Movie Diary 2/6/2018

The Insult (Ziad Doueiri, 2017). An Oscar nominee this year from Lebanon, maybe with influences from Asghar Farhadi’s films, or possibly my man Henrik Ibsen. A dumb brush-up in a Beirut street – between a Palestinian immigrant construction foreman and a right-wing Christian nationalist – metastasizes into a headline-grabbing court case. It diverges from Kafkaesque absurdity when Doueiri makes it clear he has a social purpose in all this, and things tend to be overstated. Still, it’s a robust depiction of how the public conversation has sunk into the mire of offended egos and knee-jerk nationalism. (full review 2/9)

The Circle (aka Vicious Circle, Gerald Thomas, 1957). John Mills plays a complacent London doctor who ends up with a dead woman in his flat after he does a favor for a friend. A workable “wrong man” scenario, with Mills in decent form and Wilfrid Hyde-White as a bonus. The location work has tasty time-capsule appeal.

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