Lots of dark humor in the Irish film, The Bright Side

Always look on the bright side of life, as the Monty Python guys advised, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Inspired by Anne Gildea’s memoirs I have cancer, what’s your excuse?, The bright side (16s) stars Gemma-Leah Devereux as Kate McLoughlin, an actress who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Already prone to depression and now on the verge of suicidal, Kate’s mood darkens further when she begins her chemotherapy sessions – the constant vomiting and hair loss is bad enough, but Kate also has to deal with it. to the abrasive Tracy (Siobhán Cullen), the nun Róisín (Barbara Brennan) and the wealthy Southside Dubliner Fiona (Karen Egan). And as if all that wasn’t enough, her local pharmacist Andy (Tom Vaughn-Lawlor) suggests that the best way to deal with breast cancer is to go fly fishing.

If the configuration for The bright side sounds dark, it’s meant to be: Ruth Meehan, who directs and co-writes with Jean Pasley, has no plans to play breast cancer for cheap laughs, even though the central character is a comedian who integrates his life and death struggle into his standing routine. There are certainly a lot of funny moments, although the humor tends to be of the dark variety, but the comedy is subordinate to a gripping drama that explores the value of faith and the vital importance of having something – anything – what to believe in.

Gemma-Leah Devereux is utterly believable as a young woman who finds herself staring unblinkingly into the barrel of imminent death, and she receives tremendous support from those around her, along with Tom Vaughn-Lawlor. painfully vulnerable as Andy, recently bereaved, and Siobhán Cullen superb as Tracy, whose own cancer is the toughest lesson to date in the school of hard knocks. (cinema release)

Memory ***

Hugh Jackman stars in #Reminiscence, an action thriller from Westworld creator

Reminiscence (15A) opens into a post-apocalyptic world, where the world’s coastal cities have been inundated as a result of climate change that has occurred “after the war”. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is a futuristic private investigator, a man who can help his clients not only recover buried memories, but relive them as if they were real.

As harsh as they come, Nick’s cynicism is put to the test when glamorous Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) walks into her office, asking her to help her remember where she left her keys. What follows is an old-fashioned shameless black detective with a gravel-toned voiceover, as femme fatale Mae lands Nick hook, line, and sinker, then pulls a vanishing act.

Can Nick, reliving his own memories, discover any clue as to where Mae may have been, and why? Written and Directed by Lisa Joy, Reminiscence is mind-boggling science fiction that could easily serve as a tribute to Christopher Nolan’s films. The world-building is superbly done – the long opening shot, as the camera crosses the ocean to reveal a half-submerged Miami, is a work of bravery – and Joy revels in creating a futuristic black with strong echoes. of Blade runner.

But while the story is delightfully complex as Nick tries to figure out what’s real from the fragments of his disoriented memory, the script itself is distractingly overloaded, with characters inclined to (mis) quote the myth. Greek of Orpheus and Eurydice, investing fairly standard to dialogue with all the gravity of a fifth Shakespearean act and, most irritating of all, repeating certain lines which, according to Joy, deserve a second or even a third broadcast. Reminiscence is solid and intriguing science fiction, but it could have, with a little less, been a lot more. (cinema release)

People don’t do anything: big in Japan **

The Kurupt FM team returns in People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan
The Kurupt FM team returns in People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan

A feature film spin-off from an award-winning BBC Three series, People do nothing: big in Japan (15A) is a mock documentary about the weed-stuffed wannabes behind Kurupt FM, Brentford’s best garage pirate radio station.

Long after the station’s final broadcast, the boys ‘manager, Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudry) discovers that his clients’ biggest chunk wows fans of a Japanese game show. This is how MC Grindah (Allan Mustafa), DJ Beats (Hugo Chegwin) and Steves (Steve Stamp) fly to Tokyo, where Taka (Ken Yamamura) intends to benefit from the 15 minutes of glory of the boys of Kurupt. What could go wrong?

Just about everything, as the viewer will eagerly expect, given that People do nothing was based on the hilarious ineptitude of the pillars of Kurupt FM. Sadly, this is actually a blockbuster case that recycles long-standing gags from the TV series. [Grindah being unaware, for example, that Decoy (Daniel Sylvester Woolford) is his daughter’s father], while also offering rather worn-out examples of cultural confusion, like when boys recoil in horror at traditional Japanese cuisine and flee to the comforts of the nearest McBurger’s home. (cinema release)

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