Thursday, July 26, 2007

Beauty in Trouble (2006)

***½
Czech Republic

In Jan Hrebejk's family dramedy, Anna Gaislerova ditches her virile but ineffectual husband just before he gets sent to prison, then gets involved with a much older, much richer man.
Hrebejk never heard a sensitive-new-age-adult-alternative track too maudlin, and he never saw a montage too insurance-ad-like. But he can spot a sharp script. Furthermore he can build a portrait of unrelenting evil of caricaturish proportions and, enormously aided as he is by his actors, render it completely life-like and convincing (ditto angelic good-heartedness). A lot of his skill in these situations stems from his understanding that lives which to the average comfortably-well-off filmmaker would appear strange and messy, to the people living them are, if anything, plain and mundane.

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