#REVIEW: “NORTH STAR” REVIEW
By George Kozera
In NORTH STAR, three sisters reunite at their family home set in the visually sumptuous Itchen Hampshire England area to attend their mother’s third marriage. Katherine (Scarlett Johansson) is a Royal Navy officer, recently promoted to a new position and is ignoring many calls from her partner Jack. Middle sister Victoria (Sienna Miller) is a Hollywood Actress, single again with a 14-year-old son. Georgina (Emily Beecham) is the youngest and is quite emotional as she suspects her husband is having an affair. The mother Diana (Kristin Scott Thomas, who also directs and co-wrote the script) tragically lost two husbands, who were Navy pilots, while in action. We are now deeply entrenched with the world of one sub plot, to a second subplot, to a third subplot ad infinitum.
Don’t mistake the last comment as a negative as I enjoyed NORTH STAR for the most part. Johansson nails the British accent with aplomb and the big reveal as to who Jack is was a surprise. Miller oozes charisma and plays the Hollywood star, always getting what she wants, effectively and likability. I found Beecham’s character overly emotional and mopey, but I’d be mopey as well if I was the baby of the family with more established siblings and am married to someone who may have issues keeping it in his pants. Ever since “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, Scott Thomas has mastered the all-knowing, velvet-fisted character, yet hers was my favourite performance in the movie and I basked in her radiant smile and wisdom. Furthermore, her real-life mother did lose two husbands in combat so this may have contributed to her performance and making this her directorial debut.
Multiple storylines have enhanced many movies (think “Love Actually”) but in NORTH STAR it caused more head scratching than needed. Don’t get me started on the character who crashes the outdoor wedding reception in a helicopter, trying to win Victoria’s affection. Or why did Victoria’s teenaged son get drunk, then get stuck in a tree? Oh, then there’s the private detective that Victoria hired while still in Hollywood by interviewing candidates attending AA meetings in the U.K. So much is needless fodder. The critic in me was irritated while the audience member in me accepted the ride I was being taken on.
NORTH STAR won’t make any dents during the awards season, but there is nothing wrong with just sitting in a darkened theatre and be entertained by a talented ensemble.
NORTH STAR screens TIFF ’23 as follows:
Friday, September 15, 2:45PM, Scotiabank
Saturday, September 16, 2:00PM, Royal Alexandra Theatre