Recent drama

Dicte, about a Danish journalist, has a blistering opening. Why would a woman have a towel over her eyes as she gave birth? So she would not see the child before it is taken from her, for adoption. Decades later she sees her mother, calls out to her, and her mother and father ignore her, going into a building which we see is a Jehovah’s Witness church.

After that, it becomes predictable and silly. It is aimed at me: Middle-aged woman saves the day! She gets involved with a criminal surrogate mother ring, against journalistic ethics I understand, steals her colleague’s photographs and gives them to the police yet gets forgiven, and through a series of improbable coincidences apprehends the baddies. Meanwhile her recently divorced ex-husband is an idiot, and she has meaningful conversations with her teenage daughter who loves and respects her, and sex with a dishy paediatrician. Everything is about her feelings.

Aimed at young men starting their first job is New Blood. Young man starting his first serious job saves the day! The new trainee detective constable sees the connections the thick sergeant, who resents him, does not see. He finds a photograph, and finds three of the five people in it have been killed in the past month. Through a series of improbable coincidences, he finds a fourth man, who seems unperturbed that he has something in common with three people who have just died violent deaths. The police sergeant, however, does not notice this oddity. I quite liked the two robotic female assassins. There’s a moment when one of them shoots the witness, but not the Young Hero who is standing beside him, with a whole magazine from an assault rifle, and changes magazine before he thinks to run away. Which multinational corporation is the baddie? Both of them! One is murdering subjects of a medical research programme which went wrong, and the other seeks to reveal this to cause a share collapse and engineer a takeover. Both fail, and the beautiful young assassins murder the executive of one- I did not know which, but it did not matter.

Much, much better is Disparue, about a teenager murdered in Lyon. The city is beautiful: the river with the bridges, the trams, the wide streets. The mother is beautiful, and the camera sits on her face as single muscles in it move, showing changing emotions so beautifully. You have to notice details, like the name of the police officer’s boyfriend on her mobile phone, to follow it. Through a series of reasonable deductions, the police find the clues. They go to see the mother of the prostitute Jenny, a witness. “I had a daughter called Veronique” says the mother, and I gasp at the shock, and the economy of its delivery- what it says about their relationship!

The third is the last series of The Musketeers. Well, bad guys plot, good guys discover them, and after a bit of running about, shouting and sword-play Good Triumphs- it gets repetitive, and scenes of men in rough taverns do too. I am very bored. I have little to do. Much, much better is Versailles. The King sees his new-born baby is black, and his very very intense face gets a degree more intense. His brother attends a ball in a lady’s gown, and I am utterly delighted. Oh for a drama aimed at middle-aged trans women!

Signac, portrait of Felix Feneon

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