Movie spotlights: 'October Baby,' 'Delicacy' and 'Sound of Noise'

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT
  • Updated: March 22, 2012 - 2:38 PM
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Jason Burkey and Rachel Hendrix in "October Baby."

Photo: Provident Films,

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OCTOBER BABY

The world is divided between people who will respond to this anti-abortion drama with shouts of "Amen" and sighs of "Oh, brother." While I wouldn't touch its political content with a 20-foot triple-insulated pole, its craft is fair game for comment. For the first hour, it's pretty darned good, handsomely produced and proficiently acted, with a script more engaging than your average teen-centric dramedy.

Central character Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) is sad and confused and asks her journal why she's alive. Turns out her teen angst is justified: Her parents aren't her biological mom and dad, and she was the survivor of an incomplete late-term abortion. Hannah sets out on a road trip with friends to find her birth mother, and for an hour, the film is a surprisingly lighthearted and entertaining travelogue. The closer Hannah gets to her goal, the more insistent the sermonizing becomes. By the time she confronts the woman who rejected her (a careerist lawyer), we are neck-deep in Lifetime TV bathos.

Directed by Christian rock video specialists Andrew and Jon Erwin, this is a film that will change no minds. In order to spark a healthy debate it should be on a double bill with Mike Leigh's "Vera Drake," Alexander Payne's "Citizen Ruth," or Tony Kaye's documentary "Lake of Fire," films that dig deep into the abortion quandary and challenge preconceptions of every stripe. Ironically, "October Baby" is distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films, whose namesake famously advised, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union."

  • ★★ out of four stars
  • Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic material.
  • RottenTomatoes.com: read reviews
  • Showtimes: view listings

 

DELICACY

From its very title, it's clear that "Delicacy" aims to be a sweet, light French trifle. That it is. Bereaved Audrey Tautou ("Amélie") believes that the sudden death of her dreamboat bridegroom means she's destined for a life bereft of perfect love. Well, if love weren't right around every Parisian corner, France wouldn't have much of a movie industry, would it? Could it be her slick, aggressive boss?

Perhaps it's her shaggy, shambling Swedish-born co-worker (François Damiens), a gauche lummox who happens to be irresistibly endearing. Tautou is the nominal star, and her journey back from heartache is the film's focus, but Damiens' neurotic suitor is the main attraction.

  • ★★★ out of four stars
  • Rated: PG-13 for language. In subtitled French and Swedish.
  • RottenTomatoes.com: read reviews
  • Showtimes: view listings

 

SOUND OF NOISE

Great premise, middling execution. This Swedish comedy imagines a band of guerrilla musicians enraged by the lousy tunes that pollute everyday life and determined to do something about it. They execute surprise raids on a Muzak-numbed hospital, Malmö's stuffy concert hall, and even the city's power grid, banging out raucous compositions designed to rouse the world from its sonic stupor.

The film is a collection of aural jokes, including a great Haydn gag and a wickedly clever car chase that is scored in real time by the drummer who's riding in the getaway vehicle. The trouble begins with a needless subplot including a music-averse policeman named Amadeus on the culprits' tail. Still, when the masked gang bursts into a bank shouting, "This is a gig!" you've got to laugh.

  • ★★ out of four stars
  • Rated: R for language, brief nudity. In subtitled Swedish.
  • RottenTomatoes.com: read reviews
  • Showtimes: view listings

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