Time Out saysOn the basis of this very dour melodrama, writer-director Odoul could build a reputation for anti-chic. ‘Errance’ is a brutalist period piece offering three lengthy scenes from a marriage, from 1968 (the year of the the director’s birth) through to 1973, as heavy-drinking, Algerian War vet Jacques (Benoît Magimel) debases his long-suffering, if presumably loved, bourgeois missus Lou (ex-model Laetitia Casta) and their young son. Much of the film is set in a beach hut on the Mediterranean coast, but this ain’t no ‘Betty Blue’. The sex here is desultory; Odoul keeps that of the couple offscreen, only letting us see Jacques’ infidelities (filmed in long-shot, presumably to emphasis the bestial). Some scenes – such as a woman screaming soundlessly behind plate glass – seem to suggest Odoul is playing with Fassbinder-esque melodrama, but by the end it feels more like loss of directorial control. Many of the criminal ‘faces’ are beautifully cast and Magimel gives an unsettlingly brave portrait of barely self-comprehending self-loathing; but the movie’s unyielding moral blankness renders it merely depressing.
Fri Jul 22, 2005