Episode 4 Film 2014


Episode 4

Film reviews. Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh look at George Clooney's World War II comedy-drama The Monuments Men and Nick Frost gets his dancing shoes on in Cuban Fury.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to Film 2014, we're live.

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If you would like to get in touch, the details are on the screen now.

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Coming up on tonight's show...

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George Clooney and Matt Damon

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give the Nazis the brush-off in The Monuments Men.

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-Aren't you a little old for that?

-Yes.

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Sequins and salsa with Nick Frost, Chris O'Dowd

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and Rashida Jones in dance comedy Cuban Fury.

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It's like a butterfly going out with a parsnip.

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And there's romance as Joaquin Phoenix

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falls for his computer in Spike Jones' Her.

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-AUTOMATED VOICE:

-Hi. I'm Samantha.

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Plus we review Bastards by veteran French director Claire Denis.

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-Danny is here and we are joined by guest critic Xan Brooks.

-Hello.

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Hello.

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First up, George Clooney directs and stars in The Monuments Men.

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The true story of a platoon who rescued art masterpieces

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stolen by the Nazis.

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Mr President, we are at a point in this war that is the most

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dangerous to the greatest historical achievements known to man.

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The Nazis have been stealing art out of Warsaw, Amsterdam, Paris.

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I'm to put a team together and try to protect what's left,

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-and find what's missing.

-The Monuments Men?

-Signed by Roosevelt.

-How many men?

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-For now, six.

-Jeez.

-With you that's seven.

-That's much better.

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Well, this is a story that really very few people know and it's

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so rare to do any kind of a World War II story that you don't...

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that people don't know.

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The Monuments Men are this kind of very eclectic

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group of guys from America, from England and from France.

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We've been tasked with the finding

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and protecting of over five million pieces of stolen artwork.

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This is a model of his planned Fuhrer museum.

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-It will be one of the biggest in the world.

-He'll need a lot of art to fill it.

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-This is why Hitler didn't bomb Paris.

-Well, he bombed London.

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Yes, I know. THEY LAUGH

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They're men who were spurred on by a higher ideal

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and all of those things that we take for granted

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that are in the great museums of the world, that a lot of them

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were returned by men who were sort of asked to do an impossible job.

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Lieutenant, you're not going to have the equipment,

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-you're not going to have the manpower.

-I think that went well.

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The Nazis are on the run, they're taking everything with them,

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so we have to get as close to the front as we can.

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It's the greatest bad guy in the history of the world for a movie.

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And it's the biggest treasure hunt,

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it's certainly the biggest art heist ever.

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-I'm interested in what you saw there.

-Thousands of pieces.

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They would photograph the art then take it to Hitler.

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We never really fully thought of it as a World War II film.

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But the first day you get there and everybody puts on their uniforms

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and their helmets you go, "Oh, we're doing a war film."

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He's one of the best directors working today, without a doubt

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and I've worked with a lot of really, really great directors.

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And he belongs right on that list with all those great ones.

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George's take on the tone of it, it's Wild Geese.

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It's The Guns Of Navarone,

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it's this Band Of Brothers who've been brought together.

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I think you warm to these characters very quickly.

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-What have you got?

-I seem to have... stepped on...a land mine.

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-Why did you do something like that?

-What have you got?

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The Lieutenant here seems to have found himself on top of an unexploded mine.

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-Why would you do that?

-You lot are spending too much time together.

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Artists, art dealers, architects. All the big Rs.

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You know, the truth of the matter is

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these guys pulled it off, and that's what's the fun of it.

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'You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their

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'homes to the ground and somehow they'll still find their way back.

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'But if you destroy their history,

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'you destroy their achievements, then it's as if they never existed.

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'That's what Hitler wants, that is exactly what we're fighting for.'

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See, that makes it look quite good. Danny.

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Well, if logic had any place in movies

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Monuments Men would be terrific, because you've got this great,

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more-or-less true story and these wall-to-wall stars,

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but somehow it just doesn't happen.

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And I'm not convinced this is really the movie

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that George Clooney wanted to make. It can't be.

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On the first day of filming, he'll have arrived,

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his man servant will have handed him his dressing gown over breakfast,

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he'll have had his apricot croissant and he'd have thought,

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"What I'm doing is making something big and broad

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"and old-fashioned in the best sense.

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"I'm kind of making Ocean's Dirty Dozen."

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But he never really gets hold of the tone of it,

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so you sort of veer away from Dirty Dozen and straight into 'Allo 'Allo,

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with these sort of sweaty, jowly Nazis

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and these cynical Frenchmen in berets.

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That I don't think is the problem.

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I think the problem is there's just no drama here,

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it's like the film's had the drama kind of surgically

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removed in case people get problems with their blood pressure.

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So you don't care.

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It feels cosy and, as the heroes are fleeing German gunfire, you're off

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thinking about whether the recycling comes on a Wednesday or a Thursday.

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I don't think this film is nearly as terrible

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as the first wave of gleefully bad reviews

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out of the Berlin Film Festival suggest, but, yeah, as I say,

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I don't think it's the film Clooney intended to make.

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I have to say, there'll be people watching who go,

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"Don't they like anything?

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"Hold on a minute, that's George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray.

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"How can it be bad?" But it is, isn't it?

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It is, and you go in with high hopes.

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I want to like every film that I see.

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And Danny's right, it's actually a weird achievement to make

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an un-dramatic film about this kind of dramatic material.

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There's a great film to be made about this subject,

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about the wreckage of war, the vast human cost and whether art is

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a pointless luxury when the whole of Europe's going up in flames.

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This isn't quite that film.

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It's not even necessarily a bad film but it's weirdly listless.

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You've got this great band of brothers,

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these first-rate performers, but they're all slightly on half speed.

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I was watching them thinking,

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"It's almost like they're rehearsing at the read through,

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that they're feeling their way into their characters.

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And eventually the cameras will start running and they'll go off

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and do the movie that they've come to do, and instead that's the movie.

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And it's just not quite there, it's 60% of a good film.

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I totally agree. It's sort of, dare I say it, a boring watch,

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which it shouldn't be with that cast.

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It's a big disappointment but we have to be honest about it,

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cos if you say that everything is great

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then it ceases to have any meaning when something actually is great.

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But Xan's right, it's weirdly put together, this film.

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Scenes feel like they're building to either a moment of high drama or

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a moment of hilarity and then they just stop and you just kind of cut.

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Bill Murray will look out of a window

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and then we'll cut to a horse and the film carries on.

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It is strangely put together.

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George Clooney as a director, if you look at all his films,

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he's attracted to these films about decency and he shoots them

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in this quite stolid, sturdy kind of way, but stolid, sturdy decency,

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I mean, that's the kind of quality you want from a lighthouse keeper

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or the treasurer at the parents-teachers association,

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not necessarily from a movie director.

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And I think the problem about the film is that it treats us

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like kids, like we have to be reminded that Adolf Hitler

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was a very bad man and that obviously the Americans won the war.

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And after a while you start to bridle against that a little bit.

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I was a little confused about the relationship that they

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have to the art as well.

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They seem to be after the Catholic religious art

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that Hitler himself likes, they have the same taste as Hitler.

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The stuff that he didn't like, the decadent modern art,

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they're not particularly that interested in.

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But actually, even that is beside the point.

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I didn't ever quite believe in them as art scholars who are

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passionately, intensely interested in art and want to save it.

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Cos we never do that stuff,

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cos Clooney gives himself on camera all these speeches to answer

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that central question in the film, which is, is a man's life worth art?

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But I don't think he ever buys it, either,

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cos the monuments mend themselves. They don't appear interested

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or really that fussed about art whatsoever.

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You have this introductory scene in this kind of montage,

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the classic montage scene where the gang are all assembled,

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and John Goodman's there with a sculptor's mallet.

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That's kind of about it. And Bob Balaban...

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He looks really angry to be holding that mallet.

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He wants to get the hard hat on, doesn't he?

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Bob Balaban can recognise the name Picasso on a burnt frame, but that's sort of it.

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You'd think they would talk among themselves a little bit.

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And Hugh Bonneville, this is the great tragic element in this film.

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Hugh Bonneville apparently saw the statue of Madonna when he was

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a little boy, and that's the kind of driving force of this film.

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Is that the problem, then?

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That they're not passionate about it enough

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so that we can't get on board with them?

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Yeah, it's one of the problems, it's like they have to be

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passionate about art but just never talk about it.

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The thing is, I think what Clooney's very good at,

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Clooney is obviously someone who creates great atmosphere on set

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and I think he creates a great atmosphere with other actors

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and so you do have this sense that this cast is great

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and it's fun to just spend a little bit of time with them.

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Jean Dujardin has nothing to do, really,

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apart from to sort of smoke and grin and be French,

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and he gets less memorable lines than

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he did in The Artist, which is quite an achievement.

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But it's fun to be with him, and Matt Damon and George Clooney

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have this natural snap when they're going back and forth.

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But there's not enough of that stuff.

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Final question, is the problem with this film

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our expectations are just too high?

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Cos everyone I know is talking about Monuments Men,

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it's got a great title.

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Is it just that we went in and went,

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"Oh, it's not as good as Ides Of March,

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-"or not as good as all kinds of war films?"

-Yeah, absolutely.

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I think expectations were very high, and then the first wave of reviews

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came out where expectations sank like a stone.

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As I say, I didn't dislike this film nearly as much as other people

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but that's cos I'd read those first wave of reviews.

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By the end you just want to go and see a film like The Train,

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which does this story a lot better.

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Or even Three Kings, which is a film that George Clooney did about

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13 years ago, which was set in the first Gulf War,

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but this was about a lot of the same things,

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it was about the absolute waste of war

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and the kind of horrible black comedy of going after

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this loot that's been squirreled away.

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And it was biting and funny and it felt like it meant it,

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it had some sort of passion to it.

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And Three Kings rendered all those other films kind of redundant.

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Three Kings also starred Mark Wahlberg, who was fantastic in it,

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and then Mark Wahlberg crops up in Lone Survivor

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a couple of weeks ago, which was exactly the kind of film

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Three Kings was supposed to have blown away.

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OK, next, Nick Frost stars as a salsa dancing supremo who

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returns to the dance floor many years after his dreams had been dashed.

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ALARM BEEPS

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BICYCLE BELL RINGS CAR HORN TOOTS

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-Oh, I would not like to be those tyres.

-Yeah, very amusing(!)

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Got the new boss starting this morning. I hear he's a ball buster.

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Apparently, he is a she.

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You mean like a tranny?

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'Sad-sack Bruce Garrett,'

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overweight, rudderless, no love in his life.

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And this beautiful American girl comes to work at his office.

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-Whoa!

-Whoa!

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-Are you all right?

-Where am I? Am I in England? No, I'm fine.

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-She's beautiful.

-Ooh.

-Way out of my league.

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She's like a 10, I'm a 2.

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It's like a butterfly going out with a parsnip.

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'He begins this journey to try

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'and woo her using the power of fiery salsa.'

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-Urgh!

-GLASS SHATTERS

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-What do you want from me?

-I'm here to learn salsa.

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I wasn't bitten by the bug, no, no.

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HE LAUGHS

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-My name is Bejan, nice to meet you.

-I'm Bruce.

-Bejan means hero.

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-What does Bruce mean?

-Er, "bush or hedge."

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'You don't realise what an underground craze it is,'

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salsa dancing. And they've all got their versions of it.

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'But Nick trained for six months.'

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Come on, we've got work to do.

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Legs of a stallion, arms of an eagle.

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And one, two, three. Five, six, seven.

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'Well, I like dancing, I've always liked dancing.'

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How can you make this drama?

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My problem with dancing is I like it

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but I had an issue with people watching me do it,

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because when you're a big man cutting loose on a dance floor

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and you're a good dancer, you get a very weird look from people,

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and it's a look that you see people giving a child who has beaten

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some terrible disease.

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And it's this look. Aww!

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They kind of feel slightly sorry for you.

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(Women like that use guys like you to get advice about men like me!)

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-You don't know about me.

-What don't I know?

-I dance.

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I would love to see that!

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Let's salsa!

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There's no doubt in my mind that there is a direct correlation

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between happiness and dancing.

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You know, to a man, every person I met on the salsa circuit were

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the happiest people I've ever met.

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Oh, my God, they make me feel sick!

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Salsa aerobics?

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This is not a salsa.

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Go back to the leisure centre, you bitches!

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Do you have a fear of people watching you dance?

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That's how you get over it.

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A really expensive form of rehab.

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I think I might make a film about...

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spiders next.

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CUBAN MUSIC PLAYS

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HE GRUNTS

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HE GROANS

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I've got something that you don't have. Do you know what that is?

0:13:100:13:12

Type two diabetes.

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-Sam.

-Well, it's a film that clicks its heels and rattles its castanets,

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and then falls flat on its face.

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It's one of those films that you really want to love because

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it's a plucky British underdog movie about a plucky British underdog.

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It's clearly a labour of love for Nick Frost,

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who is a purely likeable presence.

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I'm always happy to see him in a film,

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but it feels very thin and overstretched.

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And there's also that slightly worrying thing that the

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actors do where they're overacting and rolling their eyes,

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and mugging...that actors do

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when the feel that the material needs a bit of help.

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Do you think they're doing that?

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I didn't think...

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I felt that they were a little bit, yes.

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And it felt like a...

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It felt like a pilot for a sitcom that wasn't picked up.

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SHE GASPS

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But a lovely cast. Olivia Coleman, Nick Frost, Chris O'Dowd...

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Always good, but all of them have done slightly better work than this,

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so even though they're pros and they give it their all,

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there was a sense that the material was kind of letting them

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down a little bit.

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It's a little bit like Monuments Men.

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The cast is packed with people you just enjoy spending the time with.

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They don't necessarily get that much to do.

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Olivia Coleman and Alexander Roach, neither of them

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have very much to do, but what they do they do with proper panache.

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Kayvan Novak, who crops up here,

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kind of channelling Bronson Pinchot in Beverley Hills Cop, I think.

0:14:340:14:37

He's like the undiscovered jewel of British comedy.

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He's fine but he's been a lot funnier in Four Lions

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and Peep Show, which is cruelly underrated.

0:14:410:14:43

Someone should make a movie of that.

0:14:430:14:45

I think someone needs to get hold of Kayvan Novak and put him in a very funny movie.

0:14:450:14:49

Chris O'Dowd is also very good here and weirdly impressive as a monumental dickhead,

0:14:490:14:54

that seems almost something that he's kind of slotted into.

0:14:540:14:57

Although, by all accounts, a lovely man.

0:14:570:14:59

Chris O'Dowd, I saw him in a film earlier called Calvary which he stars in

0:14:590:15:04

and I kind of want to talk about that, really, cos that doesn't come out till April.

0:15:040:15:08

That film is... It will just take your head off with how superb that film is.

0:15:080:15:11

And Chris O'Dowd completely breaks free of every kind of box he's been put in.

0:15:110:15:15

I mean, who will be a film maker?

0:15:150:15:17

Cos again, like Monuments Men, this film looks great on paper.

0:15:170:15:20

I mean, essentially, you can see why the idea took root,

0:15:200:15:23

cos it's Rocky played for laughs if Rocky was, you know,

0:15:230:15:26

a big-boned man in a sequin shirt who works as a lathe manufacturer.

0:15:260:15:30

And Nick Frost is Rocky and then,

0:15:300:15:32

Rashida Jones comes in, she's playing Talia Shire

0:15:320:15:35

-as Adrian. Ian McShane dipped in furniture polish is kind of Burgess Meredith.

-I love furniture polish.

0:15:350:15:40

You know, so that kind of makes sense,

0:15:400:15:42

but again yes, it doesn't click into place sometimes.

0:15:420:15:45

It's easy for us, cos we would sit here and talk about movies

0:15:450:15:47

and we'll try to think of smart things to say

0:15:470:15:50

and get an actor's name right and that's easy.

0:15:500:15:52

So no-one here will pretend that what's happening

0:15:520:15:55

on the set of Cuban Fury is easy at all, but...

0:15:550:15:58

And it's made with heart, I think.

0:15:580:16:00

-I think it doesn't have a bad bone in its body.

-Yeah, I found it moving.

0:16:000:16:03

-Yeah?

-Yeah, I like it when the lanyards cross.

0:16:030:16:06

The lanyards is a nice moment.

0:16:060:16:08

-The parsnip and the butterfly.

-Do you like that?

0:16:080:16:10

-I'm not giving anything away, cos that's in the trailer, I promise you. But that's funny.

-It's funny.

0:16:100:16:14

And they play it like they mean it and they're doing their best

0:16:140:16:18

with it and it's like watching a mediocre busker on the street.

0:16:180:16:22

You know, you might not give him your money, but at least he's having a go.

0:16:220:16:26

-Calvary, Calvary, though. Calvary is a fantastic movie.

-OK, good.

0:16:260:16:29

Now, Joaquin Phoenix plays a man in the not-too-distant future who

0:16:290:16:32

falls in love with his computer's operating in Spike Jonze's Her.

0:16:320:16:36

Mr Theodore Twombly.

0:16:420:16:43

Welcome to the world's first artificially-intelligent

0:16:430:16:46

operating system.

0:16:460:16:47

-We'd like to ask you a few questions.

-OK.

-Are you social or anti-social?

0:16:470:16:53

I guess I haven't been social in a while...

0:16:530:16:56

How would you describe your relationship with your mother?

0:16:560:16:58

-Uf, um...

-Thank you.

0:16:580:17:00

Please wait as your operating system is initiated.

0:17:000:17:04

-FEMALE VOICE:

-Hello, I'm here.

0:17:040:17:05

-Hi.

-Hi! I'm Samantha!

0:17:060:17:09

-Good morning, Theodore!

-Good morning.

0:17:110:17:13

You have a meeting in five minutes.

0:17:130:17:14

-You want to try getting out of bed?

-You're too funny.

-Good, I'm funny.

0:17:140:17:19

I want to learn everything about everything.

0:17:200:17:22

I love the way you look at the world.

0:17:220:17:24

-How long before you're ready to date?

-What do you mean?

0:17:260:17:29

I saw in your e-mails that you're going through a break-up.

0:17:290:17:31

You're kind of noisy!

0:17:310:17:33

-So what is it like being married?

-There's something that feels

0:17:330:17:36

so good about sharing your life with somebody.

0:17:360:17:38

How do you share your life with somebody?

0:17:380:17:41

-How are you?

-I guess I've just been having fun.

-You really deserve that.

0:17:430:17:47

It's been a long time

0:17:470:17:49

since I've been with somebody that I felt totally at ease with.

0:17:490:17:53

What's it like to be alive in that room right now?

0:17:530:17:56

I wish I could put my arms around you.

0:17:560:17:59

I wish I could touch you.

0:17:590:18:01

How would you touch me?

0:18:010:18:03

Can you feel me with you right now?

0:18:040:18:07

-I've never loved anyone the way I love you.

-Me too. Now I know how.

0:18:070:18:13

# ..a million miles away... #

0:18:130:18:16

Such a beautiful film and also feels totally believable.

0:18:200:18:24

Well, it's possibly not the greatest week of films this week.

0:18:240:18:27

I mean, it's a relief really that we've got Her, which is not just a wonderful movie,

0:18:270:18:30

but it's three wonderful movies. It's a love story inside a comedy inside a sci-fi movie.

0:18:300:18:35

And all three of those could be film of the week by some distance.

0:18:350:18:38

Only the sci-fi film, I think what it understand about sci-fi completely it's that you only need

0:18:380:18:43

to nudge things five minutes into the future for them to work,

0:18:430:18:46

and we're already in this world where everyone dates online

0:18:460:18:48

and nobody can look away from their phone for longer than 30 seconds,

0:18:480:18:51

so it makes perfect sense that we'd start to fall in love with our computers.

0:18:510:18:55

But then, as a love story, although that sounds like a strange concept,

0:18:550:18:58

it's actually sweet and soulful and I think what I like so much about the film as well

0:18:580:19:02

is it's so packed full of ideas, which will kind of tap you on the shoulder

0:19:020:19:06

and whisper in your ear in the kind of the days and the weeks after you watch the film,

0:19:060:19:10

so it's a little bit like a kind of romance in itself.

0:19:100:19:12

You'll find that the movie will take you out and seduce you a little bit,

0:19:120:19:15

and you'll find you still like it in the morning.

0:19:150:19:17

It's incredibly original.

0:19:170:19:19

And bathed in this beautiful light.

0:19:190:19:22

I think it's two hours long. I would have watched another three hours.

0:19:220:19:25

Spike Jonze is a great director in that he

0:19:250:19:27

has that depthless atmosphere that's not shallow.

0:19:270:19:31

It's this weightless vibe that's going across this film

0:19:310:19:35

that in another director's hands

0:19:350:19:38

could be this terrible, dystopian, sci-fi tale.

0:19:380:19:40

The obvious point to make about the best sci-fi -

0:19:400:19:43

it isn't about the future at all, it's holding up a mirror

0:19:430:19:46

to how we live now.

0:19:460:19:47

This is a film about how technology has changed our relationships,

0:19:470:19:49

how it has brought us closer in some ways and alienated us in others.

0:19:490:19:52

There are great scenes where he's walking through

0:19:520:19:55

these communal spaces in LA

0:19:550:19:58

and he's talking on his headset

0:19:580:20:00

and everyone else is as well.

0:20:000:20:01

That's just how people are now.

0:20:010:20:03

Ten years ago, if you saw people, supposedly

0:20:030:20:05

hearing voices and talking to themselves,

0:20:050:20:08

that would be seen as a sign of serious mental illness.

0:20:080:20:10

Now the people who aren't doing that,

0:20:100:20:12

they are the ones who are at odds.

0:20:120:20:14

Absolutely.

0:20:140:20:15

Computers and computer culture, it's the kind of thing

0:20:150:20:18

that Hollywood and films in general have got wrong a lot

0:20:180:20:21

but Her gets right to the heart of the matter,

0:20:210:20:23

which is that at the moment, where everything is online

0:20:230:20:26

and where we can tweak and tailor everything

0:20:260:20:28

to what we know we already like,

0:20:280:20:30

how does real life compete with that?

0:20:300:20:32

How can real people, if you're looking to get into a relationship,

0:20:320:20:35

be anything other than boring, irritating?

0:20:350:20:37

They'll say things that you don't like.

0:20:370:20:39

Rooney Mara plays the real life ex,

0:20:390:20:43

this terrible figure, who's a real person,

0:20:430:20:45

she is great in the movie.

0:20:450:20:47

She fulfils a similar role in The Social Network.

0:20:470:20:49

She's got that opening scene with Mark Zuckerberg.

0:20:490:20:53

She will lead the revolt,

0:20:530:20:55

once we overthrow social media and get rid of the whole lot.

0:20:550:20:58

Rooney Mara will be our girl.

0:20:580:21:00

And yet Rooney Mara is the one who is out of step

0:21:000:21:03

with the rest of the world.

0:21:030:21:04

-What is great about this film...

-She is still old-fashioned.

0:21:040:21:07

-"Why are you having a relationship?"

-And yet the thing about

0:21:070:21:10

this film is the character that Joaquin Phoenix plays isn't weird.

0:21:100:21:13

When he confesses, "I'm seeing my computer"

0:21:130:21:16

people say, "OK, I know someone else who's doing that as well."

0:21:160:21:19

Let's go on a double date. We should talk about the performances.

0:21:190:21:22

Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara -

0:21:220:21:25

there isn't anybody...

0:21:250:21:26

This isn't a film which is made up of awe-inspiring CGI.

0:21:260:21:29

It's handmade and feels ultra modern

0:21:290:21:33

and yet it's made by humans.

0:21:330:21:34

Joaquin Phoenix, it's not as crazed and ramshackle

0:21:340:21:37

as the performance that he gives in The Master.

0:21:370:21:39

But it's every bit as accomplished. Scarlett Johansson is such a clever piece of casting as well,

0:21:390:21:43

because as soon as we hear her voice as cement for the OS system,

0:21:430:21:46

we see her as well and because we see her,

0:21:460:21:48

we see what Joaquin Phoenix is seeing.

0:21:480:21:50

So, that makes perfect sense.

0:21:500:21:52

Spike Jonze as a director, he's kind of been in the shadow of Charlie Kaufman,

0:21:520:21:55

you know, with the scripts, and I think people haven't quite given him

0:21:550:21:58

the credit that maybe he deserved for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation.

0:21:580:22:01

I think the script here is great. I mean, it's incredibly funny.

0:22:010:22:04

We talked about George Clooney not quite getting the tone of The Monuments Men,

0:22:040:22:07

he gets this tone absolutely right, which is this kind of sunshine melancholy.

0:22:070:22:11

-And it is very funny, and it's also got this sort of ache the heart of it.

-Absolutely.

0:22:110:22:15

One slight reservation, talking about Charlie Kaufman, I kind of wish that he'd worked with him on this.

0:22:150:22:19

I think Charlie Kaufmann would have interrogated the subject matter

0:22:190:22:22

just that little bit more,

0:22:220:22:24

whereas Spike Jonze is allowing it to waft free a little bit.

0:22:240:22:28

I don't know. I like the simplicity of it, to be honest.

0:22:280:22:30

I also think, as a romance, where it works so well is that it feels,

0:22:300:22:34

when they first become intimate with each other, it reminds me of Harold and Maude.

0:22:340:22:37

You have this kind of breathtaking, "Are they really doing that?"

0:22:370:22:40

Because it does feel a little bit wrong, it's almost like Vertigo.

0:22:400:22:43

And those are big names of films just to throw around, but I think the film deserves it.

0:22:430:22:47

He's saying it's a weird relationship, but isn't every relationship weird?

0:22:470:22:50

It doesn't feel weird towards the end. It's a beautiful film.

0:22:500:22:53

Last up, French director Claire Denis films Bastards.

0:22:530:22:56

When a woman's life is destroyed,

0:22:560:22:57

her brother returns home to seek justice.

0:22:570:23:00

To show all is obscene, I think.

0:23:250:23:28

We understand no more than the main character.

0:23:280:23:33

He is working on a supertanker and he has a great life.

0:23:330:23:37

His sister calls him.

0:23:370:23:40

She says, "Help! Help me!

0:23:400:23:43

"I need you, I need your help."

0:23:430:23:45

Family, for me, it's not always fun.

0:23:580:24:01

In family, you have no choice. It's your family.

0:24:010:24:05

Paris, I think the aspect I show is really unfriendly.

0:24:170:24:23

The story maybe is hard and shocking, maybe violent,

0:24:250:24:30

maybe cruel, but image or not,

0:24:300:24:33

I'm not a sparkling person, you know?

0:24:330:24:36

My ideas are slow, not sparkles.

0:24:360:24:41

The best I can hope is that they do not dislike the film

0:24:420:24:46

and hope again they will adore the film.

0:24:460:24:49

But it's only wishes.

0:24:510:24:53

Sam?

0:24:580:24:59

Well, we all know the experience of arriving late to a film where

0:24:590:25:02

you walk in the dark and you don't know what on earth's going on,

0:25:020:25:04

you don't know who these people are, what their relationships are.

0:25:040:25:08

The drama has already kind of started and you're frantically trying to catch up,

0:25:080:25:11

and that's the experience you have,

0:25:110:25:14

very deliberately, with watching Bastards.

0:25:140:25:16

Claire Denis, I think, is a brilliant director.

0:25:160:25:19

She's absolutely great at the elliptical edit,

0:25:190:25:21

the fractured narrative, at the puzzle, at the threat in the wings -

0:25:210:25:25

you know something terrible is going to happen, but you don't know what it is.

0:25:250:25:28

She's absolutely brilliant, but here, I think

0:25:280:25:30

she almost trips herself up,

0:25:300:25:33

that she's so intent on spinning us round and keeping us in the dark

0:25:330:25:37

that eventually, when she eventually pulls back the curtain

0:25:370:25:40

and we what this film is, your expectations by that point

0:25:400:25:43

are so high, it has to be something great to justify it.

0:25:430:25:46

-Well, because you've bought into it...

-When it's not, you're kind of let down.

0:25:460:25:50

But as a creator of mood, I mean, it's extraordinary.

0:25:500:25:52

Oh, yeah. I mean, you're right.

0:25:520:25:54

She gets a film noir and basically breaks it up into puzzle pieces

0:25:540:25:57

and then throws it all up in the air and then,

0:25:570:25:59

as they land, it's kind of left up to you as the viewer

0:25:590:26:02

to try to keep up or try and piece that breadcrumb trail for yourself,

0:26:020:26:05

or wait for her to kind of unveil the secret.

0:26:050:26:07

While that's happening, you're left with just the ambience

0:26:070:26:09

and the atmosphere and I think, yeah, you're right, as a maker of ambience, she's fantastic.

0:26:090:26:13

You've got this nocturnal Paris filled with dread and gloom,

0:26:130:26:16

and you've got Stuart Staples' electronic score kind of

0:26:160:26:19

burbling away in the background, which is incredibly good.

0:26:190:26:22

But Xan's right, I think the problems start once the story starts assembling,

0:26:220:26:25

because then the story feels quite hokey and again,

0:26:250:26:28

you start to think, "What, I was waiting for THIS?"

0:26:280:26:30

Because this story seems weirdly predictable

0:26:300:26:32

and the only reason you're surprised is you think,

0:26:320:26:34

"Claire Denis can't do a story which is quite this..."

0:26:340:26:37

It's kind of Get Carter in Chinatown

0:26:370:26:38

and a million other revenge thrillers that we're very, very familiar with.

0:26:380:26:42

That is what takes you by surprise, and that it does feel like a little bit of a let down.

0:26:420:26:46

Great, meaty performances from Vincent Landon as the uncle,

0:26:460:26:49

who looks a bit like Mel Gibson's nice European cousin,

0:26:490:26:51

and Lola Creton as well.

0:26:510:26:52

I'm pleased you brought that up. Very quickly, Film of the Week?

0:26:520:26:55

-Oh, Her, easily.

-Yeah, Her.

0:26:550:26:57

OK, good. That's all from us.

0:26:570:26:59

We'll be back next Wednesday at 11:05pm,

0:26:590:27:02

when we review Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac

0:27:020:27:04

and Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive.

0:27:040:27:06

We're going to play out tonight with a clip from Bright Eyes,

0:27:060:27:09

starring Shirley Temple, who died yesterday.

0:27:090:27:12

-Thank you very much for watching. Good night.

-Good night.

0:27:120:27:15

# On the good ship Lollipop

0:27:160:27:20

# It's a sweet trip to a candy shop

0:27:200:27:24

# Where bonbons play

0:27:240:27:26

# On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay

0:27:260:27:29

# La la la la la la la

0:27:290:27:31

# Lemonade stands everywhere

0:27:310:27:34

# Crackerjack bands fill the air

0:27:340:27:38

# And there you are

0:27:380:27:40

# Happy landing on a chocolate bar

0:27:400:27:44

# Doo doo doo doo

0:27:440:27:45

# See the sugar bowl do the tootsie roll

0:27:450:27:49

# With the big bad devil's food cake

0:27:490:27:52

# If you eat too much

0:27:520:27:55

# Oh, oh!

0:27:550:27:57

# You will wake with a tummy ache

0:27:570:28:00

# On the good ship Lollipop

0:28:000:28:03

# It's a night trip into bed you hop

0:28:030:28:07

# And dream away

0:28:070:28:09

# Dream away

0:28:090:28:10

# On the good ship Lollipop

0:28:100:28:12

# Mm mmm

0:28:120:28:14

# You'll awake with a tummy ache

0:28:150:28:22

# On the good ship Lollipop

0:28:220:28:27

# It's a nice trip into bed you hop

0:28:270:28:31

# And dream away

0:28:310:28:34

# On the good ship Lollipop. #

0:28:340:28:39

POP!

0:28:390:28:41

LAUGHTER

0:28:410:28:45

Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh review World War II comedy-drama The Monuments Men, which features an impressive ensemble cast and is directed by - and stars - George Clooney.

Plus, Nick Frost gets his groove and dancing shoes on for salsa dancing comedy Cuban Fury and French director Claire Denis directs dark family drama Bastards.


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