tv The Film Review BBC News September 3, 2022 11:45pm-12:01am BST
more uplifting story than that but i'm afraid we couldn't do it this evening. thank you to you both for talking us through the papers. that's it for the papers this hour. thank you benedicte and eleanor. goodnight. hello, and a very warm welcome to the film review on bbc news. i'mjane hill, and back with us after a summer break, mark kermode, good to see you again. nice to see you again. so, interesting week. we have the forgiven with ralph fiennes and jessica chastain. we have three thousand years of longing, a strange, dark fantasy. and the cornish new wave continues with long way back.
quite a striking mixture. so, the forgiven, which i know you've seen, based on the 2012 best seller, ralph fiennes and jessica chastain are david and jo. they're a posh white couple who are travelling 400 miles for a party. as ralph fiennes says, "there's a long way to go for a party, and anyway, "they're more your friends than mine." the party is being hosted by their friends, played by matt smith and caleb landryjones in their castle—like villa. en route, david, who drinks way too much, runs down and kills a local boy. they then arrive at the party with the body. their hosts are shocked, but perhaps not as shocked as they should be. here's a clip. you're dressed for dinner. so the world's still normal. you should get changed. both of you, get changed. have a shower, come down for dinner. police will be here in an hour. i know the officer in charge. it'll be a formality.
how did it happen? you should tell me - before we tell the police, get everything ironed out. we were bowling along, looking for the sign. and there was a lot of sand blowing across the road. i couldn't see. he just stepped out in front of us like he didn't understand the speed of a car. the fact is we hit him — we hit him and we killed him. well, the main thing is to come clean, - cooperate with the police, - and seem overwhelmingly contrite. we can do that, can't we? if it's absolutely necessary. david... and in that phrase, "if it's absolutely necessary," is kind of the nub of it. we're told the boy is — he's a nobody. he's a villager from far away. no—one knows who he is, but of course he isn't.
he has a father who then arrives at the villa and says, "you must pay reparations "by travelling with me to my home to bury the boy." ralph fiennes�*s character says, "we're not going with him. i don't know who he is. "you know, maybe they want money or maybe worse." but then the film kind of bifurcates between, on the one hand, the villa where all this debauched revelry is going on, and on the other hand, the journey of his character. this is directed by john michael mcdonagh. i think it has very good performances, not least by ismael kanater, who plays the father of the boy driss, who when you first meet him, he's very sort of hard to read, but as the drama goes on, says an awful lot — often not with words, but through expressions. i think it's well done. it's slightly inert at times. and the central subject of it is, aren't these ghastly white people ghastly? and the answer is, yes, they are. and, therefore, the challenge of the story is can you make what happens to them interesting?
were you gripped by it? i was gripped and quite tense and i think it's very well—acted, but there's a lot of characters in it who are really unpleasant. and i think it takes us back to... i often have this debate with any work of art, a book or a play or anything. if everyone is unlikable, you can reach a point where you think, "0h, do i really care?" i mean, you care about the little boy, but all the characters in this gorgeous, sumptuous moroccan palace having a big party for the weekend are really unpleasant people. yes, and very hard company. i think that one of the triumphs of the film is that it doesn't... you don't need to sympathise with them. i think that the plight of the other characters is as important. but i also think that there are certain moments in the drama, which you think, "i almost wish the drama was about the other characters "and not about them," although it's a terrible thing to fall into. i don't want the film to be about that, i want it to be about that. i think it's well done. i don't think it's earth—shattering, but it's handsomely mounted and very sparse use of score,
leaving lots of spaces in that there's lots of moments of silence within the drama in which it's almost as if the film is inviting you to fill in the space. but, you know, an intriguing piece of work, if not earth—shattering. yes, absolutely. it holds your attention. i had a bit of a problem with the central conceit that he would agree to drive off with the boy's father and go out into the desert with people you don't know. which is the thing upon which the whole thing pivots. yes! 0k. well, look, let's move on to three thousand years of longing, which is an adult fantasy, adapted from a story by as byatt, directed by george miller, who's well versed in fantasy film—making. tilda swinton is althea, who is a british scholar, a very well—to—do british scholar who studies narrative, the origins of stories and myths. she's travelling the world. she buys a vase. out of the vase comes a genie played by idris elba, who grants her three wishes. well, she understands how narrative works. she knows that granting three wishes, it's usually a kind of it's a cautionary tale — don't take the wishes. you know how that works out.
this is an oddly baffling film. i really like tilda swinton. i really like idris elba. the problem with this is a lot of the time with the special effects — the special effects are very, very cgi—heavy. it felt like i should be reading this as a story. i should maybe be listening to it as a radio play or as an audiobook, but sometimes looking at it kind of makes the magic too literal and, therefore, ironically takes the magic out of it. i mean, it's ambitious and it has some interesting ideas, but it's a mess. and it kind of reminded me of — there's a film called what dreams may come, which is sort of partly set in the afterlife, and is full of really intriguing ideas and conceits, but doesn't work as a movie. and in the case of this, i mean, it's great to see something made with ambition. but it's. .. it is an impressive failure.
but it is a failure. 0k, 0k. long way back. yes. so, more down to earth, although not entirely so. so, this is the latest from what's being called the new wave of cornish cinema films like wilderness make—up, obviously markjenkins, bait and, of course, ennis mane, which we have coming. this is by brett harvey, who made weekend retreat and brown willie. it is a melancholy road movie that, on the surface, is a story about a father who has to take his estranged daughter from manchester to cornwall via wales and via wookey hole on what becomes a kind of journey of self—discovery. here's a clip. ta—da! here we are. what? wookey hole! what about it? it's wookey hole! i can see it's wookey hole. is this supposed to - mean something to me? we've been here before. have we?
yeah. on holiday. i've never been on holiday with you. you have! to wookey hole. stop saying wookey hole. it tipped it down, remember. we were stuck in a caravan, the three of us, down the road. three? yeah. — me, you and your mother. god, that must have been ages ago. yeah. was it a good holiday? you really don't remember? how old was i? six. seven. how would i remember that? idunno... why are we here now? ijust thought it'd be fun. for who? i did like that scene. you see, i think, weirdly, i mean, i've seen the film a couple of times now. i think that scene kind of encapsulates
what i really like about this film. i mean, there's a lot of things going on and it'sjumbling past and present, memory, you know, what, you know, perceived reality, all that sort of stuff. but at the heart of it is this relationship between two characters who are distanced and yet stuck in the car together. i think the way in which she says, "who did you think it was going to be fun for? "for you or for me?" he's full of obscure rock trivia. she says, "all you've got is anecdotes from the past "and niche rock trivia." and he's trying to kind of make a connection, but you get the sense that he spent his life running away from his responsibilities. yes. also, if, as i have, you know, you're somebody who has travelled the a30 to cornwall, there is a beautiful use of a copse of trees which are known locally. the �*nearly home' trees or the �*nearly there' trees, which i've always found really magical in real life and it's lovely to see a film actually use that location in such a moving way. now, obviously, you know, this touched a personal chord with me.
i thought it was very well made. this is low—budget film—making, but it's made with heart and individuality. did you find yourself engrossed by it? i agree with everything you say, and i love sort of slow, contemplative films. elements of it, i thought perhaps just a wee bit too slow if i'm honest. and i liked the character of the undergraduate daughter, but there's a lot of stroppy teenager going on there, isn't there? well, all i can say is, i mean, there was many of the things, i mean, i have heard, i mean, you know, as a father who is, i'm sure, full of boring anecdotes and obscure niche rock trivia, i understand. i mean, i think it's partly a personal response, but you could feel the heart and soul that the film was made with. and, again, i think it's really interesting to see filmmakers tell a story that isn't quite what you expect it to be. it leaves you with a sense of mystery and wonder. yes, there's a slight disquiet at the end, which i sort of liked,
and we can't say any more than that because, again, don't want to give anything away. exactly, but i liked it, intriguing. i hope it finds an audience. yes. much more sort of big and mainstream — best out is et. it's back in cinemas. a0 years! how is it a0 years? i know. how is that possible? i assume you've seen et. did you see it when it came out? oh, yeah. a0 years to the point where i think i barely remember it. it is impossible to watch it without bursting crying. i mean, it'sjust a total cry—a—thon, isn't it? and it's, you know, it's a lovely, it's an absolutely lovely film and it's back. and, you know, we take it for granted just how moving it is. for dvd — you're a star trek fan? i loved the tv series. yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. i can't remember whether i've seen the film. star trek the motion picture. when it first came out, it was famously not finished properly as it was meant to be. they were rushing for deadlines. this is the motion picture director's edition,
which was just reissued in cinemas just a couple of weeks ago and is now available on blu—ray. if, like me, you only saw star trek when it came out and thought it was a bit disappointing, have another look at it because the director's edition does show you much closer you know, what the film was meant to look like and how it was meant to be finished, and it's worth seeing. excellent. interesting week. thanks very much, mark. see you next time. enjoy your cinema—going, whatever you're watching. see you next time. bye—bye. 0nce once again sunday brings a mixed forecast across the uk. warm sunshine for some, heavy rain for others and heavy rain tied in with an area of low pressure to the west of the uk, slow moving. notice the squeeze on the isobars, gusty wind for irish sea coasts. heavy rain clearing through northern ireland in the morning the sun shine behind, extending north and east, the rain, through scotland during the day.
england and wales, sunny spells but also heavilyjeaic mckelvey and local thundery showers with showers more frequent in south—west england and wales through the afternoon. driest and warmest in east anglia and the south—east of england. sunday evening, overnight into monday morning, another spell of rain pushing north across the uk. that's likely to be heavy and thundery in places. again, a warm and muggy night with temperatures not much lower than ia or 15 celsius. the week ahead looks more unsettled with showers or longer spells of rain for many and slowly the temperatures start to come down slightly too.
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. nasa says it will be several weeks before it makes another attempt to launch the artemis moon rocket, after blast—off was aborted for a second time. the european union says the bloc is ready to react if russia doesn't resume gas deliveries through a key baltic pipeline. thousands of people have paid their last respects to mikhail gorbachev — the man who brought the cold war to an end. the death of mikhail gorbachev really does mark the end of an extraordinary era in history, a rare period when russia was opening up to the world. and a warning of a rise in water—borne diseases in pakistan, as the country struggles to cope with the aftermath of devastating monsoon floods.
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