Give Me Your Hand

Film
3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

The road trip movie is generally as overdone as it is underthought, putting mismatched travelers together on a journey of pithy life lessons and pat self-realization. What’s refreshing about Pascal-Alex Vincent’s dramatically thin but richly atmospheric feature debut is that it recognizes the essential truth of the conceit: all seminal voyages are journeys of heightened awareness, as visceral as they are emotional.

Almost too schematic to take seriously, twin brothers (Alexandre and Victor Carril) hike their way from a small French town to a Spanish village in order to attend their estranged mother’s funeral. But the plot takes a backseat to the biblical tension between these young men, whose coming of age communicates itself as a series of erotic land mines. Here, sex is commerce, competition and liberation; when a sibling discovers his homosexuality, their kinship ruptures almost irrevocably.

Considering the film is almost totally bereft of dialogue, this brotherly bond is disappointingly spartan, and the actors’ austere, uninflected performances often keep the characterizations at a damagingly anemic level. Then again, there are sequences in Give Me Your Hand of such intense pastoral imagery—some beautiful, others volatile—that they take the boys’ inner lives and effectively project them outward into nature. The film’s narrative is dissolute, yet its images of an abstract, elemental version of the world are so evocative of a particular life moment that the movie actually feels far more alive than most portraits of budding adulthood.—Stephen Garrett

Opens Fri; Quad. Find showtimes

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