Review: ‘Solo Shuttle’

Produced by David Cohen. Co-producers, David Carr Brown, Joe McAllister, Nicholas Cohen.

Produced by David Cohen. Co-producers, David Carr Brown, Joe McAllister, Nicholas Cohen.

Directed, written by David Cohen. Camera (color), David Carr Brown; editor, Joe McAllister; music, Kevin Bacon, Jon Quarmby; production designers, Jo Wise, David Lloyd Jones; costumes, Lolo Strutz. Reviewed at Channel 4 screening room, London, July 8, 1998. (In Wizards & Demons Film Week, London.) (English and French dialogue.) Running time: 104 MIN.

With: Virginie Aster, Jean Yves Berteloot, John Shrapnel, Alex Jennings, Sean Hughes, Kulvinder Ghir, Claire Price, Bryan Murray, Alexandra London.

First movie inspired by the Eurostar London-Paris train line beneath the English Channel, “Solo Shuttle” is an interesting cross-cultural fling that’s upset by weak dialogue and a wobbly dramatic line. Shot in summer ’97 and screened on Euro cultural web Arte in summer ’98, it’s getting a bigscreen London showing in a week of movies devoted to mental health issues, marking the 30th anni of Judy Garland’s death.

Frenchwoman Juliette (Virginie Aster) is a Eurostar immigration officer who dumps her married lover (Jean Yves Berteloot) when he chucks her laptop out the window after reading her electronic diary. She takes up with political activist Frank (Kulvinder Ghir) in London and gets drawn into his plan to smuggle three Somali refugees into Blighty. Aster has molto physical presence but is only ho-hum as an actress, and dialogue, like the movie’s many strands, swings back and forth between the naturalistic and overblown. Helmer David Cohen, a trained psychologist who bowed with lively relationship comedy “The Pleasure Principle” (1991) back in the dark days of Brit cinema, turns in a pro tech job but needs more help on the writing level.

Solo Shuttle

(DRAMA -- BRITISH-FRENCH)

Production

A Psychology News production for La Sept/Arte, in association with Yorkshire Media Production Agency and Arena Digital. (International sales: Jane Balfour Films, London.)
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