The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 7 - 14, 2000

[Boston Film Festival]

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Relative Values

It took Noël Coward to stir Julie Andrews from her eight-year absence from the screen, though the cinematic result from Eric Styles is a brittle adaptation of one of his least-inspired efforts, a quaint bauble blending Wildean farce with '50s silver-screen glamor that's thoroughly negligible. Andrews plays Countess Felicity, the matriarch of Marshwood, a bastion of British aristocracy that's about to be breached by the pending nuptials between her son Nigel (Edward Atterton) and vulgar American movie star Miranda Frayle (Jeanne Tripplehorn), who turns out to be the long-lost sister of Marshwood's beloved maidservant Moxie (Sophie Thompson). And now that Miranda's old flame, besotted matinee idol Don Lucas (Billy Baldwin), has been seen driving his roadster to the estate, an evening of leaden comic confrontation and obsolete issues is guaranteed. Andrews remains unchanged from The Sound of Music, but the minor performances stand out like currants in a pudding, notably Thompson in a Pygmalion-like transformation, Stephen Fry as a stolid butler, and Colin Firth as Nigel's bitchy brother. Tripplehorn and Baldwin, however, are a sad reminder of how far we've come from the Golden Age of Grace Kelly and Clark Gable. Screens tonight at 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 and 4:30 p.m.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

Shadow of the Vampire | Songcatcher | Venus Beauty Institute | What's Cooking? | The Broken Hearts Club | Envy | Goya in Bordeaux | Human Resources | Skipped Parts | Amargosa | Henry Hill | Relative Values | The Rising Place | The Contender | Pitch People | Roof to Roof | Four Dogs Playing Poker | Reckless Indifference | Requiem for a Dream | Shadow Magic | About Adam | Charming Billy | Enemies of Laughter | Into the Arms of Strangers | Running on the Sun | A Trial in Prague | Harry, He's Here to Help | A Man is Mostly Water | Seven Girlfriends

Also, Boston Film Festival short films

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