×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Au Pair

Idiotic in the extreme, "Au Pair" gives its nanny heroine the full Harlequin Romance treatment, effectively bumping it out of fest and arthouse circuits. Still, it boasts the salable combo of snazzy leads, glossy lensing and a hooky premise. Look for a long life in vid rentals and dub-happy Euro webs.

Idiotic in the extreme, “Au Pair” gives its nanny heroine the full Harlequin Romance treatment, effectively bumping it out of fest and arthouse circuits. Still, it boasts the salable combo of snazzy leads, glossy lensing and a hooky premise. Look for a long life in vid rentals and dub-happy Euro webs.

Opening scenes in Wales detail the disaffection of 17-year-old Susan (Clare Woodgate) with her quiet seaside village, busy veterinarian mom and loutish b.f. (Justin Chadwick). Learning of a job in Germany, Susan goes Continental, and the rest takes place in a Munich where no one (except lowly workers) speaks German. Nominally looking after the oddly voiceless child of narcissistic TV executive Barbara (Elizabeth Schofield) and dorky architect Ivo (Dale Ripley), the Welsh lass tumbles for Barbara’s “assistant,” Walter, a cold-fish cad whose job appears to consist of smoking cigarettes and taking off his sunglasses just so.

Susan and the others fall in and out of “love,” but they all remain ciphers, with relentless soap-opera music to pump up unearned emotions (minor-key synths drone even when characters order coffee). Chadwick makes the best impression: His adolescent rock-singer role is written as a working-class buffoon, but he provides the only discernible heart. Schofield is simply awful, with flat Sandra Bernhard mannerisms grating against a supposedly elegant role.

It’s a creaky bodice-ripper in which no bodices are ever ripped, but the pic is slickly shot. And Woodgate’s pretty, pudgy face is a conveniently blank screen upon which unformed adolescent minds can project vague stirrings without the intrusion of pesky reality or modern politics.

Au Pair

(GERMAN-BRITISH)

Production: An Angelika Films release of a Hermes Film GmbH (Munich) production, for Bayerischer Rudfunk and Teliesyn, Wales. Produced by Angelika Weber, Thomas Hernadi. Directed by Weber. Screenplay, Hernadi, Greg Dinner.

Crew: Camera (color) Marian Sloboda; editor, Alexander Rupp; music, Gerhard Daum; sound, David Heinemann. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (non-competing), Sept. 1, 1994. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Clare Woodgate, Justin Chadwick, Elizabeth Schofield, Karl Tessler, Dale Rapley, Anna Nieland, Wilke Durant, Myriam Weber.

More Film

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content