I really had a hard time watching this film from first time French director Jose Alcala. From the very first minute it is obvious there will not be one moment of joy, wit or playful dialog in the entire film. This is the kind of film that really makes you wonder if writer-director Jose Alcala actually would want to sit down and watch this himself? The title character, Alex, is a 34-year old woman who fled to a remote mountain village in the French Ardèche to struggling to put her life back on track. An illusion, so it seems, since she is utterly devoid of self-respect, an alcoholic, and lacking any sense of femininity. Unwashed, wearing man's clothes, she fills her time with working on the odd construction job but she tries hard and does manage to attract some supermarket employee (Eric Savin), with whom she hopes to restore an abandoned mountain cottage and attract her estranged teenage son Xavier (Adrien Riz) to come live with her.
The film lacks a real protagonist, all we get is a "profile", devoid of wit, depth, insight or any interest as a character. An approach that might have worked in an urban setting, where with some additional colourful characters, and with some luck it could result in something similar like Bukowski, the French way, but writer-director Alcala doesn't know how to write interesting characters. This will end up at some late-night screenings on various public broadcasting stations and then disappear. Badly shot as well, without the slightest imagination. With filmmakers like this, European cinema will carry itself to the grave. An uninteresting and inconsequential film.
Camera Obscura --- 2/10
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