Sunday, January 1 1995
With Loser, Heckerling faces the challenge of measuring up to past success in a decade that doesn't even have its own colloquialism. If in no other way but numerically, Loser functions as a reflection of the '00s.
In 'Lumumba', the protagonist is perpetually caught between wanting to change everything all at once, and wanting to assert his own power and to establish his right to it.
All this reminiscing might easily turn melodramatic, but for the most part, 'Last Orders' avoids tear-jerking and grand emotional revelations.
If there is a more perfect expression of life's pains and elations than Al Green's 'Love and Happiness,' I don't know it.
All this said, I'm inclined to like Loser, because it wants so badly to do well by its college-age heroes, and there are so many movies that have exactly the opposite intention.
But with asylum also comes a false identity and a new life devoted to hiding and secrecy: Rita (Bibiana Beglau) is given a new name and personal history -- a legend -- and must forever forfeit her life as a revolutionary.
It's somewhat refreshing to watch a male character exhibit an immature sexual insecurity in the face of a more experienced female lover, and even more refreshing -- if not downright liberating -- to watch that female character refuse to apologize for her sexual appetites.
These are the questions that drive Buck Williams -- who fancies himself a relentless seeker of truth -- through the rest of 'Left Behind', a Christian fundamentalist film styled as a grade-B sci-fi action thriller.
Frank (Aidan Gillen) makes props for tv shows. It's not really what he wants to do. He's an aspiring artist in his late twenties, but so far he but doesn't have the ambition to move on. And so he survives, fashioning big clown heads and painting giant hands during the days, hanging out with his North London mates by night.
What makes 'The Last Castle' worth talking about is something the filmmakers could never have foreseen: the alarming timeliness of its release.
It's December 31, 1999 and the world is about to end in just six short hours. There is no explanation for this sudden demise. The film's opening shot looks down on Patrick (played by McKellar) as he lies sprawled on the floor gazing ceiling-ward.
It's disturbing that a movie adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's woeful tale of a Russian Chess grandmaster can be so trivialising.
In the hands of able actors, Shakespeare's 'taffeta phrases, silken terms, precise, three-piled hyperboles, and spruce affections' are a passport to the land of milk and honey.
Sadly, and perhaps realistically, 'Liam' never fills in its silent spaces.
Unfortunately, it only thinks it's American Beauty, and instead, ends up being Regarding Henry.
'Last Resort' is a deft and moving study of displacement and self-discovery.