Breathtaking. Understated. Perfect. The Dardenne Brothers weave a subtle and sinister tale of a Carpentry Teacher whose unusual obsession with his newest pupil builds into a strange and unnerving relationship. Culminating in a stunning, memorable stand-off in a wood shed, that will have your heart pumping and your nerves jumping. This is intelligent and thought-provokng stuff, Independent Cinema at it's very best.
A study of a family in grief, Winterbottom's Genova is well acted and directed, sumptuously examining the backstreets of the Italian city, gloriously dropping the action in front of a series of rickety streets, beautiful beaches and stifling roads. Nonetheless, Winterbottom's film has very little content, it's ultimately a series of cliches, handpicked from any other movie that is epitomized by a tragic death; freakish drawings, the ever-present ghost, the wild, sexual abandon of the older daughter. This is unoriginal material, tied loosely into an improvised narrative arch that culminates in a somewhat disappointing busy road set-piece always threatening to tip into utter melodrama and farce. Well-meaning perhaps, but sadly, in the end, another dreary effort from Indie Cinema's least successful Artist.
Dark and dingy and with the much needed addition of Bears, Macbeth is given a severe and grisly re-imagining by Roman Polanski - auteur and master of all things macabre, and in the end - it aint half bad.
Indeed, minor gripes about detracting details and slight inaccuracies aside, Polanski ultimately does a fine job with the great bard's hugely popular study of greed and obsession. At least Mel Gibson is nowhere to be seen.