There are many things that a drug addict doesn’t want to hear after a nasty overdose. If you’re Mousse (Carr), the top two contenders for Worst Post-OD News would be (a) your junkie boyfriend (Poupaud, the most photogenic advertisement for heroin chic since Edie Sedgwick) is dead, and (b) you’re pregnant. Faced with those dropped bombs, our young mother-to-be hightails it to a rural chateau owned by her late lover’s family; the deceased’s brother, Paul (Choisy), unexpectedly stops by several months later to keep Mousse company. Despite the fact that she’d rather be alone, the two play out the pantomime of an expectant couple—even after Mousse gets hit on by a prepartum fetishist and Paul takes up with a local gent.
This being a Franois Ozon film, there’s beaucoup simmering sexual tension, as well as the prolific French director’s usual thematic preoccupations: death and grief, familial animosity and female awakening. It also means that you get a handful of lyrical images (the MVP award goes to Carr’s rotund belly protruding out of a milky bath) and a frustrating sense of ponderousness that’s characterized the filmmaker’s work since 2004’s 5x2. Worse, he’s a little off his game; it’s impossible to think that the man who gave us the elegantly elliptical Criminal Lovers would deaden a last-minute twist with a needlessly explanatory voiceover. So-so Ozon is still better than most contemporary European auteurs’ top-shelf work, but the feeling that he’s far more interested in filming Carr’s real-life pregnancy than telling a story—or even creating a distinct mood—never quite goes away.—David Fear
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