Review: Wild Rose (2018/19)

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No place like home for a country girl: BFI/Creative Scotland

WILD ROSE is the feel-good movie of the year, and that’s not damning it with faint praise. There’s just so much passion in this project from start to finish, and plenty of lively crackle in the final result, it’ll leave your heart soaring.

Aspiring Glaswegian country singer Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jess Buckley) is released after a year in prison to find two young children who don’t really know her and a mother (Julie Walters) with no time for dreams. Can Rose-Lynn find a road to success in Nashville without sacrificing her family?

I remember Jesse Buckley when she was on a TV singing competition to be cast as Nancy in a new production of OLIVER! Astoundingly, she only came second. Playing the polar opposite of her previous mesmerising turn (BEAST‘s sociopathic Moll) as Rose-Lynn she’s an electrifying presence; funny, empathetic and determined, not to mention a powerhouse when singing on stage or to herself. Let’s be honest, Julie Walters could play a role like Rose-Lynn’s pragmatic working-class mother Marion in her sleep, but she’s the warmest, most loving obstacle to success Rose-Lynn could hope for. There’s this great shot early in the film where Marion leaves Rose-Lynn alone with her children for the first time shortly after her release from prison and all three of them give her exactly the same terrified and bewildered expression. They don’t know the first thing about each other and none of them are in a place to start now.

This the latest in a long line of highly affecting musicals-that-aren’t-really-musicals. THE COMMITMENTS, ONCE, last year’s HEARTS BEAT LOUD. They’re all about the frustrations of the creative process, how you’d give it your all and be worth remembering if you were just given that chance, and if real life stops intruding for a stretch. Rose-Lynn’s story is of coming-of-age as well as breaking through in the right circles; she has to grow up and take responsibility at home before she can find her dream out in the world.

We’ve had films about talented artists trying to strike a difficult balance with their personal lives, but they’re rarely presented thus matter-of-factly. Every time you think everything’s lining up too neatly and we’re in dreamland territory something will bring you crashing back to the tarmac. Rose-Lynn getting her big break then losing all her belongings on the way to London is the least distressing of these, and her unflinching honesty (to everyone but herself) always keeps it real.

The film has, for me, the line of dialogue of the year so far, summing up how Rose-Lynn saw herself before and after her spell in prison: “I wasn’t an outlaw, I was a fanny”. The world would be a better place if a few more people would admit to that.

There’s a touch of magical realism to Rose-Lynn’s journey, exemplified by her impromptu performance while vacuuming her employer’s mansion as an imaginary band appears from behind furniture to back her. Rose-Lynn seems to be listening to her own future performances in her ever-present headphones even before her breakthrough; indeed it is Buckley performing this glossy, fully produced covers of country music classics (on a loop in my house since I saw the film). She has always known where she wants to be, just not how to get there.

I don’t think I ever thought I’d see a fade between blue-skyed Nashville and grey-skyed Glasgow, but here it is towards the end of this film, and it’s effective. Rose-Lynn’s eventual, perhaps inevitable homecoming isn’t even all-that bittersweet, because she’s coming back for all the right reasons, stronger and wiser. Wild Rose is a towering achievement that strikes just the right balance, a hopeful, heartfelt sort-of-musical with both feet planted firmly on the ground, and further proof that Jesse Buckley is a born star. SSP

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Review in Brief: The Highwaymen (2019)

THE HIGHWAYMEN is solidly made, but you’ll struggle to stop it melting away in the back of your mind the moment it’s over. Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson are both on form (moody and wisecracky, respectively) as the men who tracked down and shot Bonnie and Clyde. The glamorous bank robbers here are fleetingly seen ghosts with no romance to their brutal violence whatsoever, which is probably the way it should be. More of a discussion about the pair’s amoral allure would not have gone amiss. While the romance has been taken out of the crime and the chase, it has been put back into the scenery elegantly captured dappled in sunlight by DP John Schwartzman. Thomas Newman even gets to a little self-referencing in his very ROAD TO PERDITION-esque score, but the measured pacing and grumbly mumbly dialogue could have used something extra to make it all stick. SSP

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Review: Hellboy (2019)

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Not the BPRD’s A-team: Summit Entertainment/Millennium Films

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is my guy, my favourite comic book character of all time. I’m a fan. I loved that the Guillermo del Toro films hit the key beats of the mythology but remained first and foremost del Toro films. Neil Marshall’s new HELLBOY goes back to the comics for its imagery, but doesn’t seem entirely clear what it wants to achieve beyond that.

Summoned from hell and put to work defending humanity from paranormal threats, Hellboy (David Harbour) is tasked with stopping the immortal witch Nimue (Milla Jovovich) from bringing about the end of the world.

I really enjoyed the first half of this film. It’s a giddily fun tour of Hellboy’s greatest hits. If you’re a fan prone to squealing with delight at the sudden appearance of Lobster Johnson or the Baba Yaga, you’ll have a good time. If you know these stories, Hellboy’s history with certain key characters he encounters, this is for you. If you’re not then you’re more likely to be bewildered and frustrated because none of this will be explained. In a medium of moving images this could have been solved in any number of show-don’t-tell ways, through effective world-building, but it wasn’t.

Some of the images are straight off Mignola’s pages – the hog-headed fairy thug Gruagach lugging around chests bound in iron, the Baba Yaga’s chicken-leg house appearing out of the mist. Speaking of the Russian folkloric über-witch (brought to grotesque life by contortionist Troy James), her encounter with Hellboy is the funny-macabre highlight of the movie by quite a margin. Other sights I’ve never seen before, like the quite disturbing idea of a psychic medium bringing recently departed spirits back by regurgitating them and using her own body and innards as a fleshy anchor to the world of the living.

The film’s second half is weird, and not in a good way. Narratively speaking, it dives off a cliff. It’s like we’re watching events on fast-forward, or in planning the film’s structure they had all the events that needed to happen on carefully ordered cards then they just set them on fire. The supernatural destruction of London also gave me unfortunate MUMMY flashbacks. I’m sure at one point Hellboy and Professor Broom (Ian McShane) have the same conversation twice in two different locations. When the main plot finally kicks in over halfway through it just staggers and lurches through the motions, then it ends, just stops dead. The stupidest plot turns – the ones where you actually feel your brain trying to escape for refuge – are straight out of the comic, and I’m not defending them there either.

Harbour makes a good Hellboy; he’s uglier and hairier than Ron Perlman’s portrayal, also more impulsive, belligerent and prone to teenage hormonal mood swings. Everyone else is terrible, whether you’re an American doing a “cor blimey” accent (Sasha Lane), you seemingly received no helpful direction (Jovovoch) or you couldn’t quite disguise that you just don’t care (McShane). Actually no, Thomas Haden Church is good in his cameo as supernatural Nazi-hunter Lobster Johnson, but that’s because he’s supposed to be over-acting.

There is no human side to this movie; it’s all demon. None of these characters relate to each other beyond sniping and cruel put-downs; nobody seems to do anything for any other reason beyond reluctant obligation. The Hellboy comics are violent, but the art style doesn’t make a big thing of it. In live-action there’s only so many fountains of viscera you can see before you processing faculties go into shutdown. Hellboy swears, but usually in moments where it would have an impact, not every other word just because Deadpool did it. They really could have done with picking a tone too, portentous or irreverent, but this inconsistency just smacks of late-in-the-game tomfoolery in the edit.

Hellboy is far from a success, but it’s not a complete disaster either. Neil Marshall and his design teams get the looks so right with a faithful recreation of some of the most memorable images from the comics, and David Harbour’s different take on HB makes it worth a watch for fans. But the shoddy story construction, scattershot tone and lack of any emotional grounding whatsoever makes this a frustrating watch for any viewer, and borderline unbearable for anyone without familiarity with the source material. SSP

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Review: Shazam! (2019)

shazam

Just your friendly neighbourhood sparky-man: DC/Warner Bros

SHAZAM! is a breath of fresh air. Not because it’s the first really good DC comics movie this decade (step forward WONDER WOMAN) or the first fun DC comics movie this decade (step forward AQUAMAN) but because it’s the first earnest DC comics movie this decade.

Foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is deemed worthy by a wizard to wield an extraordinary power. By saying “Shazam” he transforms into a muscled superhero (Zachary Levi) with the power of six mythological figures. With forces of evil gathering, can Billy harness and control his new powers in time to defend his nearest and dearest?

You can definitely tell this was directed by a horror movie guy, David F Sandberg. There’s a bit where a scientist ill-advisedly reaches for the handle of an enchanted door and she barbecues alive before our eyes. Then there’s the Seven Deadly Sins demons ripping apart a full boardroom fleetingly seen through frosted glass. Nothing is on screen for long enough to increase the rating, but there’s some creepy imagery that’ll stay with the little ‘uns in the audience.

There’s a lot of fun to be had coming up with what a fourteen year-old would do with an adult stature, not to mention the joy of Zachary Levi acting someone less than half his age. The film would only land if they got the casting of both sides of Billy Batson’s character right, and while Levi has a lot of fun in the role, newcomer Asher Angel has to bear the brunt of the dramatic heavy lifting and does so in fine fashion. Jack Dylan Grazer stole the show as IT‘s Eddie and gets a lot of the laughs here as Billy’s disabled superhero-obsessed foster brother Freddie. Yes, Mark Strong is playing another villain, but Silvana has a few more shades than standard-issue baddies, arguably at the cost of story pacing early on.

There’s an explicit hat-tip to BIG, because of course there is. Also ROCKY is part of the film’s DNA what with its Philadelphia setting and working-class against-the-odds story. The film features what might be the best superhero joke since those muggers debated lifting Batman’s wallet to check his ID. It’s a situation I’m astounded has never been exploited for humour before (I don’t think). Not spoiling it, but it’s to do with superhero/supervillain proximity in their titanic final battles.

Shazam! (is that exclamation point becoming tedious yet? (!)) is that rare superhero movie that gets better as it goes on. Most, even the really good ones, tend to tail off. While I really enjoyed all the character building and most of the larky training montages, what the film becomes and how in its final stretch is truly something special. I’m not going into any more specifics at the moment because it’s not in any of the trailers. They also seem to have fun with teasing another dreary hero fight in the dark before relocating to the most brightly lit setting imaginable – the fairground.

Said brightly-lit action closer is a better Superman scene than anything actually involving Superman for over a decade, and for all the effects and the excitement what always matters foremost is we’re witnessing a hero saving civilians and his family from harm (you know, actually being a hero).

It’s nice to have such a down-to-earth superhero story as this, the relationship between a lonely, knocked-about kid and his new family being far more important than the admittedly spectacular super-fights. It’s similar to how the superlative SPIDER-MAN 2’s best scenes were out of spandex and dealing with real life and the myriad problems encountered therein.

It’s somewhat poetic that the comic book hero who was once more popular than Superman is now making a connection in the ways that the most recent take on the Man of Steel could not. Shazam! is pretty special, and a sign that DC/Warner Bros might finally be getting the message – get the basics right first. SSP

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Review in Brief: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND is an assured and compelling directorial debut from Chiwetel Ejiofor, and another example of how important outlets like Netflix are for getting diverse filmmaking voices out there. It’s a very classically good-looking film which is no less than you’d expect from Mike Leigh’s go-to DP Dick Pope. Formal construction, clean and clear presentation of often ugly events. The film is divided into agricultural chapters: Sowing, Growing, Harvest…Hunger. Things gets pretty bleak for this Malawian farming family: “We can have one meal a day, we should decide which one” but there is always a glimmer of hope. William (Maxwell Simba) gets by because he’s intelligent, because he understands the workings of the world he stands on. To have the courage to say to a parent that he knows better, that he can save everyone if he is trusted with the responsibility shows his indomitable spirit. SSP

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Review: Us (2019)

us

See what I see? : Monkeypaw Productions/Dentsu

Well that’s 2 for 2 for Jordan Peele. He’s become a vibrant, distinctive and essential American filmmaking voice in what seems like no time at all, and while US can be compared to GET OUT on certain thematic levels, it’s entirely its own thing.

While on family vacation in Santa Cruz, Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) starts getting flashbacks to childhood trauma, a trauma that comes to terrifying life when sinister doubles of every member of her family invade their home…

The key question you’ve got to ask of a horror film is always, is it scary? For Us, that’s an emphatic yes. There are images in this film that’ll creep back up on you just as you fall asleep, even if you didn’t realise it at the time. There’s a great build of tension as well, released at intervals not usually with jump-scares but with genuinely disturbing imagery and bursts of violent action.

Being a Peele film Us is a thematically rich and layered stew. There are so many ways you could interpret the story, the symbolism, the characters and their copies. I see the meat of the piece as a commentary on incarceration; the voiceless and broken imprisoned settling a score with the privileged free. I was thinking more of Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13TH than any straight horror film. It’s no accident that we follow an African American, Middle-Class nuclear family as their lives could have diverged at so many points to result in less enviable circumstances.

Lupita Nyong’o works herself to the bone in this. A tangle of neuroses still recovering from trauma decades on, Adelaide is simultaneously her family’s strongest and weakest member. Removing someone’s eyebrows is an easy shortcut to making them look uncanny, but that’s just surface level. Combined with her rigidly controlled yet feral physicality and cracked voice, Nyong’o’s doppelgänger character is left the complete antithesis of our lead. Every actor playing one of the Wilsons had to bring to life two entirely different characters and they all serve their own important role in the story. Thank goodness Winston Duke brought the levity as bumbling well-meaning husband Gabe or it might have all been a little monotonous.

We’ve seen the evil twin/dark mirror image trope in horror films many a time before but never executed in quite this way. The final confrontation between Adelaide and her double is more like a deadly dance than a fight to the death, and all the more memorable for it. I’m struggling to think of another case where we’re asked to sympathise in any way with antagonists like these, where they’re ultimately presented as tragic and understandably flawed as well as terrifying.

Peele asks us to look a little closer at everything, to take nothing at face value as he flips our sympathies and understanding all the way around time after time. Us would definitely stand up to multiple watches, because there are clues to the myriad twists and turns peppered throughout if you’re looking out for them, not to mention the potential to completely change your perspective on events.

Again, like Get Out, Us works far better before everything is explained. There’s a great tension build and ideas galore punctuated by splatter violence, but then Peele attempts to provide an unnecessary pseudo-scientific explanation for the central premise. These concepts are far scarier if left as vague as possible.

Us will stay with you, its meaning and implications for not only the film world created but our own real screwed-up planet stubbornly refusing to sit neatly in a space in your mind. Peele has unleashed another gut-punch-as-entertainment that begs to be talked about. You’ll also never listen to the song “I got 5 on it” or go on a beech holiday in quite the same frame of mind again. SSP

 

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Review: The White Crow (2018/19)

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More graceful than the average crow: BBC Films/Magnolia Mae Films

I may have been taken along to the odd ballet by my parents over the years, but I can’t claim to know anything much about it as an art form. I certainly hadn’t heard of Rudolf Nureyev, who I’ve been told was the male ballet dancer of the 60s and 70s. In his latest interesting choice of projects to direct, Ralph Fiennes has produced something that is eye-catching but strangely uninspiring.

In 1961, after refusing to return to the Soviet Union for fear of imprisonment, ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko) handed himself in at a French airport and claimed political asylum in the West. This is the story of Nureyev’s burgeoning career and insatiable ambition up to the day of his defection.

Fiennes is a decent filmmaker but here the film editing is all over the shop. Plenty of decades-spanning biopics have worked really well, no matter how many times they zip back and forward. This is one of those rare occasions where a straight chronological telling of a story might have been more compelling. The film lacks a solid anchor to keep you focussed on what matters and the flashbacks and forwards, which have no real rhythm or purpose behind them, just ending up frustrating you at having to concentrate too hard on a story which, as told, isn’t all that interesting.

How could the story of such a passionate, determined and important dance talent defecting at the height of the Cold War not be gripping? Well, for a start the dance sequences, while sharply executed, don’t make the most of the medium they are being presented in, feeling like what they are: dancers being filmed with nothing extra to make the experience filmic. About the only occasion when you think The White Crow’s story being told on film reaches its full potential is when Nureyev takes in a beautiful panorama of Paris from atop a roof.

The defection storyline only gains traction in the last ten minutes, by which point it’s too late. The actors, chiefly Ivenko and Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ivenko’s Paris socialite friend Clara, do their best with the material but it’s not written in a way to make you care particularly strongly. Relationships are established, dropped and picked up again on a whim, and this is compacted by the time-skips.

Nureyev’s sexuality isn’t dwelled upon to any great length. We see him naked in bed with a man, presumably post-coital (a side note: I think it’s the first example I’ve seen of the British Board of Film Classification’s “non-sexualised nudity” in a 12A film) but he has a range of different relationships with women too. You’d have thought there’d be more drama to be derived from this aspect of his life – Nureyev’s Soviet minders only seem to object to how their prize dance troupe might make Mother Russia look by partying extravagantly in public. There’s no mention of the fact that Nureyev’s nightly dalliances in Paris were to gay bars, behaviour I’m sure would be punished particularly harshly in the 1960s.

The political aspect of the film works better than the emotional, which isn’t really saying much. I’d imagine dance companies are insular and competitive at the best of times, but in a world fueled by paranoia, where information is power and any wrong foot could lead to destruction, Soviet dance companies must have been on another level. While the constant threat of political imprisonment hanging over Nureyev (represented by bulky minders lurking in the background of every shot) is effective enough, this only seems in response to his hard-partying behaviour. Until the film’s final stretch he doesn’t really feel all that oppressed.

White Crow has good intentions and a certain level of craft to convincingly recreate the period, but for a variety of reason it leaves you cold. Maybe Rudolf Nureyev’s fascinating story would be better served in the form of a documentary, or a feature film that takes a few more risks. SSP

 

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Review: No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Out of time?: Miramax/Scott Rudin Productions

The Coen Brothers are two of the most distinctively voiced American filmmakers working today. Nobody else creates bleak mediations on existence or bittersweet morality tales quite like them at the top of their game. Their only Best Picture Academy Award win (why, Academy?) NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN finds itself somewhere in the middle, tonally speaking, but far towards the top of the pile in terms of craft and resonance.

A hunter becomes the hunted when he finds a suitcase full of money in the bloody aftermath of a drug deal. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) knows the Texan landscape and may have a few tricks up his sleeve to stay in front, but his pursuer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is relentless and without mercy…

It’s a pretty downbeat, pessimistic tale about pointless death and real evil going unpunished and yet you can’t escape a few trademark Coen dark comic barbs and witty asides. My favourite is Woody Harrelson’s snide response to his boss chastising him for sitting without permission, “You strike me as the kind of man who wouldn’t want to waste a chair”.

It’s easy to forget that this is a period movie given that it feels so timeless and fable-like. It’s Aesop with gallows humour and unfeeling violence. Roger Deakins’ peerless desert tableus makes these characters seem insignificant but their fight to survive insurmountable. Like his two-headed director, Deakins is obsessed by small details as well, a trait shared with the novella’s author Cormac McCarthy, who can happily spend two pages describing someone’s boots. Just look at how often characters are introduced identifying object-first, whether it’s distinctive clothing, a weapon, a vice in their life. The camera catches telling little details, things you’re going to have to pay attention to if you’re going to read every nuance in this rich tapestry.

Our hero (and I use that adjective pretty loosely) Llewelyn Moss is a pretty hopeless case, stumbling through life and surviving mostly by fluke. He can run in any direction but you always get a sense that he’s on borrowed time, that Texas isn’t big enough for him to hide from his pursuer for long. Yes, Tommy Lee Jones’ Sheriff Bell is a more conventional, morally upstanding hero, but he’s mostly a passive presence, always arriving too late to the carnage and unable to stop it. Agonisingly, we’re not given closure to Llewelyn and his wife Carla Jean’s (Kelly Macdonald) story. I mean, there’s an end, but we’re not privy to it and the ambiguous options we’re presented with are various shades of horrible.

Anton Chigurh has ideas above his station. He’s not only an unfeeling monster but a self-absorbed hypocrite. He maliciously mentally tortures his victims before putting them out of their misery, making them think they’re part of a grander plan and a more noble purpose. The way Bardem plays these scenes, dead-eyed and amused by his control over the lives and death of others, is chilling to the core. Few things in cinema are scarier than Bardem’s impassive expression as he kills. The only person who sees right through him, sees him for the empty vessel he is and calls him on his bullsh*t is Carla Jean.

No Country for Old Men is one of those Oscar winners that really holds up, that keeps delivering different thrills time after time of watching. Bardem may be the highlight horribilis, but you shouldn’t forget he sterling work put in by Brolin, Jones and Macdonald in the less-showy roles that ground the story and make it compelling. It really is one of the great films about humanity’s dark side and the world refusing to go your way. SSP

 

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Series Retrospective: The Before Trilogy

Back to my semi (OK, I’ll be honest lately it’s been less) regular feature where I look back on a long-running film series and see how well each instalment has or hasn’t age. This time it’s Richard Linklater’s beloved naturalistic will-they-won’t-they sightseeing excursion, the BEFORE…Trilogy.

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Castle Rock Entertainment

BEFORE SUNRISE (1995) The premise – a chance encounter on a train convinces two travellers to spend an evening wandering, and talking, around Vienna – might not sound like the most riveting prospect. But Richard Linklater often sees unlikely potential and convinces you pretty quickly, in no small part thanks to leads Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy making it the most compelling, relateable and swooning romance possible. It’s about life, the universe and everything in the most everyday way. The more-or-less continuous stream of  dialogue covers the mundane and the profound and everything in-between, but always coming back to how they both see their places in the world. Key passages of talk are the train scene for what matters on the surface and the pinball game in a bar later for what matters a little deeper. If you wanted to slap a message on this one, it’s that anything is possible; the film ends on an uncertain but hopeful note for Jesse and Celine, and a promise that we hope will be fulfilled.

sunset

Castle Rock Entertainment

BEFORE SUNSET (2004) The best part of a decade later, they meet again, but was it fate, a fluke, or careful planning? For Linklater’s first sequel, he starts to get a bit meta, with Jesse being asked on the audience’s behalf, “Do you think they got back together after six months?” The question is answered, and it’s not a fairy tale ending. In real life, life itself just gets in the way… This one’s about the missed opportunity, and the emotional content is heightened immeasurably by Jesse and Celine both finding themselves in a less emotionally secure place, however the rest of their lives seems to be “sorted”. Key conversations here are the cafe scene for hope and laughter and the car journey for implosion and despair. You can see why they fell for each other, but you can also see which of their traits would drive the other mad. The realness doesn’t dilute the heady romance of it all, and it ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. But at least we knew we’d be seeing them both again this time.

midnight

Castle Rock Entertainment

BEFORE MIDNIGHT (2013) So they finally got together for real, so there’s no need for another chance meeting. Instead of reconnecting with each other after a time apart, Jesse and Celine instead get to poetically reconnect with their younger selves. They comment on how rarely they get to walk, talk and not worry now they have children, how time has become all the more precious now they’ve hit 40. Another decade on and Hawke and Delpy do occasionally glimmer with the energy of their previous selves, at times it’s like the clock has been turned back to the spontaneity of the train to Vienna, before responsibility. Isn’t it shameful that in all three films everyone has to speak English because of Ethan Hawke? You’d have thought he (Jesse, not Ethan) would have made an effort by now. I’m also sure the music didn’t used to be this noticeable or intrusive, a rare point where the reality wobbles a bit. What brings you crashing back to the real is that this third chapter isn’t afraid to show the strain of maintaining a long relationship, and we’re under no illusions that this could be the end of their happily ever after.

The Before… Trilogy hasn’t aged a day, especially, weirdly, the first one. Characters we love to spend time with don’t really age, or at least we’re prepared to ignore their flaws out of sheer affection. Will we see Jesse and Celine again? I wouldn’t be at all surprised, but if we’re following the established pattern, we’ll have to wait until 2022. SSP

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Review in Brief: Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

Put ISN’T IT ROMANTIC down as a good idea badly executed. It’s the classic “bump your head and wake up in another world” story, with the differences between our world (in the loosest possible terms) and the world of the romantic comedy film in sight. They do get the sunny rom-com lighting right and nail on a few of the most tired tropes like everyone been unfeasibly hot and PG-13 censorship. But there are too few proper laughs and nowhere near enough warmth. Rebel Wilson has got comedy leading roles in her but she deserves much sharper and more memorable material. OK, the karaoke musical number scene is pretty good (“How’d they all know the choreography?”) but that’s because it’s one of few scenes where everyone comes alive for a few minutes and perhaps the only sequence where Wilson is let loose to do what she does best. SSP

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