Six Videos To Look Out For | Fast Scans

These films to add to your queue include 1970s boarding school scenes, World War I as experienced by Scottish villagers, Éric Rohmer’s tangy trio, and a late-life romance amid Irish scenery.

The Aviator’s Wife. 106 min. 1981. Blu-ray UPC 738329264642. Rated: PG.

Boyfriends and Girlfriends. 107 min. 1987. Blu-ray UPC 738329264666. Rated: PG.

Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle. 99 min. 1987. Blu-ray UPC 738329264659.

Ea. vol.: In French w/English subtitles. Kino Lorber. $29.99. ROM-COM/DRAMEDY

One of the grand masters of minimalist French cinema, Éric Rohmer (1920–2010) made “Comedies and Proverbs,” a series of thematically linked films, which includes The Aviator’s Wife, where a young man catches his girlfriend’s former partner exiting her flat one morning, causing much consternation and a day’s worth of detective work. In Boyfriends and Girlfriends, a pair of gal pals are attracted to each other’s lovers, putting their casual friendship on the line. Not a part of the series but very typical Rohmer, Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle also follows two fast female friends. After deciding to share an apartment, the two women go on to encounters with an insufferable waiter, a subway-station hustler, and a patronizing art-gallery proprietor. VERDICT The deft director’s deceptively light, ironic view leaves a curiously tangy aftertaste, best enjoyed by viewers with expansive attention spans.

The Holdovers. 134 min. Focus Features. 2023. DVD UPC 191329241974. $29.99; Blu-ray UPC 191329241967. $35.99. Rated: R. DRAMEDY

Paul Giamatti finally reunites with his Sideways (2006) director Alexander Payne for an Oscar-caliber performance as a cranky classics instructor at a New England boarding school, circa early ’70s, who’s put in charge of the handful of students left on campus over Christmas break. Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa) proves to be the most problematic holdover but gradually forges a bond with his hidebound teacher as well as the grieving school cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) who lost her son in Vietnam. VERDICT Hilarious and bittersweet, this grade-A film looks and feels of its era.

My Sailor, My Love. 103 min. Music Box. 2022. DVD UPC 751778951994. $29.99. DRAMA

A widowed sea captain, cranky and obstinate Howard (James Cosmo) has become too much to handle for his overly stressed daughter Grace (Catherine Walker) who hires a septuagenarian housekeeper, Annie (Bríd Brennan), for help. After a rocky start, Howard and Annie hit it off only too well, ostracizing Grace with their late-life romance. In the capable hands of Finnish director Klaus Härö and a marvelous cast, melodramatic material benefits from a restrained but still affecting treatment. VERDICT Lovely Irish scenery adds to the movie’s appeal, especially for older viewers.

The Road Dance. 116 min. Music Box. 2021. DVD UPC 751778951987. $29.99. DRAMA

In a remote Scottish village during WWI, young Kirsty (Hermione Corfield) falls for her first boyfriend, smitten Murdo (Will Fletcher), who’s soon called up to fight and reportedly killed in action. Meanwhile, Kirsty, with the help of her widowed mom and sister, has been recovering from the trauma and pregnancy that resulted from a rape. When her premature infant dies, Kirsty is inconsolable and attempts suicide before finally finding happiness. VERDICT Minor film-festival awards show the draw of director Richie Adams’s touching tearjerker as critics cry foul.

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