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Tale of warring clans seems apt for Christmas

The Oranges (15)

HHH

Dir: Julian Farino

With: Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener

Runtime: 90 minutes

JUST in time to get you in the Christmas spirit, a comedy drama about families imploding.

The clans in question are the Wallings and the Ostroffs, pals in a New Jersey suburb for years until Mr Walling (Hugh Laurie), deep in a mid-life crisis, behaves rather too neighbourly towards the Ostroff's grown-up daughter.

With the likes of Laurie, Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich), Allison Janney and Oliver Platt (both The West Wing), Julian Farino's comedy drama bubbles along in a satisfyingly soapy way for a while. Farino (Entourage) knows how to set up a tale, but this soon settles into a humdrum groove.

I, Anna (15)

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Dir: Barnaby Southcombe

With: Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne

Runtime: 91 minutes

CHARLOTTE Rampling and Gabriel Byrne lend their acting heft to a tale that ultimately proves too ambitious for its own good.

Adapted from the novel by Elsa Lewin, Rampling plays the titular Anna, a woman trying to begin her life again after her marriage ends.

Director Barnaby Southcombe (Rampling's son) aims to make a neo-noir from the story of Anna and the detective (Byrne) who crosses her path, but he also wants to weave in a study of depression too.

The two fail to gel, and what starts out as intriguingly bleak simply becomes suffocatingly gloomy.

You Will Be My Son (N/C 15)

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Dir: Gilles Legrand

With: Niels Arestrup, Lorant Deutsch

Runtime: 102 minutes

FIRST shown as part of the French Film Festival, Gilles Legrand's fathers versus sons drama is deservedly given a longer run.

Niels Arestrup (a favourite of many since A Prophet) stars as Paul de Marseul, vineyard owner. Marseul is reaching a point in his life when he has to start thinking about passing the family estate on to his son.

However, he thinks his son is the entrepreneurial equivalent of plonk. Should he ask the son of his chief winemaker, fresh from the Coppola estate, instead? It's a bland affair initially, but stick with it and it becomes something much tastier.

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, tomorrow-December 13; Glasgow Film Theatre, December 14-20.

Contextual targeting label: 
Families

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