her lover from an overdose, discovers she is carrying his baby. This being a French film, the dead man’s family turn out to be bourgeois snobs dominated by a matriarch with lacquered hair and a taste for knotted scarves. The harridan urges Mousse to have an abortion and the girl appears to agree. Some months later, however, we find her living in a remote cottage some short distance from the sea. She is heavily pregnant. Her lover’s brother, a handsome gay man, comes to stay and they begin an uneasy, but ultimately solid, friendship. She argues with nutters on the beach. He launches an affair with the village handyman.
Carré does a good job of allowing traces of Mousse’s inner decency to leak through the drug-addled, ill-tempered, selfish exterior. She is taking methadone during the pregnancy – less dangerous than withdrawal symptoms, she claims – and, often photographed near mirrors, she never quite manages to shake off her chemical-fuelled ghost. Louis-Ronan Choisy has less to do as her new companion, but has a charming enough demeanour to enliven the flatly written badinage.
Le Refuge is decently acted, elegantly shot and equipped with a neat, if only modestly plausible, final twist. It is, however, hard to escape the conclusion that if the characters were less good-looking and the scenery not quite so verdant, the film would have no reason to exist. It’s not quite the Four Weddings and a Funeral of drug movies, but it’s not far off.
Diverting, for all that. THE TINKER Bell industry is such a particular thing it even boasts its very own boutique label. Launched in 2005, Disney Fairies (an imprint based entirely around Peter Pan’s erstwhile chum) produces comic books, pre-reading literature, dolls and straight-to-DVD movies. Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Treasure is just such a movie, thereby begging the question; what exactly is the titular pixie doing in a multiplex near you?
Having sat through all 70 minutes of Tink’s latest adventure, we’re none the wiser. It’s almost like paying admission into Get Fit with Lorraine or Rules of the Road: Learn Driving Theory Today! The plot, a gentle movement rather than a complete saga, sees Tinkerbell befriend Lizzie, a lonely, winsome, turn-of-the-century moppet. Can their affections survive the terrifying rain cloud outside? Will Tinker Bell be captured by Lizzie’s butterfly collecting father? Will Tink ever see her impeccably multiethnic posse of pixie friends again?
Illustrated in pretty colours and anachronistic Victoriana – what’s that map of Great Britain and Northern Ireland doing on the wall? – The Great Fairy Rescue is a decent entertainment for the sort of little girl who is frightened by kites and overly decorated mittens.
As Winnie the Pooh has demonstrated many times, it is possible to create a peril-free, all-ages film that adults will find perfectly charming. But there’s something terribly weedy and fainthearted about the Tinker Bell films.
Rather perversely, the fairy crew remain a discombobulating bunch. Launched when Bratz were all the rage, these pouty, fig-leaf wearing wasp-waists could not look more like magical mini-hookers. Tink herself, now unrecognisable as the petulent wagon from Disney’s Peter Pan, is, at least, an engineering whizz. But wasn’t she more fun as a pocket-sized bitch?
Directed by François Ozon. Starring Isabelle Carré, Louis-Ronan Choisy, Pierre Louis-Calixte, Melvil Poupaud Pregnant pause: Isabelle Carré
The great tinker