catastrophically. Poor old Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell), a working-class Joe, lost his shirt on the deal and is coming to extract very public revenge. He bursts into the studio and reveals the explosives strapped around his midriff. Unless some large amount of money is put his way, he will blow George’s lovely head off.
The film makes much of the way the market has turned investments into mysterious electronic quanta whose behaviour is defined solely in terms of their relationship to other units in the virtual network. That’s to say: nobody knows how this stuff works. around that structure. In the case of Mon Roi, this means, for the most part, that they devise their own arguments.
The film works best when talking us through the early stages of the relationship. The cast discover those odd triggers that fire passion and highlight them to convincing effect. (Obviously, it’s a little easier to believe in love at first sight when it happens between people as easy on the eye as Bercot and Cassel.) The bawling and weeping in the The picture then slightly undermines its own argument by focusing on a scam that is just that bit too easy to understand. If you can explain it this simply then it would surely never come off.
For all that, thanks to strong turns from the leads – O’Connell is touching as the misguided rube; Dominic West is a believable Master of the Universe; Julia Roberts is steady as Clooney’s producer – the film develops into a well-balanced, impressively tense chamber piece. It’s never wholly believable, but it’s great fun throughout. later stages doesn’t feel quite so convincingly nuanced, but Cassel is so visibly engaged in the act of being a jerk that the film rarely flags. His narcissism is endless. His impatience with ordinary manners is infuriating. Claire Mathon shoots it all in lovely shades. The British composer Stephen Warbeck scores it very tastefully.
If watching beautiful people fall apart beautifully floats your boat, then Mon Roi will do very well, thank you. THE DAUGHTER Directed by Simon Stone. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Ewen Leslie, Paul Schneider, Miranda Otto, Anna Torv, Odessa Young, Sam Neill. 15A cert , limited release, 95min Not too far into The Daughter, Hedvig – the teenager of the title – endures a failed and fumbling sexual encounter in the woods. It is about as successful as human relations get for much of the film’s duration.
Family woes seldom come more woeful: as The Daughter opens, chilly patriarch and mill owner Henry Neilson (Geoffrey Rush) informs his employees that their services will no longer be required. Among those affected are the resilient Oliver Finch (Ewen Leslie), who tells his wife, Charlotte (Miranda Otto), and tearaway teenage daughter, Hedvig (Odessa Young), that they have no need to worry.
Back at the big house, Henry is preparing to marry Anna, his far younger former housekeeper (Anna Torv). His estranged son, Christian (Paul Schneider), has returned from the US for the occasion, but prefers the company of his old chum Oliver to hanging out with dad.
Against this backdrop of simmering resentment, the revelation of a family secret threatens to tip the entire enterprise into scenery munching. Happily, no furniture was harmed during the making of this film. Theatre wunderkind Simon Stone’s directorial debut – adapted from his own enthusiastically received stage version of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck – has attracted actors with franchise films on their CV (Rush, Otto).
The results are worth the
Three generations: Ewen Leslie, Odessa Young and Sam Neill in The Daughter
(presumed) pay cut. Working with meaty roles, the collective produce a delicate julienne of guarded feelings. Rush, in particular, is As You’ve Never Seen Him Before.
Thus, even Ibsen’s duck no longer seems like a lumbering metaphor. Director of photography Andrew Commis matches the on-camera restraint with elegant widescreen compositions that never suggest the dread phrase “filmed play”.