La Vie Revee des Anges
(The Dream Life of Angels)

France (1998)
Dir: Erick Zonca

Cast: Elodie Bouchez, Natacha Regnier, Gregoire Colin

21-year old Isa drifts around Lille selling religious cards for a living when she meets seamstress Marie, who is temporarily putting up in the flat of a dead woman and her comatose daughter. This marvellous piece of cinema verite traces their rapidly budding friendship to its bitter end. Isa becomes obsessed with the comatose teenager's diaries and Marie's involvement with a womanising, seedy nightclub owner puts a strain on the women's friendship. Outstandingly natural performances from the cast.

Rating: 7.0

(The Thief)

Russia (1997)
Dir: Pavel Chukhrai

Cast: Vladimir Mashkov, Ekaterina Rednikova, Misha Philipchuk

A deeply moving story of a young boy whose mother falls in love with a handsome rogue in a train and together they pose as a married couple in 1950's Soviet Russia. This stepfather turns out to be a recidivist thief, but the boy's mother is unable to tear herself away, leading to inevitably tragic consequences. A melancholy film about loss, betrayal and reconciliation.

Rating: 6.5

Copyright ArtemisWorks 2002