Australian director Phillip Noyce’s heart is in his camera lens when it comes to this film’s simple premise — the governmental kidnapping of half-caste Aborigines to be trained as servants. Every scene seethes with intensity and outrage as it displays this true account of textbook colonialism — with Kenneth Branagh.
Neither a flat-out comedy nor a straight-faced drama, this low-keyed character study balances its tone between the whimsical and the tragic. Jack Nicholson's carefully calibrated performance as a smaller-than-life man trying to find some corner of peace makes the film as good as it is, which is very good indeed.
In the spirit of Voltaire and Molière, director and co-writer Philippe de Broca (King of Hearts, 1966) volleys great wit and deadly gestures in a milieu of lush apparel, landscapes, captivating music and 18th century lacy sleeves. An impressive, swashbuckling spectacle — with Daniel Auteuil.
This painful recognition-of-self comedy written by Charlie Kaufman (who wrote one of the most twisted movies in recent memory, Being John Malkovich) stars Nicolas Cage as Charlie Kaufman, who is writing a movie about Charlie Kaufman not being able to write a movie — with Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper.
The bang-bang nature of the dialogue and plot keeps the energy flowing, and Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock, stuck with ineffective costars so many times before, have great chemistry to go with the great material they have to work with. It’s a lovely surprise just enough removed from reality to work.
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A fabulous tale told in pictures bursting with colorful action, fantastic musical numbers and fantastic romance, this ironic Tinseltown satire is one of Hollywood’s greatest gifts to cinema. Today, 50 years after its original release, it’s still giving — with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor.