind of comedy is “Admission,” Tina Fey’s first movie outing since her popular “30 Rock” television show wrapped up. Here, she’s a straight-laced admissions officer at Princeton, faced with the dilemma of granting admission to a gifted kid who just might be the child she gave away. Paul Rudd joins her to provide the love angle …and a few laughs.
Held over is “The Impossible,” a tale of one family’s survival amidst the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. What makes this story so scary is that it’s based on a real event, Mother Nature lashing out on a Christmas Eve to inflict destruction and death on the coast of Thailand. Caught up in this horror is Henry and Maria Bennett (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts) and their three children. Yes, you keep thinking, “This could happen to me!”
Adding another hint of danger to Tropic screens is “The Gatekeepers,” a documentary about Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet. Six former heads step forward to tell their secrets, an unprecedented event captured on film by director Dror Moreh. From the Six Day War to surprising proposals for the future, these real-life spies tell all … well, almost all.
Take a deep breath and pick your Greek mask -- comedy or tragedy. You won’t be disappointed with either choice.