Film, Drama
0 Love It
Save it

It’s almost certain you’ll be lost during French writer-director Claire Denis’s obscured, bracingly angry portrait of a French family undone by its failures and perversities. However, that is the point, and it makes for a difficult yet rewarding experience.

Vincent Lindon plays a ship’s captain who abandons his post to seek revenge on the person who destroyed his family, though his motives aren’t laid out so much as abstractly implied. Working with her usual cinematographer, Agnès Godard, Denis (‘Beau Travail’, ‘35 Shots of Rum’) conjures a mesmerisingly morbid atmosphere (rain-slicked city streets, a dingy barn in which something terrible went down) and populates the film with all number of noir types, from a richer-than-God businessman (Michel Subor) to a catatonically damaged young woman (Lola Créton) with a secret.

It all builds to an unforgettably lurid finale that snaps this punch-drunk nightmare into fearsome focus.

By: Keith Uhlich


Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday February 7 2014
Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Claire Denis
Screenwriter: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau
Cast: Vincent Lindon
Chiara Mastroianni
Julie Bataille
Lola Créton
Michel Subor
Grégoire Colin
Alex Descas
1 person listening

This film is definitely NOT what you expect. It is very fractured and disconnected. I am not quite sure what point the director wanted to make. In a very clumsy way it appears to have the message that the abuse of females is hugely caused by women who victimise themselves and don't see how much they contribute to their misery and that of other women. All a bit harsh and ignorant. I found it shallow and cheap, stale and psychopathic with too many cliches.