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Slow Even for a Slow-Burn.
on 9 January 2013
Kristin Scott-Thomas seems to be an extremely busy actress who has cornered the market on doing hyper intense things in French. This one is a typical piece of Gallic slow-burn art house cinema. Typical of the French is that they manage to throw in a bit of eroticism in a film that to be fair needed a bit of livening up. Scott-Thomas plays a surgeon at a prison hospital who is kidnapped by a man with a grudge. The film is mainly set in the confines of the cell like room she is kept prisoner in. We then get something of a case study in Stockholm Syndrome. Writer/director Lola Doillon manages to keep you guessing about the films conclusion.
Hats off to Scott-Thomas once again who gives a very powerful performance in the central role. By the time you have finished watching this you will be left in no doubt that she is a very fine actress indeed. Time seems to have been kinder to her than many and I suspect she has been supping from the fountain of eternal youth. There are some decent scenes between her and the kidnapper played by Pio Marmai. Given the short running time the Scott-Thomas character is well fleshed out, something the French seem to be good at. She is found to be a lonely character, brought about by the selfish pursuit of her career. The calm aloof professional exterior is stripped away whilst incarcerated to reveal a more vulnerable person. Alas the film does seem to run out of ideas. Marmai's character is not fleshed out in the same way and the film ends unsatisfactorily. I was left with the feeling that there had been no purpose to the movie, and surely that is one of the main purposes of most art house films? You will have to view it yourself to decide if I am right or wrong! It is a film that certainly has its moments, but one that will not linger long in my memory, which is of course the true acid test for a good film.