*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must be a masochist. Ozon's work is tiresome, at best, yet, since he
is clearly technically able, I keep saying 'maybe this time...' But no.
This time is worse than all of the rest. This time is embarrassing
kitsch. Poor Romola Garai - a wonderful actress. Here she is persuaded
to over-act with such crass stupidity that she is almost unrecognisable
from her stunning performance in 'Atonement'. OTT has its place in
cinema, but it is a place that needs a context. Here there is no
context, just tastelessness piled upon tastelessness.
The characters do not engage. The relationships do not engage. The style is flowery enough to make the Chelsea Flower Show look drab - but to what effect? None. Style is nothing if it is not pointed in the direction or theme. (And theme is nothing if it is not arrived at through style.) The script of this may have looked fine, but once on the floor, Ozon killed it stone dead. By the end, I would not have been surprised if the director had entered screen left tap dancing and singing 'I'm gay, I'm gay, I'm gay.' (Lest it be thought I am homophobic - Pedro Almodovar is Europe's greatest director by a long way, in my estimation.) The sad thing is that, while other much much greater directors are unable to find the funds necessary to make great films, some idiots are willing to pour millions into this rubbish.
Save one... there is one moment in the film which is beautiful - but it is borrowed from someone else. The moment when Angel encounters her husband's child is truly affecting - but it is too close for comfort to the moment in 'Once Upon A Time in America' when Noodles encounters Max' son.
This film is absolute drivel.
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