A boy’s friendship is tested in ‘Eight Mountains’


*** Ruben Impens’ vivid cinematography takes the lead as directors Charlotte Vandermersch and Felix van Groeningen keep their characters from fighting back in this adaptation of Paolo Cognetti’s 2016 novel, which took home the Jury Prize at last year’s Film Festival festival in Cannes. The film embarks on a four-decade journey with Pietro (Lupo Barbiero), who we first meet as an 11-year-old city kid in 1984. His family has rented a house in a small mountain village for the summer. There he meets the town’s only child, Bruno (Cristiano Sassella), who lives and works with his aunt and uncle. Each summer, Pietro returns, cultivating their friendship until they part ways that they did not choose. The boys then reunite several years later, with unspoken envy thwarting all efforts to recapture that idyllic childhood relationship. As the film progresses, the haunting imagery washes away, revealing a harsh reality stemming from the characters’ inability to communicate and the hidden traumas inflicted by their fathers. The vacillating nature of their friendship becomes tiresome over the course of two and a half hours, but the film excitingly explores family and identity, asking, “Can we ever really go home again?” NR. RAY GILL JR Cinema 21.


** Even with her jokes about meatballs and male chef dough, Book Club: The Next Chapter he’s not as naughty as he makes himself out to be. Continuation of the livelier Book club (2018), which was also written and directed by Bill Holderman, The next chapter is a pleasant portrait of female friendship bathed in prosecco and subdued sunlight. This time the four friends, played by Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenbergen, take a trip to Italy. Along the way, they experience a series of accidents, but nothing serious. When their luggage is stolen, they buy new clothes. When they are thrown into prison, even the pale blue walls of the Italian prison are beautiful. At 85, Fonda, who in real life underwent five rounds of chemotherapy last year, could be forgiven for looking a little tired. But for a movie that’s supposed to be “mildly outrageous,” there’s a lot of talk about taking a nap and making the most of the “time we have left” that smacks of sadness. A fun Zoom meeting montage, though, and Bergen’s one-liners add some flair. And the sight of a silver-haired Keaton in a sharp suit and a pair of Oxfords never gets old. PG-13. LINDA FERGUSON. Bridgeport, Cascade, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Eastport, Lloyd Center.


** Andre Bernheim’s daughters are experts at running out and back in a circle. This is the migration pattern of adult children whose elderly father has ruled their lives through a powerful combination of bullying and helplessness. Now André (André Dusollier) wants one last favor: help to end his life after a debilitating stroke. Sophie Marceau (The party, The world is not enough) plays the daughter of Andre Emmanuel, the real-life author whose memoir director Francois Ozon here adapts to present-day Paris. (Emmanuel, who died in 2017, wrote the screenplays for two of Ozone’s breakthrough films, Swimming pool and 5×2). Like straight drama, Everything went well is messy, ruthless and perhaps confused in its loyalties. The film seems to like the sinister Andre in his bedridden, sarcasm-shrouded frivolity as he holds court at the hospital while his ex-wife (Ozone favorite Charlotte Rampling) and ex-lover (Gregory Gadebois) become Emmanuel’s responsibility. As a psychological puzzle, however, Everything went well owns The prospect of Andre’s assisted suicide darkly exploits family pathology. Maybe this last time, if they let the old man manipulate and complicate, they’ll all get a catharsis in the end. “Is this love or perversity?” Emmanuel’s husband asks about the euthanasia plan. Emmanuel has a ready answer: “They are both.” NR. SOLEM-PFEIFER OPPORTUNITY. Hall.

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