Llanelli Star - - FILM REVIEWS -

BEL CANTO (15) ★★ ★★★

LOVE blos­soms dur­ing a hostage cri­sis in this slow-burn­ing thriller.

Ja­panese in­dus­tri­al­ist Kat­sumi Hosokawa (Ken Watan­abe) trav­els to a po­lit­i­cally volatile South Amer­i­can nation un­der the aus­pices of build­ing a factory to re­vi­talise the ail­ing econ­omy. Vice pres­i­dent Ruben Ochoa (Ed­die Martinez) hopes to se­cure Hosokawa’s in­vest­ment by host­ing a soiree at his home.

Hosokawa is a huge opera fan, so the evening’s en­ter­tain­ment will be a pri­vate con­cert by Amer­i­can so­prano Rox­anne Coss ( Ju­lianne Moore, above) and her pi­anist Christopf (Thor­b­jorn Harr).

Dur­ing the recital, heav­ily armed guer­rilla rebels led by Benjamin (Tenoch Huerta) storm the party.

They de­mand the release of po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers in exchange for the lives of the party guests.

A ne­go­tia­tor tries to rea­son with Benjamin but when the con­ver­sa­tion reaches an im­passe, Benjamin im­plores Rox­anne to sing to the as­sem­bled sol­diers, jour­nal­ists and on­look­ers to break the dead­lock. “Are you sure they won’t shoot?” she quips. “Not ev­ery­body likes opera.”


A BANK rob­bery is re­counted from mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives in this down­beat por­trait of moul­der­ing so­ci­ety.

De­tec­tives Brett Ridge­man (Mel

Gibson, right) and An­thony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) bend the law they are sup­posed to up­hold.

Their heavy-handed treat­ment of one sus­pect is cap­tured on film and sparks a de­bate about po­lice bru­tal­ity on var­i­ous news chan­nels. Ridge­man and Lurasetti are sus­pended with­out pay, how­ever both men rely on their pay cheques. Ridge­man’s wife Me­lanie (Lau­rie Holden) is a for­mer cop with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis and soar­ing med­i­cal bills, while Lurasetti has re­cently in­vested in an en­gage­ment ring for his girl­friend (Tat­ti­awna Jones).

To make ends meet, the cops in­tend to mus­cle in on a rob­bery or­ches­trated by Lorentz Vo­gel­man (Thomas Kretschman­n).

GRETA (15) ★★ ★★★

THE kind­ness of a good Sa­mar­i­tan is ruth­lessly ex­ploited in Neil Jor­dan’s campy psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller.

Frances McCullen (Chloe Grace Moretz) lives with best friend Erica (Maika Mon­roe) in the Big Ap­ple, where she works as a wait­ress.

On her way home, the 20-some­thing dis­cov­ers a swanky hand­bag on a sub­way train and in­side is the NYC Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Card of Greta Hideg (Is­abelle Hup­pert, pic­tured). Frances is de­ter­mined to re­turn the hand­bag and its con­tents and Greta is de­lighted to be re­united with her miss­ing prop­erty.

She strikes up a friend­ship with Frances, but the re­la­tion­ship sours when Frances dis­cov­ers that Greta in­ten­tion­ally leaves hand­bags on trains to en­gi­neer re­la­tion­ships with strangers.

Frances cuts Greta out of her life but the pi­ano teacher stalks the younger woman.

“The cra­zier they are, the harder they cling,” warns Erica.

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