Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bad and goodel

Last night we watched an Israeli movie, supposedly a comedy, about a trio of geriatrics who try to rob a bank, with the aid of the grandson of one of them. Sir Patrick Stewart (as he's listed on the cover) was one of the trio; the other two were Hebrew actors. For some reason crudity was the order of the day, along with a good deal of swearing. Which always seems worse when it appears as a subtitle. (We watched the awful Gone Girl recently with subtitles, because the dialogue was so hard to hear you wondered if they'd purposely been told to mumble most of the time. That dialogue was even more full of four-letter words - the whole range - and was really off-putting.)

The Israeli movie was called Hunting Elephants and was total nonsense, offensive to women, and filled with male characters obsessed with sex. Rubbish. Sir Patrick, curiously enough, played an actor down on his luck, who, when we first saw him, was in an abysmal production of Hamlet done with Star Wars characters. It seemed an unlikely piece for a supposedly good actor to appear in; Hunting Elephants also seemed like an unlikely piece for a very good actor to appear in.

Tonight we watched a French comedy, My Best Friend (Mon Meilleur Ami), about a man who's so involved with his own life and what he wants that he suddenly realises he has absolutely no one to share anything with, no one he can call his best friend. Furthermore he's divorced, the woman he sees regularly has had enough, and his daughter doesn't even call him Dad. As the result of a bet he makes with his female business partner, he has to produce his 'best friend' in ten days. He discovers that the best friend isn't that hard to find, but he is hard to keep, especially if the main character wants to carry on living the way he has been doing.

Daniel Auteuil plays the self-centred main character gradually warming up from frozen, and Dany Boon is the taxi-driver who seems to have more friends than he knows what to do with. It's an odd couple movie, I guess, but it's played beautifully, is never over-the-top, and is full of charm. There's only one swear word in it, and the character apologises for saying it. And it's funny.

Both Auteuil and Boon are actors who seem very familiar from other movies, yet nothing that's listed on IMDB means a thing to me. Perhaps they just look like a lot of other French actors...
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