I may sound like I'm gushing when I write that meeting the wise, striking Dev Patel and listening to a talk with the handsome, funny Jake Gyllenhaal were the highlights of this year's Dubai International Film Festival for me. And make no mistake, I am.
Peter Sollett's Freeheld was, for me, the find of the day -- an intensely emotional film based on a true story that could easily win Julianne Moore her second Oscar in a row (and, perhaps, earn a nomination for the terrific Michael Shannon).
April 26, is the 95th anniversary of the death of one of the most astounding mathematical geniuses of all time, the self-taught Indian mathematician Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan (1887-1920), whose stunning contributions to many areas of mathematics are still being plumbed by experts today.
There is nothing remotely second best about the highly anticipated sequel to the charming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was released in 2011. The cast of that movie included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith.
No one wants to be deemed second-best, yet there it is, right in the title of the film: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The result when you succumb to sequel-itis: Let's take this delightful little surprise hit and try to duplicate its success without doing anything original.
Ol Parker is back as the screenwriter, and John Madden returns as the director. Both try to give this sequel the same feel as the first, but they've run out of ideas. Buying a new hotel seems like a giddy capitalistic exploit.
The greatest risk of a movie like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel would be the one-dimensional fetishizing of the country, where India is held up as a magical bazaar. Thankfully, the movie doesn't do that.
At last a film celebrating the last years of life in blazing glory set in the joyful splendor of Udaipur, India. The writing is witty and quick, while the scenery is lush with an abundance of flowers in bold primary colors.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the kind of movie they seldom make anymore -- except in England. When they try to do it in America, you wind up with something like Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve -- or worse.