A fight over the calf of a prize milk cow in the close-knit and traditional Pas Valley of Cantabria leaves a cantankerous dairy farmer dead and another fearful of arrest. He and his ... See full summary »
The Pope is in town and the night of his visit is anything but heavenly for some of Berlin's inhabitants. The down-and-out, the rich and the poor, the polizei, the street kids and taxi ... See full summary »
In the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world, the Police are frustrated by a gang committing a series of violent robberies. Leo Vrinks and Denis Klein are two cops seeking promotion, ... See full summary »
Parisian murder detective commissioner Pierre Niemans is called to Gueron, a self-sufficient, prestigious university in a mountain valley, to investigate the murder on 32-year old professor... See full summary »
This tragicomedy is a self-ironic portrait of a young man who drops out of university and ends up wandering the streets of the city he lives: Berlin. The film deals with the desire to ... See full summary »
Jan Ole Gerster
Justus von Dohnányi
Alan (28) works at the Tourist Information Desk in Dublin Airport. Alice is a American on standby in the airport. eight years ago, Alan and Alice had a romance which ended badly. Now every ... See full summary »
Gérard and Hélène are set to begin a new life together in Argentina. At the last minute, Gérard decides to separate and leaves his partner stranded at the airport. Unwilling to turn to her sister and emotionally traumatised, the abandoned Hélène makes the airport her home. She makes money by working as a prostitute and strikes up a friendship with a café worker Marco. It is a precarious lifestyle but she has mastered her dependency on men - or has she?
Astonishing that this powerful film should pass almost unnoticed when it was released in the summer of 2000. Fortunately, it has enjoyed a second lease of life following Dominique Blanc's best actress award at the 2001 César's ceremony, shortly before director Roch Stéphanik was awarded the prestigious Cyril Collard.prize.
The film takes a familiar theme, the break down of a relationship between a strong male partner and a dependent female partner, and traces the resulting trauma experienced by the latter in coming to terms with her abandonment. All this takes place within the oppressive mausoleum that is Orly airport in Paris, providing a suitably surreal, yet disturbing familiar, backdrop to one woman's psychological collapse and subsequent reconstruction.
There are two things which mark this film most. First, there is of course Dominique Blanc's very creditable performance - and it is not too difficult to see why she was awarded a César. The actress shows a remarkable range in what is a very demanding role, appearing alternately vulnerable and dangerously seductive, the child and the tiger, but always with the utmost conviction. Secondly, the cinematography is also noteworthy, particularly the scenes where Hélene finds herself alone at the airport, which look as if they have been shot in another world, so haunting and menacing is the spacious neon-lit setting.
The film's length and drawn out ending count against it a little. Towards the end, you wonder if the director at the heart to finish what must have been an intensely personal work. By contrast, Hélene's sudden transformation at the end of the film appears contrived and unconvincing, although this is certainly the way the film should have ended. However, these quibbles aside, this is a riveting and sombre drama, with a smattering of dry comedy and irony, well worth seeing.
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