Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

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Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

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Article excerpt

Byline: by Charlotte O'Sullivan

THE ARTIST AND HIS MODEL Cert 12A, 105 mins IT'S 1943 and an ancient, creatively blocked sculptor, Marc Cros ( Jean Rochefort, below), has his life in rural France turned upside down when his gimlet-eyed wife (Claudia Cardinale) brings home a handsome, homeless Catalan teen (Aida Folch). This isn't a biopic, but Fernando Trueba's selfconsciously tasteful drama, exquisitely shot in black and white, feels worryingly similar to Renoir (released earlier this year). Enough already with the delectable, earthy muse. Folch has an explosive, wonderfully dirty laugh, but it's so reminiscent of Cardinale's guffaw in The Leopard that it makes you long for the older actress to play a bigger part here. The artist's wife and his model. Now that's something we haven't seen before.

JUSTIN AND THE KNIGHTS OF VALOUR (3D) Cert PG, 90 mins A SPANISH company produced this undazzling kids' cartoon with Antonio Banderas on board as producer. They've assembled a fine cast (Freddie Highmore, Saoirse Ronan, David Walliams, Rupert Everett, Barry Humphries) but the storyline, about a limpid teen called Justin and his quest to find his grandfather's sword, is a mess -- confusing but also unoriginal and crude. Banderas's character, the preening hunk Sir Clorex, for example, is a knock-off (see Beauty and the Beast's Gaston), while Everett's camp villain, Sota, is borderline offensive. The silver lining is a crocodile who wants to be a dragon. His name is Gustav and he alone will stop your kids climbing the walls.

BORROWED TIME Cert 15, 87 mins IN Borrowed Time a well-worn formula gets the sweetest of tweaks. Philip Davis's cheeks may look more basted than of yore, but he's his usual excellent self as a crusty old Londoner who finds himself embarking on an awkward friendship with a teen called Kevin (Theo Barklem-Biggs). The latter is being menaced by a Scouser called Ninja Nigel (Warren Brown). Does tragedy loom? The dialogue is mostly spry, the ending inventive. And Barklem-Biggs, who initially overdoes the feckless cretin routine, grows into his role beautifully. The film, by the way, was made for nuppence, by a first-timer ( Jules Bishop). …

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