Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wilfing and Two Films

A few days off as I decided to lay off the wilfing for a while. Among other things this past weekend I saw two enjoyable, if modest films, the Argentinian El Custodio, the Pialet-esque tale of a governmental bodyguard and the petty humiliations he suffers on a daily basis. Though the dénouement is a bit improbable the film is a diverting and intelligent portrayal of middle-aged angst. It also features a large number of point-of-view shots of the ministerial car driving around Buenos Aires, the engine humming pleasantly and a rosary dancing suspended from the rear-view mirror. I don't care for cars much but I have always found such scenes beguiling. Funny that.

There was also Jérôme Bonnell's J'attend quelqu'un, a pleasing domestic drama set in a suburb of Paris, about a brother and sister, played by Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Emannuelle Devos, whose mother has been stricken with Alzheimer's. Darroussin's is experiencing financial difficulties and chronic loneliness, having an infatuation for his whore that is reciprocated only platonically. There is also a youngster, played by Stéphane Dieuade, who is a former student of elementary school teacher Devos, and who has a hidden history with a local woman, whose boyfriend he befriends, with dubious motives. It is a familiar scenario and almost wilfully unadventurous but the performances, particularly from the hangdog Darroussin, help things along. In the absence of a more ambitious film, it'll do for the time being.