• L-R: Belle, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Vicky Donor, Wings of Desire (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
This week's highlights on SBS World Movies include romantic comedies (Paris Can Wait, Vicky Donor, People Places Things), several very different period pieces (Belle, Love & Friendship, Apocalypto, The Piano), a Wim Wenders classic (Wings of Desire) and more.
SBS Movies

11 Jul 2019 - 4:03 PM  UPDATED 19 Jul 2019 - 3:19 PM


Paris Can Wait

USA, 2016
Genre: Romance
Language: French, English
Director: Eleanor Coppola
Starring: Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin, Arnaud Viard
What's it about?
Anne (Lane) is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successfully driven but inattentive movie producer (Baldwin), she finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband (Viard). What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a journey of discovery involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom, and much more.

Vicky Donor

India, 2012
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Language: Hindi
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Annu Kapoor, Dolly Ahluwalia
What's it about?
The head of a fertility clinic and sperm bank (Kapoor) needs a reliable source of high-quality semen. As luck would have it, he comes into contact with Vicky Arora (Khurrana), an attractive Punjabi whom he convinces to become a donor. When Vicky falls in love and marries a Bengali called Ashima (Gautam), their relationship takes a turn for the worse when it is discovered that she is infertile.


People, Places, Things

USA, 2015
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Director: Jim Strouse
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams, Michael Chernus
What's it about?
Will Henry (Clement) is a newly single graphic novelist, balancing being a parent to his young twin daughters (played by real life twins Aundrea and Gia Gadsby) and teaching a classroom full of college students, all the while trying to navigate the rich complexities of new love (Hall) and letting go of the woman who left him (Allynne).

Interview: Jemaine Clement in People, Places, Things

Odd Job

France, 2016
Genre: Action, Comedy
Language: French
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Starring: Romain Duris, Michel Blanc, Alice Belaïdi, Alex Lutz, Charlie Dupont
What's it about?
Jacques (Duris) lives in a small town. When the factory where he works closes down, it is the beginning of the end for him - his girlfriend leaves him and he finds himself struggling while waiting for better days that may never come. One day, André Gardot (Blanc), a local bookmaker whom Jacques knows for having participated in a few of his illegal poker games, turns up. Gardot offers him a job - to take care of the murder of his wife for 20,000 euros. After hesitating briefly, Jacques accepts. 


All Three of Us

France, 2015
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: French, Arabic, German
Director: Kheiron
Starring: Kheiron, Leïla Bekhti, Gérard Darmon
What's it about?
Stand-up comic sensation Kheiron directs and stars in this retelling of his extraordinary family journey from the tumult of Iran in the late 70s to the feverish melting pot of suburban Paris. Kheiron plays his own father, Hibat, a lawyer and eventual political prisoner under the Shah who was released by the Ayatollah. The intolerant climate of Tehran forces him to flee through Turkey with his wife Fereshteh (Bekhti) and baby son. The couple’s spirit of rebellion and joie de vivre continues as they make their mark in the migrant suburb of Pierrefitte-sur-Seine.

You Disappear

Denmark, Sweden, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: Danish, Swedish, Swahili
Director: Peter Schønau Fog
Starring: Trine Dyrholm, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Michael Nyqvist, Laura Bro
What's it about?
A teachers' (Halling) world is turned upside down when her husband (Lie Kaas), a successful headmaster, is caught embezzling from their own school. Did he do this of his own free will - or has his personality been altered by the tumour lurking in his brain? As the teacher is assisting an attorney (Nyqvist) in providing a legal defense, recent neuroscience forces her to rethink who her husband really is.



UK, 2014
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Amma Asante
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson
What's it about?
This period drama is inspired by the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Mbatha-Raw), who was the illegitimate daughter of John Lindsay, a Captain in the Royal Navy, and a Caribbean woman named Maria Belle who gave birth to their child in 1762. Belle's racial background renders her an outsider in her high society circle, and her uncle's role in a slavery case places her in the spotlight.

Film Review: 'Belle' Tells Continually Fascinating and Unusually Layered Story
Belle: Amma Asante interview

Love & Friendship

UK, USA, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Whit Stillman
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry
What's it about?
From Jane Austen’s novella, the beautiful and cunning Lady Susan Vernon (Beckinsale) visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out colourful rumours of her dalliances and to find husbands for herself and her daughter. Two young men, handsome Reginald DeCourcy (Samuel) and wealthy Sir James Martin (Bennett), severely complicate her plans. An acerbic take on Austen from Whit Stillman, writer-director of Metropolitan & The Last Days of Disco.

'Love and Friendship': A Supremely Elegant Austen Adaptation
'Love and Friendship': An interview with Whit Stillman



USA, 2014
Genre: Music, Drama
Language: English
Director: Francois Girard
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Garrett Wareing, Debra Winger, Kathy Bates, Kevin McHale, Josh Lucas
What's it about?
Stet (Wareing) is struggling just to get by in a tough Texas neighbourhood with an overwhelmed single mum. His school principal (Winger) is convinced his angelic singing voice is worth championing, but Stet has no idea how it might help him face the dark realities of his life. That all shifts when a sudden accident lands Stet on the East Coast at one of the most elite private boychoir schools in the country, the National Boychoir Academy. There, he immediately runs up against the most demanding, uncompromising and compelling person he’s ever met: the school’s Headmaster Carvelle (Hoffman).


USA, 2006
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Action
Language: Maya
Director: Mel Gibson
Starring: Rudy Youngblood, Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández
What's it about?
From director Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Hacksaw Ridge) comes Apocalypto, a mythic, heart-stopping action-adventure set against the turbulent end of the once-great Mayan civilisation. When his idyllic existence is brutally disrupted by a violent invading force, young Jaguar Paw is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression, where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred on by the power of his love for his family, he makes a desperate break to return home and fulfil his destiny.


The Talented Mr. Ripley

USA, 1999
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Anthony Minghella
Starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cate Blanchett
What's it about?
Tom Ripley (Damon) is a calculating young man who believes it's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody. Opportunity knocks in the form of a wealthy U.S. shipbuilder who hires Tom to travel to Italy to bring back his playboy son, Dickie (Law). Ripley worms his way into the idyllic lives of Dickie and his girlfriend (Paltrow), plunging into a daring scheme of duplicity, lies, and murder. Nominated for five 1999 Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Law).

Mea Culpa

France, 2014
Genre: Action, Thriller
Language: French
Director: Fred Cavayé
Starring: Vincent Lindon, Gilles Lellouche, Nadine Labaki, Gilles Cohen
What's it about?
Cops in Toulon, Simon (Lindon) and Franck (Lellouche), are celebrating the end of an assignment. On their way home, they smash into a car, leaving two fatalities, including one child. Franck is unscathed, but Simon, who was driving drunk, is seriously wounded, and ends up losing it all. Six years later, divorced from his wife Alice (Labaki), Simon is an armoured car driver. He struggles to keep up the role of father to his son Theo, now nine years old. Franck, who is still a cop, keeps an eye on him from a distance. 


The Piano

New Zealand, 1993
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Jane Campion
Starring: Holly Hunter, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill
What's it about?
Ada (Hunter), mute since birth, her nine year old daughter (Paquin), and her piano arrive to an arranged marriage in the remote bush of nineteenth century New Zealand. Of all her belongings her husband refuses to transport the piano and it is left behind on the beach. Unable to bear its certain destruction, Ada strikes a bargain with an illiterate tattooed neighbour (Keitel). She may earn her piano back if she allows him to do certain things while she play’s – one black key for every lesson. The arrangement draws all three deeper and deeper into a complex emotional bond.

Wings of Desire

Germany, 1987
Genre: Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Language: German
Director: Wim Wenders
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk, Solveig Dommartin
What's it about?
Daniel (Ganz), a lonely, trenchcoated angel, watches over Berlin, silently comforting its citizens in their hour of need. But when he is captivated by a beautiful French trapeze artist (Dommartin), Damiel decides to trade his gentle, angelic life for the torturous emotions of the secular world. With his divine position in jeopardy, he must choose to either give up love, or lose his eternal wings forever. A classic film from renowned German director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, The Buena Vista Social Club).

Wings of Desire review: A joy from start to finish