19 May 2008

No, not *that* Police band

"The Band's Visit" — an Israeli film that practically swept its country's awards, not to mention nods from Cannes, Montreal and some other fests — is playing in Columbus now, and I highly recommend it. It's billed as a black comedy about an Egyptian ceremonial police band stuck in the middle of the desert in Israel.

I expected lots of madcap fish-out-of-water humor. There was none of that.

Instead, this is a melancholy riff on loneliness and isolation. And the most isolated person turns out not to be the beautiful restaurateur in Noweheresville, but the guy from the big city. The film is not laugh-out-loud funny. It's not wipe-your-eyes sad. In fact, it feels a bit like a trifle, but it is touching and worth your time.

In Columbus, it's at the Peachtree 8 through Thursday. Elsewhere, look for a rental soon.

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