6.8/10
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Welcome Home (2008)

Sur ta joue ennemie (original title)
Julien, 28, returns to his home town. He's spent the last 13 years in prison. Out on probation, he's obsessed by a girl... Emily. And one day, he reaches for her: "it's me". She turns around, looks at him and starts to scream.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robinson Stévenin ...
Julien
...
Emilie
Patrick Descamps ...
Patrick
...
Bob
Daniel Martin ...
Rémy
Sacha Petronijevic ...
Zijad
Fani Kolarova ...
Mika
Hubert Saint-Macary ...
Eymard
Nadine Emin ...
La mère de Julien
Fabrice Talon ...
Le père de Julien
...
Conseillère d'insertion
Sophie Claret ...
Emilie ado
Adrien Piotin ...
Julien ado
Hugo Bauduin-Ferreux ...
Julien enfant
...
Milan
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Storyline

Julien, 28, returns to his home town. He's spent the last 13 years in prison. Out on probation, he's obsessed by a girl... Emily. And one day, he reaches for her: "it's me". She turns around, looks at him and starts to scream.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

3 December 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A másik orcádat  »

Box Office

Budget:

€2,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Where the mystery of murder forever remains mysterious.
22 November 2011 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

There are probably as many reasons to commit a crime as there are not. Unhappily for this film, the story within leaves the viewer – at least this viewer – in state of ambiguity about reasons.

In the opening sequence, we see 28 year old Julien (Robinson Stevenin) released from prison, having spent 13 years inside during which he studied for, and obtained, a PhD. Hence, immediately, it's obvious he has committed a crime, the nature of which remains hidden; but, implicitly, we also know he's articulate, intelligent and educated.

On the outside, he meets up with a friend, Bob (Nicholas Giraud), who has found the young woman with whom Julien must reconnect: her name is Emilie (Fanny Valette), a dark and sensuous beauty. Soon, it's revealed that Bob is a small time crook who – naturally – tempts Julien with promises of big money. Julien resists – he doesn't wish to land back in prison – and instead concentrates upon his quest for Emilie during the second act of the story. Smart boy, one would think. But, perhaps not?

Along with Bob, however, we soon learn the Julien was incarcerated for murder. But, who was the victim? That's the tantalizing question that remains unanswered – although there are hints – until the end of the second act, all of which centers upon Julien's repeated attempts to rekindle a relationship with Emilie. That effort is protracted and violent, but reveals another piece to the puzzle about Julien and Emilie. And, I should add, more tantalizing possibilities...

The short and violent final act resolves the mystery of the murder, but leaves an unsatisfactory residue in one's brain. To wit: is that it? Was that Julien's true motivation for murder? If so, banality has a new face. To be sure, in real life many are indeed murdered for ridiculous reasons. In the context of Julien's story, however, the implications of his motivations are even more horrific than just his own words; but the story doesn't close adequately for me – although the final scene provides a hint.

To some extent, I'm reminded of Hidden (2005), that mysterious story that left so many viewers perplexed and even angry. But I was quite happy with Haneke's treatment of Hidden's story and denouement; with this one, I'm disappointed and just a tad peeved.

The main actors did a good job, though, as did the supporting cast. The photography is adequate, the editing also; but, I thought the intrusion of violins so often to be terribly clichéd. Worse, in my opinion, is the slow pacing of the story resulting in a significant lack of suspense. I guess I must blame the director on that score.

Quite frankly, I almost gave up watching after my twenty-minute rule expired. But, I had nothing of importance to do at the time, so I let it roll on. Maybe you should see the movie on that basis also. Give it a five out of ten.

November 23, 2011.


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