She floored many a male, including this one, in ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’; is a constant in the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ series and has been described by the esteemed Times of London as ‘…theatrical Viagra…’ for some of her stage show performances. She is fearless, is Ms Reilly – this late thirties stunner who eschews the usual red carpet nonsense of stardom; rather devoting herself to improving her craft than to the trappings of fame – she’s no celebrity in the classic mode.
So I was anticipating delight when I marched off to the State to see this red headed, sublimely freckled English rose strut her chops in her third collaboration with French Director Cedric Kaplisch for ‘Chinese Puzzle’. This is the latest part of a trilogy that follows the lives of a coterie of Parisians in various world cities. There was no baring of Kelly’s beauteous body as occurred in MHP – this time all pleasures in that regard fell to the also distinctly alluring Cécile de France and her bed mate – but she charmed this fan to the max nonetheless. Kaplisch’s ‘Paris’ is another of his oeuvre that is worth seeking out and also stars Romain Duris, the male focus of ‘Chinese Puzzle’, who, along with the awesome Audrey Tatou, features in each of the director’s threesome that began with ‘The Spanish Apartment’. He then built on the first with ‘Russian Dolls’ (set in St Petersburg as well as the city of love on the Seine) and now we see our lead man battling the forties in this culmination to date. It is a treat revisiting these characters and being privy to the continuation of their personal journeys, beginning in Barcelona in 2002. This trio of engaging movies are akin to Richard Linklater’s ‘Before Sunrise’ franchise – only lasting for an extended period, as opposed to a single twenty-four hours, the hallmark of the latter. Daris’ Xavier is a writer, now achieving success with a best seller. Due to family circumstance he has relocated to the gritty China Town area of the Big Apple, but his love-life continues to be a confused ‘puzzle’ of interweaving pieces. This remains the case for some of the other members of the ensemble cast as well. All the protagonists have their foibles – for X it is his self absorption; for Kelly’s Wendy it’s her deference to her new hubby at old one X’s expense. Cécile de France’s Isabel has difficulty is in remaining faithful to her lesbian lover. As for Audrey’s Martine, she’s as scatty as ever. One example of the many delights of this offering is the way the back-story is put together at it’s commencement, the audience receiving a visual representation of the characters’ ageing. To my mind, though, the women involved are simply ageless in their beauty.
The director has dropped hints that there may indeed be a fourth instalment. That would again see me dashing hopefully to the North Hobart cinema house for yet another feasting on Ms Reilly.