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jean reno

Review: The Chef, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Step Up 4: Miami Heat

By Cinema and Reviews

The Chef posterCinema and fine food have been get­ting along rather well in recent times. This year El Bulli show­cased the amaz­ing molecu­lar cre­ations of Spanish geni­us Ferran Adrià and the painstak­ing sea­food cre­ations in Jiro Dreams of Sushi are still on select screens here in Wellington. Films like those hon­our the cre­ativ­ity, train­ing, hard work and exper­i­ence of some remark­able people. Meanwhile, Daniel Cohen’s The Chef takes a dif­fer­ent path and mer­ci­lessly – and humour­lessly – sat­ir­ises their pretensions.

The great Jean Reno (The Big Blue, The Professional) is Alexandre Lagarde, still head chef and cre­at­ive force behind the Paris res­taur­ant that bears his name but long since sold out to cor­por­ate interests that pimp him out for tv cook­ing shows and frozen super­mar­ket ready-meals. Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn) is Lagarde’s biggest fan – a tal­en­ted young chef whose tal­ents are unre­cog­nised by the bis­tros and road­side cafés that reg­u­larly fire him.

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Review: An Education, Couples Retreat and Fighting

By Cinema and Reviews

An Education posterTwickenham in 1961 might well have been the most bor­ing place on Earth. The 60s haven’t star­ted yet (accord­ing to Philip Larkin the dec­ade wouldn’t start until 1963 “between the end of the Chatterley Ban/and The Beatles first LP”) but the train was already on the tracks and could be heard approach­ing from a dis­tance if you listened closely enough. Middle-class teen­ager Jenny is study­ing hard for Oxford but long­ing for some­thing else – free­dom and French cigar­ettes, love and liberation.

In Lone Scherfig’s An Education (from a script by Nick Hornby; adap­ted from Lynn Barber’s mem­oir), Jenny is lumin­ously por­trayed by new­comer Carey Mulligan (so ador­able that if she’s ever in a film with Juno’s Ellen Page we’ll have to recal­ib­rate the cute­ness scale to accom­mod­ate them both) and she gets a hint of a way out of sub­urb­an English drudgery when she meets cool busi­ness­man David (Peter Sarsgaard) and he whisks her off her feet, to the West End and to Paris.

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