“Life is a beastly mess,” states the great Laurence Olivier in this superb drama of the seedy music-hall life. He plays Archie Rice, a third-rate vaudevillian whose song-and-dance routines are crusty, unappealing, and decidedly boring. His wife (Brenda de Banzie) is a shrewish alcoholic who nags him constantly about his failures. His father (Roger Livesey), a once-famous entertainer, is dying, yet Archie prevails upon him to back just one more tawdry musical revue. Archie’s world comes tumbling down onto the garbage heap he has built up through a life of self-deception, sneaky schemes, and ruthless unconcern for those who love him. Based on the play by Angry Young Man John Osborne and directed by British New Wave trailblazer Tony Richardson, THE ENTERTAINER is built around one of Olivier’s most riveting performances.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.