Video Picks Archive
This week my picks are Hideous Kinky (1998 - ) and Casablanca (1942 - ).
The first film stars Kate Winslet as Julia, an Englishwoman who has run off to Morocco in the early 1970's with her two daughters. Their father, a famous poet back in London, has seemingly forgotten about them, and they have to fend for themselves. Julia wants personal freedom and spiritual enlightenment, but her older daughter, Bea (Bella Riza), wants a normal, English life. Julia also finds love in Bilal (Saïd Taghmaoui -- Three Kings), a Moroccan with a checkered past. Director Gillies MacKinnon (Regeneration) takes advantage of fabulous locations around Marrakech and the Moroccan countryside, and inserts a charming story. It doesn't always gel, but the cast is quite endearing.
If you think about Morocco films, certainly the second film would come to mind first (even if it was shot entirely in the Los Angeles area). Besides that catgory, Casablanca always shows up on short lists of all-time greatest films, and for good reason. Humphrey Bogart plays Rick (his most famous role), an American stuck in Casablanca during World War II. He runs a bar in town, where refugees from all over the world stop in for a drink. Rick's idyllic drunkeness is disturbed by the arrival of his old flame, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), and her husband, Czech revolutionary Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Casablanca is perfect in nearly every respect: a superb screenplay, an incredible cast, and impeccable direction by Michael Curtiz, who brings it all together. If you still haven't seen this film, feel free to buy it, because after you see it once, you'll want to watch it again and again.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Hideous Kinky (1998)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 1999 Matt Heffernan