Shall We Dance?
A funny and touching award-winning Japanese movie, starring Koji Yakusyo and ballerina-turned-actress Tamiyo Kusakari. Syohei is an ordinary 42-year-old businessman living a comfortable suburban life with his sweet wife and adorable daughter. Despite what appears to be a perfect life, he feels something is missing. On a train home from work one evening, Syohei catches a glimpse of the beautiful Mai (Kusakari) looking out of the window of a ballroom dancing school and becomes obsessed with her, enrolling himself as a dance student at the school. While Syohei's original motivation for learning to dance is Mai, he starts to get involved with the class and enjoys it. Written and directed by Masayuki Suo, Shall We Dance? is more than a mid-life crisis movie. It is also about the young woman whose dream to become the country's top dancer is never realised. Fine performance from Kusakari and the hilarious Naoto Takenaka as the closeted, passionate Latin dancer (1996).
Three Colours: Red
Part of the Krzysztof Kieslowski-directed Three Colours trilogy. Set in Geneva, young model Valentine (Irene Jacob) encounters a reclusive retired judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who has a peculiar habit of listening in on his neighbour's telephone conversations. Living across the street from Valentine is a law student who seems to be living the young life of the retired judge. But will fate bring them all together? (1994)
Tonight, Ray Mears (above) treks through the Arizona Desert as well as Arnhem Land in the far north of Australia. The survival expert describes the latter as one of the most inhospitable places he has visited. The land is inhabited by man-eating crocodiles, venomous spiders and some of the world's deadliest snakes. Mears traces the steps of three airmen who beat the odds to come out of the swamp alive after a crash landing.
Forces Of Nature
Despite the promising cast, led by Sandra Bullock (above) and Ben Affleck, this romantic comedy fails to take off. Ben (Affleck) is on his way to his wedding in Savannah but several natural disasters come between him and matrimonial bliss. First the plane he is on skids off the runway and the eccentric Sandra (Bullock) falls into his lap. Together, they try to beat the clock to get to Savannah in time for their respective engagements. This picture veers off course early on thanks to Bullock's erratic character and a threadbare story.