Man on the Train. Patrice Laconte. Tall and angular, with a receding chin, prominent mustache, and crinkly eyes that convey both giddiness and melancholy, French actor Jean Rochefort excels at playing timid souls. But he imbues them with such a sense of subversive whimsy and generous amounts of naked feeling that he can make you laugh and break your heart at the same time. He is at his most ingratiating in Patrice Leconte's new film, which revolves around a most unlikely friendship between a genteel school teacher and a rough-and-tumble bank robber. The criminal is played by French rock star Johnny Hallyday, unknown in this country but huge in Europe. The two men meet by chance, a favorite starting point for Leconte, who has a knack for weaving simple yet dense tapestries of life. Each exposed to a world completely antithetical to their own, both men begin to imagine how their lives might have been had they taken a different path. Both actors are marvelous, and the film, low-key but heartfelt, is a gem. Opens Friday, June 6, at the Plaza Frontenac. (Jean Oppenheimer)
Spellbound. Jeffrey Blitz. Opens Friday, June 6, at the Tivoli. Reviewed this issue.
Sweet Sixteen. Ken Loach. A young man comes of age in a desolate Scottish town mired in poverty. He leaves his broken home, searching for a suitable place to welcome his mother, who is scheduled for release from prison. Best screenplay winner at Cannes Film Festival. Opens Friday, June 6, at the Plaza Frontenac. NR
2 Fast 2 Furious. John Singleton. Opens Friday, June 6, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.