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vincent lindon

Review: Summer Holiday Round-up (2010/11)

By Cinema, Reviews

This year the sum­mer hol­i­days seemed to have been owned by the unlikely fig­ure of T.J. Miller, dead­pan comedi­an, sup­port­ing act­or and eer­ily famil­i­ar back­ground fig­ure. In Yogi Bear he was the ambi­tious but dim deputy park ranger eas­ily duped by Andrew Daly’s smarmy Mayor into help­ing him sell out Jellystone to cor­por­ate log­ging interests, in Gulliver’s Travels he was the ambi­tious but as it turns out dim mail room super­visor who pro­vokes Jack Black into pla­gi­ar­ising his way into a fate­ful travel writ­ing gig and in Unstoppable he’s the slightly less dim (and cer­tainly less ambi­tious) mate of the doo­fus who leaves the hand­brake on and then watches his enorm­ous freight train full of tox­ic waste roll away.

So, a good sum­mer for T.J. Miller then, what about the rest of us?

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Review: Anything for Her

By Cinema, Reviews

Anything for Her posterWith the big budget Hollywood remake already in pro­duc­tion (star­ring Rusty Crowe), Anything for Her looked like it might have had some enter­tain­ment poten­tial but I’m sad to report that it nev­er gets up to speed.

The bliss­ful lives of school teach­er Julien (Vincent Lindon) and Lisa (Diane Kruger) are, as they say, shattered when Lisa is wrongly con­victed of murder. With no pos­sib­il­ity of leg­al redress, and a rap­idly deteri­or­at­ing men­tal state, it looks like Diane won’t be able to stand 20 years in the big house and Julien has to act to save her and the fam­ily – the two of them plus cute little Oscar played by the won­der­fully named Lancelot Roch.

Somewhat implaus­ibly, Julien hatches a plan to boost his Mrs from jail and escape the coun­try to some­where with no extra­di­tion. Despite no pre­vi­ous crim­in­al exper­i­ence, Julien obsesses over all the details until his plan comes togeth­er. Advice from a loc­al crim­in­al turned author (“don’t impro­vise if you don’t have the crim­in­al mind­set”) has to be ignored when cir­cum­stances change suddenly.

I can see this work­ing with Crowe (and Elizabeth Banks and Liam Neeson). These sorts of tales told by Hollywood are always barely a step away from pure fantasy and it’s much easi­er to get car­ried along by the hok­um. The French ver­sion is so groun­ded in a recog­nis­able real­ity that the plot and char­ac­ters don’t make any sense at all. Lindon is a great act­or. He’s soul­ful, rug­gedly good look­ing, and deeply intense but, para­dox­ic­ally, the more real he tries to make the char­ac­ter the less you can believe what’s going on. Because it’s preposterous.

Printed in Wellington’s Capital Times on Wednesday 28 April, 2010.