Film Screening 21st May, 2011

Poster for Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole 

8:00 PM, 21st May, 2011

  • M
  • 91 mins
  • 2010
  • John Cameron Mitchell
  • David Lindsay-Abaire
  • Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard

Eight months on from the accidental death of their four-year old son, the grieving process for a husband (Eckhart) and wife (Kidman) begins to diverge dramatically when the pair discover that the wife's unmarried sister is pregnant - placing greater strain on an already stressed relationship. Wife, Becca, leaves their group therapy program and stalks the teenager whose car killed her son, hoping to reconcile with him. Husband, Howie, seeks solace in the company of Gaby (Sandra Oh), another member of the group therapy program. Cue maelstrom of emotion...

Rabbit Hole is an actors' movie and shameless awards-bait through and through, which may sound shameful and hollow to the cynically minded but it does mean the film was put together with prestige in mind and that it has greater leeway than most Hollywood pap gets from its producers to be frank about its subject matter. The film makes good use of this leeway to tell a particularly depressing story, drawing out some wonderful performances in the process. The characters aren't always likeable but they are all relatable, which makes Rabbit Hole stand out from the pack. Although this makes for tough viewing, it is a rewarding experience.

Adam Gould

Poster for Orchestra Seats (Fauteuils d’orchestre)

Orchestra Seats (Fauteuils d’orchestre) 

10:15 PM, 21st May, 2011

  • M
  • 101 mins
  • 2006
  • Danièle Thompson
  • Danièle Thompson, Christopher Thompson
  • Cécile de France, Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Laura Morante

A triangular corner of the Avenue Montaigne, in a small and exclusive part of Paris, is the setting for this delightful French movie. The corner houses a café, a theatre and an auction house selling fine art. Into this microcosm of vibrant artistic activity enters 20 year old Jessica (de France), ready to fulfil her dream of living in and being a part of Paris.

At the triangular corner, three stories unfold, connected by the café where Jessica has secured a job as a waitress. Catherine (Lemercier) is a hugely popular and adored TV star, yet she aches to be taken seriously as an actress and seeks out an American director (Sydney Pollack, in an amusing cameo) who is casting in Paris. Jean-Francois (Dupontel) is a world-renowned concert pianist who has his interview and touring schedule for the next five years carefully micro-managed by his adoring wife (Morante), yet he yearns for solitude and freedom, of playing for the simple pleasure of the music. Jacques (Claude Brasseur) has spent his life collecting beautiful artworks, yet his desire now is to sell the lot.

The three stories are skilfully woven together and the outcome will delight. This movie makes some poignant points about success: is it ever enough or it may be enough but not of the right variety; that even in success, life can pass you by and somehow you can still feel like a failure. Through Jessica, the bright-eyed, fearlessly optimistic waitress, the characters are reminded that possibilities still exist. If you liked Amelie (and who didn’t?), then you’ll enjoy Orchestra Seats.

Karl Dubravs