With her divisive 2007 debut, ‘The Unpolished’, it was hard to tell whether German director Pia Marais was in control of the anarchic visuals she hurled at the lens of her probing camera. This expertly controlled second film suggests that she was. It's a coolly precise study of the vicissitudes of middle age in which a capricious air hostess (Jeanne Balibar, giving a muted but expressive performance) decides to dip her toe into the murky ocean of animal rights. Tough, dispassionate but also amusing and honest, it's only when the final credits roll that you realise this is a film dealing in ideas and provocations rather than pandering to cosy dramatic convention, and it’s all the more intriguing for it.
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