April 29, 2022.
DOWNTON ABBEY: New Era *** 1/2
When you see such a wonderfully satisfying movie, everything is on track to the world. It’s friendly and new about the decent people we’ve been following on TV for years. Creator and screenwriter Julian Fellowes and director Simon Curtis are outperforming themselves, perhaps to supplement the first Downton movie (2019) made about our favorite character. Like a terrible “Sex and the City” spin-off, it was a disappointment.
This is an absolute joy. It starts with a wedding and it’s all – the same affectionate group has matured a bit and has a few more kids on both the second and second floors. Dowager Countess is doing harsh things, but now doing calm things, still great Maggie Smith – she has to win all the awards. There is a feeling of satisfaction and the sweetness of the air, and everyone is on good terms.
Excited, when they’re about to enter a new era, there are movie companies that want to use Downton as a location for their movies, offering a lot of money. Despite Crawley’s fear of a major intrusion, he offers that he cannot completely deny it.
And there is a special surprise. The family mysteriously inherits the dream of a villa in southern France. So they escape to this sunny and graceful pastoral by the sea, while the film crew invades their mansion. Carson is particularly interesting with his fluffy reaction to the French lifestyle – he is too valuable! There are multiple side stories that are joyful while we smile, laugh, and finally cry with the perfect ending, and we continue to question those consequences. Everything is going well in their new era and in our hearts.
(Displayed in Cine17)
HIT THE ROAD *** 1/2 (Vo Farsi)
A family traveling through the very beautiful Iranian countryside. A strong, bearded father (Hassan Majoni, famous for his “pig”) has a huge cast on his legs, is unfriendly in appearance, but is a kind companion. A charming mother with a young face but white hair (Pantea Panahiha), probably from the sadness she experienced. Two brothers in their twenties (one pensive) (Amin Simiar) and another adorable, violent child (Rayan Sarlak) are constantly roaring around the car. And a sweet dog that looks like it’s on the last paw.
The movie begins with Schubert refraining from playing a note that the child is tracing the cast of his father. It manages to set a light and heavy tone. It’s not clear where they’re heading, which seems like a secret. Her mother told them at once that she thinks they are being followed, even though she is wrong.
This is a family odyssey that not only loves each other deeply, but also makes each other nervous. In particular, the fear of the destination rests on them. They each have their own personality, their own little rituals, and may dance moves and sing in the car (especially with the big eyes of a precocious 6 years old), as Iranians like. Many of the laughter and jokes hide the tears that come later. Like their great acting, their interactions are completely realistic and natural. This movie reveals a small clue while traveling. They seem to have mortgaged their house to pay at the end of this journey, lying to a little boy his brother goes out to get married.
As they arrive at their destination and camp, there is a wonderful surreal scene where the father and son somehow float in the sky under the stars. It’s magic, as is this funny and inspiring movie about the price of freedom and the length these people need to go to achieve it.
Written and directed by Pana Panahi, the son of Iran’s great director Jafar Panahi, who had been home-held for many years in a bold film against government constraints, the film is directed by a young man with a sharp father. Shows that it inherits eyes and talents for storytelling.
He spins this melancholic story with a clever and fascinating touch, with a breath of fresh air often lacking in many of Iran’s high-quality films.
(Screened in SCARA)
MY SUNNY MAAD (MA FAMILLE AFGHAN) *** (Vo Czech, English, Dari)
This animated film by Michaela Pavratova won the Grand Prize at the Annecy Film Festival for the story of a Czech woman who is taking her husband from Afghani to her homeland and trying to become part of a large family. We see through her eyes the difficulties and contradictions of the land that cannot escape from the strict religious background and strict traditions.
From the wedding night when her virginity had to be proved and her husband was able to protect her honor, until she accepted a deformed orphan because she couldn’t give birth to her I live with the ups and downs of. Pavratova tells this story of her wife, through her simple animated character, trying to balance her European outlook with her newly discovered love for her family. You have to make tragic strikes and difficult decisions. It is touching and shining because it shows another, more intimate vision of the torn land.
(Displayed only in Cinelux)
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Neptune Ravar Ingwersen has extensively reviewed the film for publication in Switzerland. She watches four to eight movies a week and aims to sort wheat from rice husks for her readers...
https://lenews.ch/2022/04/28/film-downton-abbey-a-new-era-1-2/ Movie: Downton Abbey: New Era *** 1/2