Fly-away mixed bag

Fly-away mixed bag

By Michael Upton | 03/03/2010

Fly-away mixed bag

You may have noticed Film Chat’s absence for the last few weeks while I had a well-earned break.

Well, the column may have been conspicuous by its absence but rest assured that I’ve not been neglecting my cinematic duties.

During my time off, I was given the chance while I endured a couple of long haul flights to catch up on some of the latest offerings from Hollywood and around the world, albeit on a TV barely the size of my hand.

The airline offered passengers an intriguing range of the appealing—recent critics’ favourites An Education and Where the Wild Things Are among them—and the less appealing—braindead “thriller” Law Abiding Citizen, for example.

Where the wild things are movie trailer

The list of choices also included an “All-time Classics” selection featuring What Lies Beneath and The Italian Job (no, not the Michael Caine version, the Mark Wahlberg one) among others. Quite whose idea of “all-time classics” these were was not clear.

Having exhausted the short list of English-language choices I actually fancied sitting through, I turned tentatively to the world cinema section, and I’m glad I did as I unearthed a couple of worthy offerings.

Step forward German comedy (no, I’m not joking) Rabbit Without Ears—a heart-warming rom-com/farce benefiting from the absence of Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant and co.

It doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel but deserves a bigger audience, if you can stomach the slightly smug hero and the subtitles.

It was also interesting seeing French siren Sophie Marceau doing what she does best in high-school drama LOL, which traces a year in the life of a bunch of Gallic teenagers and their long-suffering parents.

The twists and turns of teenage angst have been done to death many times before but LOL features a handful of choice moments, some fine performances and a joyously-stereotypical take on the middle class English families hosting the French kids on an exchange trip. Not to mention a typical English village being pelted with sheets of rain.

Just what a plane-load of holiday-bronzed Brits needed to welcome them home.

But a welcome change from the usual bangs, crashes and cliches of the multiplex.