FILM / Critical Eye

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The Independent Culture

'The film is handsomely done and carefully and intelligently worked out, though it . . . misses something, as if Amiel, who made the imaginative The Singing Detective and the warmly personal Queen of Hearts, can't get the final intricacy into his epic for fear of losing its narrative thrust or the open warmth of its love story. What remains is a decent film but ultimately not a memorable one.' Derek Malcolm, The Guardian.

'One cannot say the film fails, for one would have to ask the question 'Which film?' While Gere and Foster work their make-up off trying to bring life to Mr and Mrs Deep South - he all perplexed, she lit from within by the candle-power she brought to The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs - script, direction and camerawork seem more concerned with cranking out pretty pictures and social messages.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times.


'Claude Sautet's Un Coeur en Hiver is probably the most stylish film around at the moment. It is also among the best, since that style is so completely at the service of the director's material that you hardly notice it at all.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian.

'This kind of fare needs subtle, razor-sharp performances. Sautet and his team do not disappoint. Auteuil cuts a haunting figure as the enigmatic, melancholy Stephane, quietly assembling his violins, smiling shyly into his black coffee. And Beart is exceptional as the poised musician unsettled by Cupid's darts . . . Do not miss Un Coeur en Hiver.' Geoff Brown, Times.

'Have you every started a car 'silently' twenty-odd yards from the nearest witness? But this is a movie so in love with its po-faced contrivances that plausibility takes a back seat to romantic and symbolic pattern-making.' Nigel Andrews, FT.


'You have to laugh. But you would laugh far more, and feel more deeply, if Crystal the director stopped Crystal the actor from hogging the show with so much relish, and if the script did not hobble on crutches.' Geoff Brown, Times.

'. . . funny without being hilarious, shrewd without being terribly wise and well observed without making you marvel at its truthfulness. It is competently directed but better acted, particularly by David Paymer and Julie Warner.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian.

'While the jokes change, the Crystal character stays gloriously the same . . . the baby-faced, twinkle-lipped bravado that takes the most innocent remark and writes gentle, witty malice all through it.' Nigel Andrews, FT.