The Dancing Bear by Michael MorpurgoI fancied something light to read last night, and as I love animals, I decided to select a paperback from one of my two Michael Morpurgo box sets.
This was a touching and emotional story about a little girl who rescues a malnourished bear cub and brings it into her village, where it becomes a large part of their close-knit community.
At times this story was a fun read, but it turned out not to be quite as light-hearted as I had hoped, resulting in tears and me feeling a little heart broken at one stage.
Cannes Film Review: ‘Two Lovers and a Bear’
Fair warning: If a romance about beautiful, miserable people is your least favorite indie subgenre, this may not be your cup of tea. But writer-director Kim Nguyen has some inspired surprises in store, for better and for worse, as well as some striking scenery and a pair of strong performances from its stars. He creates a vivid sense of place in the small-town far North — Iqaluit, Nunavut, is the setting — capturing vast expanses of white that are as beautiful as they are unforgiving as well as the gritty intimacy of daily existence. But rather than freak out upon the arrival of a talking bear, as anyone would, Roman talks back. Roman and Lucy are young, in love and scraping by with barely-paying jobs. They spend their days ice fishing and cheering snowmobile races and their nights drinking whatever alcohol they can get their hands on when supply shipments arrive by plane. Nguyen drops us right in and efficiently depicts who these people are and what their life together is like.
In Two Lovers and a Bear, Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan continue to lead you to wonder if what you saw in them was a fluke or they just have had really bad taste in roles ever since. Thus leading them to break up, him drinking himself into a stupor, her visiting him in rehab, and then them running away together. As does a talking polar bear Gordon Pinsent that Roman has a close relationship with. Heck, he even questions whether it is a god. There is something in her smile, something in her vulnerability, her strength, that just draws you in.
In Theaters. Coming Soon. Best of Netflix. Best of Amazon. Two Lovers and a Bear Generally favorable reviews based on 12 Critics. See All.
Two Lovers and A Bear - Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan Interview
There are only two reasons why anyone would live as far north as the aptly named Apex, a tiny town in the Canadian province of Nunavut, which is accessible only by plane and so cut off from the rest of the world, it might as well be Mars. Either folks were born there and had no other choice in the matter, or else something really terrible happened back home, and they ran away to the farthest place they could possibly find. Midway through the movie, after Roman suffers a breakdown rather masochistically designed to give Lucy the freedom to leave town, she spends the last of her savings to charter a plane and visit him in a rehab clinic, where they have urgent, animal-like sex in a spare room. More effective is the long, snow-bound sequence that follows, once Roman and Lucy set out on their snowmobiles to re-concentrate on their connection to one another. Faced with a massive storm, they take shelter in a giant, abandoned bunker that clearly dates back to the Cold War, exploring its forbidden spaces — including a control room that appears capable of launching nuclear missiles at Russia — like two naughty children. Here in this incredible location, Nguyen actively encourages our imaginations to go wild, teasing anxieties that typically only come out in the most effective horror movies. Somehow, in the final stretch, Nguyen has transformed what felt like a relatively generic, un-special indie love story into something totally unpredictable, taking full advantage of the gorgeous widescreen lensing to convey the atmosphere and magic of his locations including breathtaking footage of the Aurora Borealis.
The film follows the lives of Roman and Lucy, two people living difficult lives in a small, frozen town of Apex, Nunavut , Canada. Roman tells her that he cannot leave and go south again, because of dark things in his own past. He tries to get her to go without him, and is even pushed to the brink of suicide. Eventually, he knows that he must go with her. Roman can talk to bears which only he, it seems, can hear talking back, and a polar bear who talks to him about life makes several appearances in the story.