comedy. Inserting it later runs the risk of leaving the audience feeling cheated.
Caine handles the job of balancing light and shade superbly. Given he more or less invented the style in Alfie, one would expect no less. The rest are a mixed bag, with Broadbent miscast as the hair-triggered Terry.
The film’s best moment comes when Marsh cuts in shots of the cast in their young days. Had King of Thieves taken the same kind of subtle, melancholic approach, it might have left less of an iffy taste in the mouth.
A far more satisfying look at growing older is provided in Lucky (15), **** the penultimate film made by the late
CRAZY RICH ASIANS (12A)**
Dir: Jon M Chu
With: Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh Runtime: 121 minutes
THE USP of Jon M Chu’s romantic comedy, a US box office smash, is that it is the first mainstream release since 1983’s The Joy Luck Club to feature a mostly Asian-American cast. Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, an economics professor from New York who falls in love with a chap from a fabulously wealthy Singaporean family. Based on Kevin Kwan’s bestseller, it is Cinderella given a makeover. Michelle Yeoh is excellent as the chilly mother-in-law to be who thinks Rachel is a gold-digger. Just a pity that it eventually takes on the thundering predictability of a Richard Curtis romcom and becomes tedious, actually.
THE RIDER (15) ****
Dir: Chloe Zhao
With: Brady Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau Runtime: 103 minutes
SET in South Dakota, Chloe Zhao’s drama looks at cowboy life today through the tale of young Brady Blackburn, rodeo rider and horse whisperer. When we first meet Brady (Brady Jandreau) he is just beginning to recover from a head injury. Told by doctors he should not ride again, Brady tries hard to adjust to life outside the rodeo ring. Zhao’s film is remarkable in that all the cast are non-actors who deliver terrific performances, Brady especially. Slow to start but The Rider pulls you into its embrace.
Selected release including DCA, September 21-27; Filmhouse, Edinburgh and Belmont, Aberdeen, September 28-October 4
Harry Dean Stanton. Helmed by actor John Carroll Lynch (Norm Gunderson in Fargo), here making his directorial debut, it is a quiet, elegant farewell to all that.
The Repo Man star plays Lucky, who is living on his own in a small town in Arizona, clinging to his daily routine of getting up, going to the diner, the bar, watching TV, doing his crosswords and smoking, forever smoking. Having always been in good shape, despite the smoking, Lucky reckons he has a few more years yet, but then a fall at home forces him to reconsider.
A star-studded supporting cast, including his friend David Lynch, director of the similarly themed The Straight Story (in which Dean Stanton also starred), and Ed Begley Jr, turn out in a series of scenes, some more successful than others at getting their point across. The best are those where no one is trying to say very much at all.
Funny, gorgeously shot and with a fine soundtrack, Lucky is a mood piece that surprises, delights, but above all moves. Cinema was lucky to have Harry Dean Stanton.
King of Thieves: general release. Lucky: GFT, Belmont Filmhouse, DCA, Dundee, till September 20, and on demand; Filmhouse Edinburgh, September 28-October 2.