Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
A coffee plantation in Guatemala is the site of domestic strife in this low-key yet devastating debut from Jayro Bustamante. Young Maria is betrothed to plantation foreman Ignacio but in love with laborer Pepe, who, in turn, is more interested in moving to the U.S. Maria sleeps with Pepe, who impregnates and abandons her, leaving her in a very bad situation. Bustamante juggles an impressive number of binaries — the clash of modernity and tradition, country and city, man and woman — building toward the eruption, so to speak, of the volcano that looms over the fields. This is not a conventional story … so don’t expect one.
Plays at noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m. March 20, and 1:45, 5:15 and 8:45 p.m. March 31 at the Movie Museum
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING
Self-absorbed Tony (Jim Broadbent) gets jolted out of his nondescript life with a blast from the past: the diary of his long-dead, much-loved best friend, left to him by a former flame’s mother. Except said flame, the furious Veronica (Charlotte Rampling), won’t give it to Tony. It turns out that Tony has been less than accurate when it comes to his memories of old friends — rewriting history to suit his narcissism. It sounds like an interesting experiment in narrative, but it falls far short. The nuance of the unreliable narrator is not easy to portray in film, coming off as twee and affected instead of earnestly delusional. The climactic reveal falls far short in these circumstances, leaving the sense of this ending barely perceptible.
Opens March 17 at Kahala Theatre
TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME
The David Lynch who so masterfully formed Mulholland Drive or even the original Twin Peaks seems oddly absent from this obstinate prequel film. Focusing on the life and death of Laura Palmer, it straddles an odd line: Viewers familiar with Twin Peaks already know what becomes of Palmer, so the film must fill in the blanks in such a way that it justifies its own existence. The result is a grim, disastrously depressing affair that trades in Lynch’s signature ambiguities and symbolisms for clunky bouts of abject suffering without end. The actors who flit in and out even seem to lack the energy for their cameos. A diehard Twin Peaks fan might find something of interest here; most will be better served sticking to the show.
Plays at 7 p.m. March 17 at Doris Duke Theatre