Frederic Raphael

Frederic Raphael

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Two for the Road Review


OK
This bittersweet Audrey Hepburn flick can hardly be described as a classic, but it's a fun road trip nonetheless. The film tells the story of a couple (Hepburn and Albert Finney), together 12 years and facing a relationship crisis. They figure out what went wrong be reminiscing about a decade of trips together -- including the one on which they met and a hilarious one that includes an abrasive family of three. It's not high comedy, nor is it a brilliant drama, but both genres get their due. Watch for the car fire scene, especially.

Eyes Wide Shut Review


Extraordinary
Mr. Kubrick would have been upset. I take that back. He would have been totally pissed. I'll get it out up front: Our screening was interrupted by a fire alarm, which sent the entire San Francisco press constituency outside for a full hour, and ultimately forced us to miss about five minutes of the movie, right in the middle, where it was getting juicy. Not to mention that whole digital alteration thing. Ugh.

That aside, this is one hell of a movie. A somewhat bizarre cross between A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut is the work of a meticulous craftsman -- a luscious and rich odyssey through the streets of New York, and into the minds of a couple of its residents.

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Darling Review


Extraordinary
Julie Christie stars in a role written for her: the brazen bird Diana Scott, a swinging Londoner who is discovered by a reporter for a street interview, then rises through the European modeling/acting world by sleeping with every man she meets. Laurence Harvey (from The Manchurian Candidate) and Dirk Bogarde are two of the men who use her and vice versa.

Darling exposes the jet-set high society of the mid-'60s with the cynicism and detail of a muckraking documentary. Antonioni and Fellini explored the same milieu, but writer Frederic Raphael is a much sharper and subtler satirist than either. (Raphael is also responsible for Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and Darling's influence on that film is easy to spot). Raphael's script effectively surveys a gallery of posers -- vapid trendsetters, journalists and fashionistas, pretentious artists, and even minor royalty (Diana marries an Italian prince). Though the film drags in a few places, John Schlesinger's direction is generally excellent.

Continue reading: Darling Review

Frederic Raphael

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