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( M)

How About You

The Line of Beauty.

How About You

Ian Cuth­bert­son

Hop­scotch ( 100 min­utes) $ 39.95 ONE of the finest per­for­mances in

, ar­guably the best film of 2007, was by Vanessa Red­grave as the el­derly in­car­na­tion of cen­tral char­ac­ter Briony Tal­lis. Red­grave made the same year, along with Hay­ley Atwell, who re­cently dis­tin­guished her­self as the feisty, bipo­lar Cat Fed­den in the ter­rific ABC tele­vi­sion minis­eries Also in­volved are vet­er­ans Imelda Staunton and Joss Ack­land. should have been sen­sa­tional. The plot is sim­ple: a woman who runs a res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­ity in the Ir­ish coun­try­side leaves her im­petu­ous sis­ter El­lie ( Atwell) in charge of

the hard core’’, four res­i­dents with no fam­ily to re­turn to dur­ing Christ­mas. Their ini­tial de­mand­ing self­ish­ness far too quickly dis­in­te­grates af­ter a tantrum or two by El­lie, and soon they are the clos­est knit group who ever in­hab­ited a home. They go shop­ping, El­lie in­tro­duces the al­co­holic re­tired judge ( Ack­land) to smok­ing pot, which he takes to like a duck to wa­ter; and Ge­or­gia ( Red­grave) makes a bee­line for a pub where she daz­zles them with a song from her days as a fa­mous show­girl. The lo­ca­tion is splen­did and the bridge where El­lie likes to smoke a spliff or two is ab­so­lutely stun­ning. But in the end this is lit­tle more than a feel­good Christ­mas movie and as such a mon­u­men­tal waste of tal­ent and time. Still, if you haven’t had enough ba­nal Christ­mas gloop yet, this is your movie.

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