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BEAN

SYNOPSIS:
In the autumn of 1997, a very rich benefactor (Burt Reynolds) donates a gift of $50,000,000 to the Grierson Gallery of California, to bring Americaís greatest painting, Whistlerís Mother, back home. The trustees of the Gallery want an eminent art scholar to dignify the unveiling ceremony, and invite the Royal National Gallery of England to send their finest academician to oversee the proceedings. But Ö the British do not send their greatest scholar. Instead, they dispatch their most detested and inept employee, the man who falls asleep on the job as a gallery watchman, Bean (Rowan Atkinson) in a desperate attempt to get him out of their lives. If disaster has a human face, itís probably Beanís: he weaves his peculiar magic in art galleries, hospitals, airports and private homes. When Bean does America, it stays done.

"Buffoon Bean is bean-tastic! Mr Bean fans everywhere will rejoice that their anti-hero is now cavorting his off-the-wall antics on the big screen. Bean, the movie, combines the mastery of the Rowan Atkinson style of comedic skills with a funny script that will leave you laughing inside and out. Itís that acute observation of human nature and acceptable social etiquette, then taking it a few steps too far, that endears us to Mr Bean. As a holder of a first class airline ticket, who canít relate to Beanís mischievous need to show off his elite status. We laugh with him, knowing that behind that hugely expressive, distinctive face with impossible contortions and grimaces, not only does he understand the joke, he has created it. The joke is two-fold: even when we know the direction it is heading, the execution is so ridiculously absurd and blatantly funny, we get the humour-hit twice. Ardent viewers of the television series who are familiar with his every theme, will probably get the most out of this film - the impact of the scene with the huge turkey stuffed in the microwave is compounded by the classic turkey skit - although having said that, those being initiated into the club for the first time, will discover Atkinsonís humour for themselves as easily as a baby finds his thumb. If your life feels like a disaster area, enter a land of utter nonsense with the magical character of Mr Bean and let your endorphins do the work. (Wait until the very end of the credits - thereís a pay off.) "
Louise Keller

"Right on, Louise, this is one funny human bean, with only a modicum of conscience and a bottomless pit of self serving childishness. The big question around the feature length episode of Bean was could he sustain for an hour and a half. Atkinson and his two co-writers have answered that with a solid script that stitches together a series of situations with the greatest of ease. To his great credit, director Smith holds his cast firmly straight, with Atkinsonís exception of course, to give Bean a real environment. This bolsters the movieís semi-farcical elements and makes it possible for us to laugh at Beanís victims with a degree of pity that endows the madness with something akin truth. (Gawd forbid!) But the most striking quality of Smithís direction - and of course the scriptís premise - is the expertly signposted comedy. Our anticipation is delicious and the payoffs always hit the bullseye. Many of the laughs come from the character/situation, but just as many are physical - like Jim Carrey, who is currently amusing us in Liar,Liar, Atkinson uses his face as a comic tool. Bean appeals to the child in us with his self centred parade through the street of life, but there are a few adult laughs as well; mostly of sheer terror that he might happen to us one day."
Andrew L. Urban

"Rowan Atkinson's degree of slapstick, rubbery faced humour has always been an acquired taste: turning the comic's half-hour TV series into a film would be risk-taking at best. But somehow it works, and ends up as 90 minutes of pure hilarity, a deft combination of farce and humanity, aided by a script that gives the Bean character more to work with. Unlike his TV series, Bean actually learns by his mistakes and the major disaster he bestows on his new-found Californian friend is cleverly and comically rectified. Bean moves snappily along under the sharp direction of Mel Smith, there are some memorable moments, such a hospital sequence in which Bean is mistaken for a surgeon. It's simple humour and the character is based on many classic clowns, yet Atkinson gives the performance something broader than what movie audiences are used to. Nicely written by (among others) Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Bean is one of those rare comedies that we don't see much of these days: one that emits from its audience a continuous belly laugh. It's a wonderfully chaotic comedy that never pretends to be more than it is, and a joyful surprise."
Paul Fischer

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MEL SMITH INTERVIEW
ROWAN ATKINSON

BEAN (M)
(UK)

CAST: Rowan Atkinson, Burt Reynolds, Peter Egan, John Mills, Peter Capaldi, June Brown, Peter James, Clive Corner, Harris Yulin, Rob Brownstein, Julia Pearlstein, Peter MacNicol

DIRECTOR: Mel Smith

PRODUCER: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Peter Bennett-Jones

SCRIPT: Richard Curtis, Robin Driscoll, Rowan Atkinson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Francis Kenny

EDITOR: Chris Blunden

MUSIC: Howard Goodall

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Peter Larkin

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 3, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: May 27, 1998







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