ARIZONA REPORTER




Harvey Critic - 12/02

THE FAIRY


No cinephile could possibly watch this movie without thinking of Jacques Tati (1908-82), a French director, who may well have been the inspiration for the Belgo-Canadian-French directors of "The Fairy." Tati's theme, like that portrayed by Buster Keaton, is that individual personality is warped by unfeeling organizations--which the principal characters try to overcome. In "The Fairy," Dom (Dominique Abel) is a romantic who appears bewildered by the world, an impression he gives in the very opening scenes as he rides a bicycle in his town, Le Havre, during a rainstorm and develops a flat tire that forces him to carry the bike to work. As in Tati's movies, filmmakers Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy have set up absentminded characters who are emotionally suffering, yet their very suffering makes us laugh. (Would you laugh at or with a man who is virtually blind and who keeps bumping into walls? You might, if you're into this film.)


Bookmark and Share


THE FAIRY (La Fée)
(Kino Lorber)

Reviewed for Arizona Reporter by Harvey Karten

Grade: B-
Director: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy
Screenwriter: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy
Cast: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy, Philippe Martz, Vladimir Zorano, Destine M'Bikula Mayemba, Wilson Goma
Screened at: Review 2, NYC, 2/7/12
Opens: February 24, 2012

Abel, Gordon and Romy's previous work, "Iceberg," dealt with a couple with clone-like children who went about life like robots while their "Rumba" was about Fiona and Dom, a happy couple with a passion for Latin dancing, their lives turned upside down by a car accident. If "The Fairy" were part of a trilogy (it isn't), this could be called a prequel: we find out how Dom and Fiona meet.

Dom (Dominique Abel) is a night clerk at a run-down hotel in Le Havre who is regularly interrupted from consuming his bologna and ketchup sandwich on white bread (French food?) by the phone or by buzzers from the entrance. An English tourist (Philippe Martz) asks for a room, using a French guide-book to Monte Python-esque humor, is told that no dogs are allowed (he has a lively West Highland terrier), but finds a way to solve that problem. Dom's life changes when he meets Fiona (Fiona Gordon), barefoot and possibly an escapee from a mental institution, who claims that she is a witch and offers him three wishes. She is, in fact, what she claims albeit with limited powers: she has given wings to another gentleman, but that guy falls gently to the ground. She has sex protected by a large clamshell and becomes pregnant moments later, her stomach expanding moments later. The couple order beer from a nearly-blind bartender (Bruno Romy) whose eyeglasses reach all the way into the foam. And a group of illegal immigrants ask to be taken to England.

The emphasis is on visual humor rather than dialogue. Elements of magical realism include Dom and Fiona's shedding of clothes to romp for a long period under water. They have adventures with their new baby, who is set up on top of the trunk of an old Mercedes, following the cherub on a scooter and attempting to gather the tyke up. We wonder how cameraman Jean Christophe Leforestier films that scene, as it includes a death-defying leg stretch by Fiona Gordon, one foot on the scooter, the other on the trunk of the car in front of it.

"The Fairy" will go down easily on those who like Buster Keaton and slapstick in general. It is not my Creme brulée The whimsy can become tiresome, but I'd be churlish to pan the film because of my strictly personal proclivities.

Unrated. 93 minutes © 2011 by Harvey Karten Member: NY Film Critics Online Harvey Karten Member: NY Film Critics Online.

Comment Using Facebook


<<< PREVIOUS ARTICLE NEXT ARTICLE >>>


Latest Movie Reviews
By Harvey Critic


HARVEY KARTEN, Ph.D.,
Member NYFCO
At the movie's conclusion, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) states: "We've had life for a billion years. Now we know what to do with it." What does she think we should do with our lives? Presumably we should be able to stare at a gun and watch the bullets fall out harmlessly to the ground; look at a bunch of gangsters pointing AK-47s at us and have them drop their pieces and fly to the ceiling flaying impotently' conjure up dinosaurs and disappear just as they are about to gobble you up; and drive effortlessly down a one-way highway while watching cars pile up helplessly. In other words, while you may think that Lucy, who is steadily able to raise the capacity of her brain from the usual, human 10% to 100%, will be able to solve a Rubik Cube in 15 seconds, complete a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in indelible ink, or memorize 154 theorems in minutes without ever taking high-school geometry, Lucy's brain is completely different. Sure, she probably could learn to speak French with a Montréal accent if she should get the strange notion to do so, but writer-director Luc Besson has other plans for this brainiac. She has the powers of a superhero: she can exercise telekinesis by moving objects and people from one place to another by simply willing it, can take a quick look at the unspoiled U.S. when Native Americans ruled the land, and touch the forehead of a famous scientist to discover that his six-year-old daughter had died in an auto accident. What's more she can look at an X-ray of a person on an operating table, discern that he has advanced, incurable cancer, and shoot the poor fellow because "he could not possibly survive anyway."

Arizona Newsroom
Pushing the boundaries of classical ballet, Spain's emerging choreographic powerhouse Alejandro Cerrudo presents Off Screen, a dance inspired by film. It's sexy and modern with eccentric moves. Ib Andersen showcases the elegant and intricate Symphonie Classique with costumes by Tony Award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz,and Indigo Rhapsody, an arresting and athletic ballet danced to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will host six public open houses where constituents may review and ask questions about the 2014 spring recommendations for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear.


Finding Arizona Reporter


Sponsored Links
Arctic Cat Parts | Hyosung Parts | E-Ton Parts | CFMoto Parts