Dir. Aton Corbijn, USA
This film is named after the lead character. If that’s actually a name. He’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma played by George Clooney. George, you see, is an American. Only not in America. Which is deep. Or that sort of thing, anyway.
Who knows who he is or what he does? Even he seems to have forgotten. So he travels from Sweden to Italy. Maybe he’s hoping to bump into himself so he can tell him. Instead he meets a priest. We wonder if the priest is a plotline. It feels like we could do with one by now. But instead, the priest is Significant.
George hires a prostitute to fall in love with him. She does, but she brings her gun. Which is a plotline. Oh wait... no, it isn’t. She gets her kit off. Only... you know... artistically. Then Sweden catches up with him even though he is in Italy. From that point the film carries on just the way it always has...
Overall, there is murder, intrigue and rumination on what it means to be George Clooney in Italy with very little dialogue. Sometimes there is symbolism. (Is that deep? Probably.) Mostly, though, there is landscape porn. Poor people turn out to make a charming backdrop.
Things end badly. Which is deep. But kind of inevitable, seeing as things have been going badly all the way through.
RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE
Dir. Jalmari Helander, Finland
Sheer gormlessness on my part led to me missing the beginning of this, so I can’t offer a proper review. But... a black Finnish horror comedy where the Devil is awoken from the deeps. Except the Devil is actually Santa.
I mean, what’s not to like?