Rating: NNNNNSave your time. Here's a guide to the must-miss festival dregs. THE CAPTIVE (dir Chantal Akerman, w/ Stanislas Merhar, Sylvie.
Save your time. Here’s a guide to the must-miss festival dregs.
THE CAPTIVE (dir Chantal Akerman, w/ Stanislas Merhar, Sylvie Testund. France/Belgium. MAST) — Akerman on Proust is a prescription for coma. When everything is an unstated, longing glance, I begin to look longingly for the exit. 112 mins. N (JH)
CODE INCONNU (dir Michael Haneke, w/Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Sepp Bierbichler, Ona Lu Yenke. France/Austria. MAST) — Haneke’s cool, cerebral film about beggars in Romania, illegal Malian aliens, atrocities in Kosovo and an aspiring French actor is little more than an irritating intellectual exercise. Even Juliette Binoche’s radiant performance can’t redeem it. 117 mins. N (JC)
DESIRE (dir Colleen Murphy, w/ Katja Reimann, Zachary Bennett, Graham Greene. PC) — The story of a 20-ish pianist and an older primary-school teacher, this flat film is the kind of cinematic nightmare you stay with just to see if the director figures out what the picture’s about. She doesn’t. 95 mins. N (JH)
LUMUMBA (dir Raoul Peck, w/Eriq Ebouaney, Alex Descas. France/Belgium/Haiti/Germany. SPEC) — The life of Patrice Lumumba, hero of the Congolese independence movement, is a subject that cries out for the “you are there” immediacy of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, but instead has a leaden respectability about it. As Lumumba, Ebouaney is a more compelling presence than performer. 115 mins. N (JH)
LOW SELF ESTEEM GIRL (dir Blaine Thurier, w/Corrina Hammond. PC) — The characters in BC filmmaker Thurier’s comedy about a sexually active young woman who falls in with folk-singing Christians are too stupid to be either likeable or believable. 96 mins. N (IR)
SAINT JUDE (dir John L’Ecuyer, w/Liane Balaban, Nicholas Campbell. PC) — L’Ecuyer revisits his Curtis’s Charm territory but this time falls flat on his face. These kids sound less like street punks than disillusioned 50-year-olds from a John Cassavetes movie. 93 mins. N (IR)
SUCH IS LIFE (ASI ES LA VIDA) (dir Arturo Ripstein, w/Arcelia Ramírez, Luis Felipe Tovar, Patricia Reyes Spíndola. Mexico/France/Spain. MAST) — Veteran Mexican director Ripstein’s take on Medea gives us 98 minutes of moaning and wailing trapped in one dingy set. Agonizing. N (JC)
SWEDISH BEAUTY (dir Daniel Fridell, w/Francisco Jacob, Jenny Ulving. Sweden. CWC) — Forgive me if I don’t cheer for a movie about a teenage boy’s horndog fantasies just because it’s Swedish. Strictly amateur hour. 89 mins. N (KL)