Wednesday July 6th 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘MSPIFF’

Movie Corner: The Phantom of the Open

Movie Corner:  The Phantom of the Open

Comedy/Drama Sony Pictures Classics 2021 ★★★★☆ By HOWARD MCQUITTER II The opening film for the 2022 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival starts with a chuckle, a laugh, and guffaws. I think it was a brilliant move for the Festival to open with a comedy/drama after these last few years of COVID 19 and unrest. Mark Rylance plays a real-life Maurice Flitcroft, a crane operator for Vickers shipyards, following in his father’s footsteps. He is married to his lovely wife Jean (Sally Hawkins) and has 3 sons: Michael (Jake Davies) and twins Gene (Christian Lees) and James (Jonas Lees). In the movie we get a peek of Gene and James as disco dancing champions. Maurice has no hobbies. Jean suggests he find one. One day he’s watching a golf tournament on TV and has the idea that he could play golf even though he never swung a golf club. Despite their misgivings, Maurice’s family encourages him to golf. He tries repeatedly to join elite golf clubs but is always snubbed. I suspect the snubbing may have been based more on class than skill. He moves on to try to get into the 1976 British Open, and is turned down over and over again. Finally, the tournament chief, Keith Mackenzie (Rhys Ifans) relents and allows him to play. Scenes at the British Open are hilarious as the crowds are baffled watching Maurice play. After embarrassing all of Great Britain with the worst golf score (121) of the Open, Mackenzie has a schadenfreude about Maurice's disasters on the golf course. Maurice's oldest son Michael, who has a corporate job, is thoroughly humiliated watching his father on television. Maurice, though, manages to become famous (infamous) around the globe. In the hands of the more than capable actor Mark Rylance, the story keeps from being frivolous. Director Craig Roberts gives us an important value lesson: Persistence can be more admirable than actually winning. Cast: Sir David Mark Rylance Waters (Maurice Flitcroft), Sally [...]

The Crossing (Original title: La Traversée)

<strong>The Crossing </strong><strong>(Original title: La Traversée)</strong>

MAUR film 2021 ★★★★★ Movie Corner By HOWARD MCQUITTER Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is back in person! A special gem of the festival is The Crossing. This animated film follows two children, Kyona (Emilie Lan Dürr) and Adriel (Maxime Gemin), siblings who return from playing in the forest to their village and witness an unspecified group of hooded soldiers who have come to massacre the Yelzid people. Immediately Kyona, Adriel, their parents and two younger siblings pack their belongings and flee. They manage to catch a train packed with others who have also fled the village. However, the ride on the train is thwarted by soldiers for Control detaining the family by force on the platform. Kyona and Adriel decide to proceed alone across the border, hoping for safety. But it is the opening scene that gives a blueprint for this colorful animation painted in oil paint on glass. Kyona has a sketchbook, a gift from her father which she will take through her perilous journey. There will be a time when she's temporarily separated from Ahriel during a blizzard when she stays with a kindly old woman. Later, the two siblings reunite and reside in Stemetsvar where they get involved with a young gang of street thieves, the Ravens, led by Iskender (Arthur Pereira). Her bag with the precious sketchbook is snatched. Thankfully, she gets her bag and sketchbook back. Later they join a traveling circus under the headship of Madame (Aline Afanoukoe). During the short duration with the circus, a young man Erdewan (Axel Auriant) has romantic interests in Kyona. By this time the two siblings have nearly grown up. When Kyona and Adriel leave the circus they are captured and thrown into a detention camp. Determined to free themselves from tyranny they, along with a few others in the camp, escape with hope to reach the border. The Crossing is an extraordinarily beautiful expressionist form of animation. Never before, to my [...]

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