Director: Christian Carion, Hopscotch Films, Rated M, 113 mins
Award winning French Director Christian Carion (Joyeux Noel-Happy Xmas) has brought to the big screen an absolutely absorbing spy thriller that is actually pulled from the pages of history.
Set in 1981 against the background of the Cold War, Farewell (a codename given by the French Secret Service) tells the true story of a KGB officer Colonel Sergei Grigoriev (brilliantly played by Palme d'Or and Golden Bear winner Emir Kusturica, Underground).
Sergei is disenchanted with the Soviet Union’s communist system and decides to change it “for the sake of his wife Natasha (Ingeborga Dapkunaite) and teenage son Igor (Evgenie Kharlanov).”
He does so by passing on Soviet secrets (including the names of Soviet agents in the US) to a reluctant French Engineer in Moscow, Pierre Froment (portrayed by French actor/director Guillaume Canet, Tell No One).
Despite his fear of putting his wife (Alexandra Maria Lara) and children in danger, Pierre brings the documents to the attention of the French Government.
The information soon reaches the French and American Presidents (with Philippe Magnan portraying Francois Mitterand and Fred Ward as Ronald Reagan).
Carion’s well written script has resulted in an emotional and riveting thriller that is thoroughly intriguing and fascinating to watch, especially the tension in the concluding scenes.
And to add greater authenticity to his storyline, Carion’s production is spoken in English, French and Russian.
In addition to some wonderful settings and a great cast are the dramatic performances of its two leading characters played by Kusturica and Canet ensuring that Carion’s Farewell is one exhilarating political thriller that should not be missed.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 ½ Rubber Stamps
The Bounty Hunter
Release date: July
Director: Andy Tennant, Columbia Pictures, Rated PG, 108 mins
Sony’s DVD is a romantic comedy from director Andy Tennant who draws on a western title to fashion a storyline that is filled with slapstick humour similar to the funny situations seen in his earlier movies Fool’s Gold and Hitch.
The two main stars are Gerald Butler and Jennifer Aniston. Butler plays Milo Boyd, a former police detective turned bounty hunter while Aniston plays reporter Nicole Hurley – his ex-wife.
Butler reprises the macho role he played in The Ugly Truth with his character being given his dream job of tracking down his bail-jumping ex-wife.
Instead of reaping an easy reward, Nicole gives Milo the slip so she can follow-up a lead on murder conspiracy.
The series of events makes Milo realise nothing ever goes smoothly with him and Nicole.
What ensues is a series of one-upmanship until both characters find themselves on the run from a dangerous killer and gambling debt collectors.
Despite a weak plot the interaction between Aniston and Butler is fun to watch as is the performance from Nicole’s mother, Kitty played by the delightful Christine Baranski.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
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