Heroin chick

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews -

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

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