Boxing Day (15)
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Time Out says
Tue Dec 18 2012British director Bernard Rose brings his exemplary trilogy of modern-day updates of short works by Leo Tolstoy to a close with this version of the story ‘Master and Man’, about a rich man and a peasant caught in wintry conditions. As ever, the attractively louche and world-weary Danny Huston stars, this time as Basil, an embattled and haughty property speculator from Los Angeles who abandons his family to take a post-Christmas tour of foreclosed properties in snowy Denver in the company of Nick (Matthew Jacobs), a schlubby, likeable driver with marital woes. Rose continues in the improvisatory, handheld style of the two previous films in the series, ‘Ivansxtc’ (2000) and ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’ (2008), and his spin on Tolstoy’s story proves timely and persuasive: as the weather becomes colder, so a thaw develops between Basil and Nick’s more attractive everyman. The backdrop of the current financial crisis lends ‘Boxing Day’ a further relevance. Neither this nor its predecessor matches the bite of ‘Ivansxtc’, but this is clever and topical nonetheless.
Author: Dave Calhoun