By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 1, 2001
Love in life's daily details
Innocence (Not rated, probably R) (94 min.) -- Claire (Julia Blake) and Andreas (Charles Tingwell) were lovers in their youth, but now they're in their 60s, a wife and widower, reuniting by chance and wondering if they can -- or should -- rekindle their romance.
[Photo: Fireworks Pictures]
Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert wrote: "Innocence is like a great lifting up of the heart. It is all the more affirming because it is not told in grand phony gestures, but in the details of the daily lives of these two people. Life accumulates routines, obligations, habits and inhibitions over the years, and if they are going to face their feelings then they're going to have to break out of long, safe custom and risk everything. . . .
"Innocence is a song of joy and hope, and like its characters it is grownup. Here is a movie that believes love leads to sex, made at a time when movies believe that sex leads to love. But sex is only mechanical unless each holds the other like priceless treasure, to be defended against all of the hazards of the world. This movie is so wise about love it makes us wonder what other love stories think they are about."
Opens Friday at Beach Theater in St. Pete Beach and Channelside Cinemas in Tampa.
On the road with Felix
The Adventures of Felix (Not rated, probably R) (95 min.) -- Sami Bouajila plays the title character, a gay Arabic dockworker who loses his job and decides to find his estranged father. Co-directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau arrange their film as a series of vignettes, with Felix meeting a variety of eccentrics and adopting them as his ad hoc family.
New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell wrote: "Road movies, a genre that seems to be dying out, are slices of life in which the audience sees the maturation of the protagonist. But Felix is the same happy-go-lucky egotist by the end as he was at the beginning. . . .
"(The film) makes its points gently; the picture presents its socially conscious messages as if they were written in the sand, on the beaches where Felix would probably prefer to frolic. . . . The directors evoke the hungry raffishness of Bertrand Blier's Get Out Your Handkerchiefs and Going Places, the best road movies ever made, in which the journey released something in both the travelers and the people they came across."
Shown with English subtitles. Opens Friday at Channelside Cinemas in Tampa.
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