Firelight

Bomb Rating: 

Silver Seashell Award my ass.

Force Itzak Perlman to consume the amount of caffeine and amphetaminesit would take to make an elephant launch patties out its ass like scud missiles and you still couldn't get him to produce more violin music than this film manages in just two hours. It's as if the director, William Nicholson, constantly has to remind everyone that he's making a tear-jerker. It's the equivalent of being trapped in an elevator listening to the pan flute version of "Whole Lotta Love" repeat endlessly.

I'll have you know that "Firelight" won the Silver Seashell Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It says so in the press kit. Do you think a film that feels the need to play up San Sebastian's Silver Seashell Award could possibly be the least bit good? Where the hell is San Sebastian anyway? Hell, I'd bet my collection of Elizabeth Berkeley videos that the people of San Sebastian would give humanitarian awards to the cast of "Different Strokes" if it meant that one more tourist would show up and buy some badly-painted pottery. Silver Seashell Award my ass.

This is like the fifth or sixth film this year with a governess in it. In this case, Sophie Marceau stars as Elisabeth, the Swiss governess who agrees to bear a child for a British Aristocrat (Stephen Dillane). During the intercourse, Sophie and Charles discover feelings for each other, but since Charles is British he believes such feeling might actually be illegal. Elisabeth bears the child. Charles takes it away. Seven years later, after much searching, Elisabeth shows up at Charles's house to be his daughter's governess. She promises not to tell the girl, but suffers terribly (violin music).

Frankly, the initial lovemaking session between Elisabeth and Charles is about the only thing of interest in the film. Let's just say that when Sophie is lying on her back it's like somebody made a couple jello molds out of old British WWI pith elements on her chest. As Charles lies on top, the relationship between their two bodies is like the graph of some infinite function. Their toes touch but as you near their heads Elisabeth is lying their on the bed forming the x-axis while Charles's noggin looks like it might be scraping the ceiling or something as it veers away up the y-axis. It's not the kind of thing you see every day -- especially if you live in San Sebastian.

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