By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, KATE TAYLOR, JULIA COOPER, BARRY HERTZ
Special to The Globe and Mail
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Paris Can Wait 2
File this one under: films I wish I liked. Anne (Diane Lane) needs to get from Cannes to Paris. She accepts a ride with a French business associate, Jacques (Arnaud Viard), and what should be a seven-hour dash turns into a days-long road trip through La Belle France, complete with vistas, vin and vats of fromage. I love that writer/director Eleanor Coppola (wife of Francis Ford) is making her feature film debut at 80. I applaud her for speaking to an underserved slice of filmgoers: women over 50. Anne spent her life nurturing others; now, confronted with a waning business, an empty nest and a distracted husband (Alec Baldwin), she has to think about what nurtures her.
The scenery is delicious, the food looks ravishing. But there's one big problem: Anne doesn't drive her own journey. She spends scene after scene passively letting Jacques tell her what to do, eat and think. There's no detouring around that. (PG)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 2
You know your franchise is taking on water when it's making injokes about in-jokes. Paul McCartney appears in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, a sly reference to a cameo from fellow rocker Keith Richards in a previous episode, itself a sly reference to Johnny Depp's inspiration for the kohl-eyed and bejewelled trickster, Captain Jack Sparrow. Now in its fifth outing, Depp's campy performance in that role is losing crucial energy and humour.
Meanwhile, the attempt to pass the story on to a new generation is weakened by wooden acting from Brenton Thwaites as a young man seeking Poseidon's mythical trident. Kaya Scodelario is stronger as a sharp-tongued astronomer with a crucial map, but the most engaging performance is Javier Bardem's solidly nasty Captain Salazar. His disintegrating skin and holey crew are fabulously rendered as evaporating digitizations: It's the special effects and swelling action sequences that make the movie palatable. McCartney, by the way, is just fine. (PG)
Everything, Everything 3½
The Secret Garden meets Never Been Kissed. Love in the time of Snapchat. Choose your own tagline and go see the wildly cute Everything, Everything, directed by Canada's greatest export, director Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses).
Based on the novel by Nicola Yoon , Everything, Everything is a tale of young, interracial love between housebound girl Maddy (Amandla Stenberg), who has an immunodeficiency disorder, and Olly (Nick Robinson), the smokin' hot, moody boy next door.
Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) plays the overbearing, borderingon-maniacal mother with aplomb. Engrossing and not too sugar-sweet, Meghie's movie is superb at translating the overwhelming stupor of first love with bold shots and a banging soundtrack. (PG)
Alien: Covenant 2
Ridley Scott's new film is intended to act as several things, none of them particularly admirable. It is a sequel to the underperforming and largely confusing Prometheus; it is a prequel to Scott's own 1979 classic, Alien; and, depending on how it does at the box office, it is the second plank of a new trilogy in which humans boldly seek out new worlds and new ways to die. Mostly, it's a staid act of studio commerce - a familiar franchise that trades storytelling for intellectual property, originality for nostalgia. Yet, Covenant works when it focuses solely on star Michael Fassbender.
As two androids with cross purposes, Fassbender's dual performance is a wonder to behold, even if it cannot triumph over a portentous script that poses big questions about God, creation and man, but answers them with dorm-room quotes from Milton, Wagner and Shelley. (18A)