People are strange: A totally enjoyable film like this gets absolutely no attention, whereas lots of Hollywood action movies and European "auteur" films devoid of meaning nor feelings are on the limelight. I am thinking about the "Ocean 11" franchise, just to name one. Pay attention to their dazzling "complete cast & crew", then take a look at this one. There are whole departments that don't exist, from "Special effects", "transportation unit", "Makeup department", "stunts", "electrical department", "costume d.", "art d."...
The story is simple, and this is its main strength. A "minimalist" plot, cinematography, wardrobe, locations and music, combined with a script that does exactly the contrary (notice how many times characters ask "Did you mean this/that", like if they wanted to "make time") does create an eerie feeling, It reminds me of another eerie movie in slow motion that nevertheless stays in your memory: "Ultranova".
The story itself is relevant to our world. Brigitte is alone, and by showing us her solitude, we realize of ours. Neither her job mates, bosses, family, labour unions, nobody is there without wanting something in return. Except her daughter.
The film has basically one character: Bordeaux born stunning Barbara Schulz as Brigitte Nardier. The rest are just filling space, like the teenage "cousin", her husband's son with another woman.
Of course, it's demagogic that a very human plight is incarnated by an actress as beautiful as Bridget Moynahan but without the hype. But well, surely it's the "rules of the game" and the male audience at least doesn't complain. It's easier to identify/ empatize with beautiful people, right :)? This film does its best to show us her plights, anxiety, her, basically :). Her Boticelli face and classical ballet figure magnify the fact that human nature is mean to us when we're down. Even at a big firm in Europe in the XXI century. Management is specially mean. It was obvious that they were going to screw her up, by the way everybody treated her, avoiding her, denying her husband's stuff and so on. Colleagues fare no better. Let alone her left wing father and mum pushing up food. The "social contrast" between her working class parents (look at their awful house!) compared to the chic home and job offices screams of "social mobility". One of the best scenes is the dialogue when the father acknowledges he raised her to be a blue collar/ professional, but not to betray their origins. The way they show a perfect but cold building in the end is the "message" of the film, just like, for instance, "L'emploi du temps" and "Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré (2003)". The same old story of "dehumanization of life in modern times", but this time, without the forced tears nor the fable ending.
Her daughter is fine, and we know it's hard to find a child actor who does just that, nothing else. Direction by TV director Fabrice Cazeneuve spares us of melodrama, an easy short cut which would have ruined the film.
Even for a rainy Friday night, it won't depress you, regardless of the grim topic.
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