A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
Ledoyen and Considine play a young married couple at the end of the 1970s, who come to visit a friend (Oldman) who now lives in the Basque region because he has married a woman from there (Sánchez-Gijón). Their tranquil summer turns to horror when they discover a girl with horribly mutilated hands in the forest. They try to help her by taking her away from the home in which she is locked, but the local villagers, who have to protect the girl, start a pursuit in the forest they know much better than the visitors. Written by
Gary Oldman, Paddy Considine and Virginie Ledoyen were dubbed for the Spanish version of the film. The scenes where the characters had whole scenes with English dialog were all dubbed. Only when the characters spoke in English with the Spanish characters, the dubbing actors said their lines in English. 'Aitana Sánchez-Gijon' dubbed herself. See more »
I'm just trying to think!
Don't think! Let me think for both of us!
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First, what's wrong with it. Aside from Cohen's wonderful song, the sound and music were poor and didn't add anything. The cinematography was not particularly inventive or inspiring.
But still a 10.
Okay you have to catch what this excellent writing is up to.
The twist at the end is pure and righteous symmetry.
It's about justice and revenge, an atypical and furious interpretation of right and wrong. It's got a piece of The Unforgiven about it.
It posits that some things just can't be fixed, and that the penalty does often indeed involve even more suffering of the innocent.
All the acting is excellent. The direction is excellent.
The writing is difficult, twisted, demanding, and wonderful, hard to grasp at first, hard to at first grasp, even at the end. But within it's own pained logic of warfare, just.
The heroic transformation is really spectacularly fierce in that the delivery of justice and punishment requires such a high price to be paid by the destroyed innocent, and the hero, that it at first doesn't even seem like justice.... but it sinks in, that it is.
Sure, it has deliberate echos of Deliverance, but it's actually much more sinister and indirectly more disturbing, not just to personal safety, but to our perception of right and wrong, and justice, punishment, and revenge.
It reminds me in some ways of Death and the Maiden.
It could have almost been a stage piece.
If it wasn't low budget and foreign, with non-U.S.-well-known writing and directing, and with higher "production values", it would have made big stink here.
Or maybe not. Us Americans are often so dull about clear winning and losing, that they get lost in movies like this. Our loss.
Oh, and I want to thank Gary Oldman for taking a shot at this. I wouldn't have known about it or seen it with him, and I thank him for roping me in!
God only knows what great stuff I miss from not having the time to watch everything! I wish I could clone myself and have them watch it so, I would have reviews I could trust! ;)
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