Sensitively and elegantly made - albeit in a determinedly old-fashioned way - Claude Miller's film is based on a novel by Emmanuel Carrère about the experiences of a shy sheltered boy allowed to go on a school trip to the Alps. A teacher's concern over the lad's behaviour, not to mention his repeated nightmares, convinces him that there's something terribly amiss in his charge's life. You got it: this is another case of sexual abuse (the big issue for serious-minded film-makers in '98, it seems), and while it's hard to fault either the superb performances or Miller's treatment of a tricky subject, the film doesn't ever really work in dramatic terms. It all seems just a bit too obvious.
Cast and crew
Claude Miller, Emmanuel Carrère
Clément Van Den Bergh