Up at the Villa reunites the director of Angels and Insects, Philip Haas, with Thomas, his former star. And true to most re-pairings, the film feels oddly familiar -- as if we've seen Thomas doing this before: In pre-WWII Italy, a high-society (though penniless, natch) widow named Mary (Thomas) is being wooed by an older man of some wealth (James Fox). He proposes, then promptly jaunts off for a few days so she can consider.
Continue reading: Up at the Villa Review
At once an homage to and a spoof of two signature styles of late 1960s cinema, "CQ" is an enjoyably eccentric entry into feature filmmaking by a writer-director who has the art form in his blood -- Roman Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's son.
The title refers to an old Morse Code and ham radio signal sent to seek any kind of response ("seek you"), and it's reflective of the movie's main character. An ambivalent aspiring filmmaker (Jeremy Davies) seeking inspiration in 1969 Paris, he's torn between his desire to make a conceptual, black-and-white New Wave art film and his day job editing a studio's cheesy, sexploitive "Barbarella"-like B-movie.
Gritting his teeth over silly science fiction by day, he spends his nights locked in his bathroom, burning through miles of "borrowed" film on rambling autobiographic monologues while his live-in girlfriend frets in frustration. Davies' dilemma comes to a head when the manic director of the sexy sci-fi flick (played with comedic panache by Gerard Depardieu) is fired over creative differences.
Continue reading: Cq Review
An adaptation of one of Somerset Maugham's lesser novellas, the Jazz-era, pre-war romantic drama "Up at the Villa" has an impressive pedigree.
Kirstin Scott Thomas -- whose stock-in-trade is intelligent, elegant romantics, outwardly reserved but inwardly passionate -- stars as a young, near-insolvent society widow visiting 1930s Tuscany to seek a monied replacement husband but holding out hope of finding true love as well.
Playing her closest friend is Anne Bancroft, in a fun role as a lush and gossipy dowager who calls everyone "ducky," and who knows what it means to marry for money. She says of her highborn husband, "He was so ugly he frightened the horses! But he was titled, rich and Italian."
Continue reading: Up At The Villa Review
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