In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.
Harry Lister Smith
The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
The middle-class dinner party in which the thin veneer of polite society is ripped away to expose the dog-eat-dog savagery underneath has provided ample fodder for playwrights since probably the birth of theatre, but films in which such a gathering is the sole focus are rarer. So step forward British auteur Sally Potter.
Having been appointed Shadow Minister for Health, Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) and her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) throw a celebratory dinner party for their friends: the acerbic April (Patricia Clarkson) and (played by Bruno Ganz) her new age partner Gottfried ("prick an aromatherapist and you'll find a fascist" says April); lesbian professor Martha and her 'Masterchef' runner-up partner Jinny (Emily Mortimer), who is carrying their purchased foetuses ("babies are born every day, in large numbers - large enough to put our planet at risk" is April's unsentimental but accurate comment). Banker Tom (Cillian Murphy) arrives with his wife's apologies: she will be along later. Thus the stage is set, but when a champagne cork shatters a window it is an omen that this will be a dinner party none of the attendees will soon forget.
Trendy lefties who spend too much time thinking are an open goal when it comes to comedy, with their talk of 'post-post-feminism' and their professorships in Utopian Americanism, and Potter does not miss the target in her - I suspect affectionate - mickey-taking. There is nothing original in this - not even the 'twist' at the end - but the film is so entertaining that does not matter (with one exception: when banker Tom heads to the bathroom to snort cocaine I rolled my eyes - just once I would like to see a fictional young banker who *does not* have a coke habit: don't any of them simply put the kettle on?)
There is good acting all around: Clarkson gets all the best lines - albeit at the expense of depth of character - but that merely makes the others work harder with the lines they have been given. Thomas, whose character is the most fully-formed, is noteworthy.
At just over seventy minutes this is rather a short film. Quite why Potter decided to make it in black-and-white I do not know - extra filmsnob points I suppose. But it is hugely entertaining and I look forward to seeing it again. (After all, any film which lists in the credits 'production dog' *must* be good!)
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