Ralph Fiennes delivers a bravura performance as the hyperactive record producer Harry Hawkes in Luca Guadagnino’s excellent third feature The Bigger Splash. Tilda Swinton, who appeared in the director’s stunning debut I Am Love, returns as aging rock star Marianne Lane recovering after a throat operation which has rendered her virtually speechless. Keen to renew his relationship with Lane, his former charge and lover, Hawkes invites himself to the luxurious retreat she is sharing with her current partner Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) on an exclusive stretch of the Italian coast. He brings along his teenage daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson) in an ill conceived attempt at bonding or possibly to lure Paul away from an adoring Lane. What follows is a brilliantly tense game of divided loyalties, uncontrollable passions and destructive self-interest—a game which one suspects can only end badly!. ($32.95, region 2)
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse
Francis Ford Coppola began to film Apocalypse Now in February 1976. After 238 days in the jungle, filming was complete and millions of dollars had been spent (Marlon Brando was on set for three weeks at a million dollars a week). Actors had been replaced (Harvey Keitel by Martin Sheen—who proceeded to have a heart attack). They had all gone a bit insane (according to Coppola) and the whole thing was documented on film by his wife, Eleanor. ($21.95, region 2)
Under Milk Wood: Dir. Pip Broughton ($39.95, region 2)
Michael Sheen, Tom Jones & Ioan Gruffudd star in this BBC adaptation of Dylan Thomas’s radio play. The plot reveals the innermost thoughts of the residents of the little, Welsh fishing village Llareggub as it delves into the dreams of various townspeople including blind sailor Captain Cat (Jones), who is haunted by visions of drowned shipmates, Mog Edwards & Myfanwy Price (Gruffudd & Kimberley Nixon), who dream of each other, and Mrs Ogmore Pritchard (Charlotte Church), who dreams of her former husbands. The cast also includes Matthew Rhys, John Rhys-Davies, Jonathan Pryce, Katherine Jenkins & Siân Phillips.
Francois-Xavier Demaison plays Bertrand Molina, a detective sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young teenager at a music festival in Lyon. With the grieving family pressing for answers, it’s not long before Molina uncovers a number of shocking secrets which could push them to breaking point. A very highly strung French version of The Missing—this time with a head strong teenage girl as victim. Gripping—I only managed to guess who did it only in 2nd last episode. ($42.95, region 2)
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