Kevin gets to the Hart of the mat­ter ...un­like Hugh

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - MORE | FILM - Matthew Bond

The Up­side 12A ★★★★★

Some films just have no luck, and The Up­side cer­tainly ap­pears to be one of them. Based on the French film In­touch­ables, a box-of­fice smash in France in 2011, the first mis­for­tune suf­fered was orig­i­nally to have Har­vey We­in­stein as one of its pro­duc­ers.

More re­cently, ho­mo­pho­bic tweets made by one of its stars, Kevin Hart, not only cost Hart his gig host­ing next month’s Os­cars but cast a cloud over the film’s re­lease.

But The Up­side is re­ally good fun, with Hart giv­ing ar­guably the per­for­mance of his ca­reer as Dell, a chancer from the New York projects who blags his way into a live-in job as full-time carer to the hugely wealthy Phillip (Bryan Cranston), left quad­ri­plegic af­ter a hang-glid­ing ac­ci­dent.

Af­ter a se­ries of false starts and nu­mer­ous in­ter­ven­tions by Phillip’s busi­ness man­ager (Ni­cole Kid­man), the two men im­prob­a­bly hit it off and, slowly, Dell helps Phillip to get his mojo back. Yes, it’s su­per­fi­cial, a bit glib and prob­a­bly 15 min­utes too long, but Hart, Cranston and Kid­man are all ex­cel­lent and the end re­sult is very watch­able.

The Front Run­ner 15A ★★★★★

Au­di­ences in this part of the world are likely to strug­gle with this retelling of a very Amer­i­can ‘scan­dal’.

Hugh Jack­man plays Gary Hart, the charis­matic – and mar­ried – for­mer se­na­tor who, in 1988, was favourite to land the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion to run for Pres­i­dent but was then caught in the com­pany of a glam­orous blonde.

The film never quite grips or gets to the bot­tom of what ac­tu­ally hap­pened. Frus­trat­ing.

Scan­dal: Hugh Jack­man as Gary Hart

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