Each week we’re revealing which film we were planning to screen as part of our cancelled April to June season, letting you know where you can find it to watch, and recommending another film connected in some way that we think you might like.
This week’s film would have been THE JESUS ROLLS, an uneven but intriguing crime caper that fleshes out a supporting character from the Coen brothers’ THE BIG LEBOWSKI.
Hours after being released from prison for good behaviour, Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) reunites with his best friend and fellow underachiever Petey (Bobby Cannavale). In the first of a series of rapidly escalating bad decisions, they steal a vintage car parked in front of an upmarket salon and hit the road – until the car’s gun-toting owner (Jon Hamm) catches up with them. Fleeing the scene with the fiercely free-spirited Marie (Audrey Tatou), Jesus and Petey continue their adventure, cementing their partnership with an epic petty-crime spree and a three-way romance.
The film is an intriguing project for the always-watchable Turturro, who writes, directs and stars. While the reprise of the Jesus character from THE BIG LEBOWSKI is what initially grabs the attention, it’s really the only connection between the films. Infact, THE JESUS ROLLS is a remake of a 1974 French farce LES VALSEUSES (aka GOING PLACES).
Our connected recommendation this week is another film featuring John Turturro, Sebastián Lelio’s 2018 romantic comedy drama GLORIA BELL, which we screened in July 2019.
Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles. After meeting Arnold (John Turturro) on a night out, she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with both the joys of budding love and the complications of dating, identity, and family. From Academy Award-winning director Sebastián Lelio, this sophisticated romantic comedy shows love can strike at any time, relationships are never simple, and nothing can get you down as long as you keep dancing.
We’re a big fan of Chilean writer / director Sebastián Lelio at HIC, with his films A FANTASTIC WOMAN and DISOBEDIENCE having also featured in our programme. GLORIA BELL is an English language remake of his own earlier film GLORIA. Critics swooned over Moore’s “magnetically watchable, fully inhabited, offhandedly sexy performance” (Daily Telegraph), although Moore and the film as a whole was inexplicably overlooked when it came to awards season. The film is available on Netflix and to rent or buy on a range of other platforms.