Thursday, January 23, 2014
Rachid Bouchareb (shown immediately below), a Parisian-born filmmaker of (I am guessing) Algerian ancestry -- Days of Glory, the Oscar-nominated Outside the Law and now JUST LIKE A WOMAN -- I am also guessing that this director doesn't care to go very deeply into character. He's best when he can spin events and action into quite watchable, if somewhat predictable, movies. He also may be a bit more comfortable in the company of men, as the first two films mentioned above are a lot better than his latest endeavor -- even if that film was written by two women: Joelle Touma and Marion Doussot. Supposedly the first film in a planned Arab-American trilogy, this movie has us dearly hoping that the next two are better.
Sienna Miller and Golshifteh Farahani (of Chicken With Plums and The Patience Stone) as put-upon wives. Miller's hubby's an unemployed adulterer, while Farahani's is a decent man unfortunately in thrall to his abusive mother. That he's played by the crack French actor Roschdy Zem (shown in photo at bottom) helps tilt the movie back toward an intelligent balance rather than what it most appears to be: simple-minded feminism-lite. When events get out of hand for our two gals -- how and why make up the most interes-ting part of the film -- they leave Chicago to go on the road together.
Ms Miller (above) is ballsy and competent, as ever, but it takes a more richly conceived, written and directed movie (Factory Girl or Interview) for her to shine a bit. Ms Farahani (below) seems mostly sweet and unaffected in the more passive role.
Cohen Media Group, Just Like a Woman -- a title as generic and marketing-oriented as you could want -- is available now on Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video & on Blu-ray/DVD.