InsideOut 2004 - UPDATE #4
Directed by Ella Lemhagen
Immediate Boarding is a charming little movie that uses The Parent Trap's premise as a springboard for further mixed identity high jinks. Starring newcomer Amanda Davin as both Martin and Julia, the film follows the two 11-year-olds as they trade lives after a fortuitous meeting at an airport. This leads to many wacky sequences, including Martin-as-Julia forced to wear a dress and Julia-as-Martin developing a crush on his cousin. Director Ella Lemhagen imbues the film with a light touch and keeps the pace brisk, though she unfortunately takes her time in wrapping things up (once Martin and Julia's ruse is discovered, there's not much more story to tell). Actress Davin does a marvelous job of portraying both Julia and Martin, to the extent that it's virtually impossible to discern her actual sex (knowing that her real name is Amanda helps, though).
Directed by Amal Bedjaoui
Though it's almost relentlessly downbeat, A Son is nonetheless a rewarding and intriguing look at the relationship between a young man and his father. Selim (Mohamed Hicham) earns his living working as a gigolo, something he's never been able to admit to his father, Omar (Hammou Graïa). It becomes obvious fairly quickly that Selim and Omar aren't exactly close, as evidenced by Omar's refusal to take Selim's money for a much-needed operation. Director Amal Bedjaoui takes his time in setting up this admittedly slim storyline, though it's never boring (it probably helps that the film runs just under an hour). Both Hicham and Graïa are very effective in their respective roles, with Graïa a particular standout (the actor has one amazing scene in which he learns of his son's profession, and his reaction is just as subtle and understated as one might expect out of such a man).