When you go to an international film festival, you know you’re going to have to read a lot of subtitles. But not so much at the Mostly British Film Festival. This event presents foreign films from such exotic locales as Ireland, England, and Australia – places outside of North America where people generally speak English. You may have to get used to an accent, but you won’t have to look down at the bottom of the screen every time people talk.
This year, Mostly British opens Thursday, March 10 to March 17 at the Vogue. So far, I have seen four films that will play in this festival. Here’s what I think of them.
B+ The Dry, Friday, March 11, 5:30pm
Kiewarra is an ugly, angry, thirsty town in the Australian outback. It’s about to get uglier and angrier – just the right location for a murder mystery. Eric Bana plays a former townsman, now a big-city police detective. He hates Kiewarra, and most of the people there hate him back. He only returned for a funeral. It appears that a man murdered his own family before committing suicide. But if you know anything about murder mysteries, you know that this diagnosis just can’t possibly be right. Read my full review.
B+ The Beatles and India, Thursday, March 17, 7:30pm, followed by a 9:30pm party.
The Beatles went to India at the height of their fame, to learn about Indian music, and to meditate with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Within weeks, one by one they returned to England, disgusted with the way their guru was using them for his own commercial purpose – although George fell in love with Indian music and culture. As far as I can tell, no one connected with the Beatles was involved with the making of this documentary, and you never hear any Beatles songs. Interviewers are mostly native Indians who were there at that time.
B Mothering Sunday, Tuesday, march 8, at 7:30pm
This is one of those stiff-upper-lip British films about aristocrats and their servants. But this time there’s a lot of sex and nudity – male and female. Sometimes it seems kind of ridiculous – as when a maid wanders naked through her lover’s otherwise empty mansion. And then there’s a couple of monologues that sound like literature; not people talking (it’s based on a novel). But the ending brings what seemed to be a scattered story into an interesting and unique one.
D+ Together, Saturday, March 12, 3:15pm
The festival calls this a “unique comedy.” I guess a comedy is unique if it’s not funny. It works better as serious drama. Set entirely in one house over the first year of COVID, an unmarried couple talk and argue (mostly argue) about everything from vaccines, the economy, and mushrooms (not the psychotic kind). James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan provide excellent performances built around a bad script. We rarely see young Samuel Logan as their son. Worst of all, both adult characters constantly look at and talk to the camera – often with long monologues.