Friday, March 28, 2014

Week of March 28 to April 3 (Rhoades)

Four Films That Traipse Across Europe for Family and Fine Art

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

From France to the Netherlands you will enjoy a grand tour with this week’s quartet of films at the Tropic cinema. A shaky marriage, a woman with a failing business, a famous painting, and a dangerous WWII mission -- all make for cinematic magic.

“Le Week-End” joins Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsey Duncan) as they return to Paris for their 30th wedding anniversary. But the celebration does not go smoothly for this bickering British couple. Are they at a crossroads in their marriage? Chicago Sun Times calls it “a nuanced romance for grown-ups.” The Minneapolis star Tribune adds that it’s “a ruefully funny look at a long-term marriage.” And the Toronto Star terms it “sad, sweet, dark, funny and possibly even redemptive.”

“On My Way” features Catherine Deneuve as a woman who drives across France to deliver her grandson to his paternal grandfather, a trip made more interesting by her personal problems and the people she meets along the way. Tolucan Times says, “Deneuve gives a wonderful performance, appearing in just about every scene. But there's much more to this film than merely seeing a '60s-era beauty as a still beautiful older woman.” And Reeling Reviews tells us “this offbeat gem of a road trip film is a love letter to France's reigning queen of cinema.”

“Tim’s Vermeer” continues to confound as a curious computer geek tries to replicate paintings of the Dutch master. Surprisingly, this documentary is from magicians Penn and Teller. Arizona Republic sees it as “a movie for people who like to think, who like to ponder the big questions surrounding art and the act of creation.” Philadelphia Inquirer calls it “film as forensics, bringing math and science to bear to solve an art-world mystery. And Detroit News finds it “unexpectedly dazzling.”

“The Monuments Men” holds over, with George Clooney leading a team of art experts (John Goodman, Bill Murray,) on a mission to recover stolen artworks from the Nazis. American Profile describes it as “’Oceans 11’ plus ‘Saving Private Ryan’ divided by ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark.’” And Nerdist says, “’The Monuments Men’ is less ‘Schindler’s List’ and more ‘Kelly’s Heroes.’”

Go ahead. Take a trip at the Tropic!

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