Now With More Than 3800 Reviews and (near) Daily Updates!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

WELCOME (2009)

French writer/ director Philippe Lioret makes a ‘nice’ film on a tough subject: illegal refugees in Calais, and it still ends in tragedy. Firat Ayverdi, looking a bit like the young Zach Braff, plays a 17-yr-old Kurd out of Iraq, desperate to reach his girlfriend who’s moved to London with her family. But with immigration authorities overseeing the port city’s commercial bottleneck, and on to every stowaway trick by train, truck or boat, the only option could be the most ridiculous; swimming across the Channel. And the boy can’t swim. That’s how he comes to meet Vincent Lindon, exceptional as a gruff swimming instructor who goes from indifference to involved to surrogate dad as he trains this stubborn, polite, romantic kid. The story may not be loaded with surprises, but the playing and emotional growth between the leads is handled with unusual grace. (Nice use of foreign language issues with everyone at odds in various half-learned tongues.) And with reverberations, especially on Lindon’s relation with his ex-wife, distrustful building neighbors, and a cop charged with enforcing new immigrant laws, all playing out to heartbreaking effect. The story isn’t above falling into convenient plots beats & ‘accidental’ meetings to move things along, it might have played better with less realism (and with a less ironic title). But it comes across well enough; thoughtful, effective, not nearly as ‘knee-jerk’ liberal as you’d imagine.

DOUBLE-BILL: Jerzy Skolimowski’s MOONLIGHTING/’82 with Jeremy Irons, an undeservedly forgotten film about Polish construction workers stuck in London.

No comments: