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Isaach De Bankolé
Drawing some intriguing parallels between the work of the prostitute and that of the psychiatrist-both have clients, both charge for sessions, both take on roles that serve the needs, psychological or otherwise, of those they serve, Jeanne Labrune's drama stars Isabelle Huppert and Bouli Lanners as, respectively, Alice, a disaffected call girl and Xavier, a shrink with a crumbling domestic situation. With sex more talked about than shown, the film is filled with pointed dialogue and double entendres Written by
Palm Springs Internation Film Festival
I feel compelled to offer a positive review of Special Treatment both because I feel that it deserves as much, and because I am surprised at the low ratings here and the lukewarm-at-best tone of the majority of the preexisting reviews.
This film is small in scale and very thoughtful. It avoids fixating on the salacious/voyeuristic implications of the premise, instead focusing mostly on the deeper, more internal emotions, struggles and motivations of the characters. That is a very good thing. Without spoiling any plot details, I found the ending to be very inspiring. Not just another paint-by-the-numbers film.
The cast is pretty good. As others have mentioned, the cinematography is very nice. (Content-wise, there is some brief nudity and some strong language, but neither is pervasive.)
Although it is kind of beside the point of me reviewing this film, I have to say that it's wickedly distorted for a current film like Frozen to be getting rave reviews from so many people and averaging an 8.1, whilst Special Treatment languishes at 5.5. This one, the latter of those two, is better than that. Much better.
If you are in the market for an intimate, thought-provoking and ultimately life-affirming film, give this one a try. It may not be the best thing ever, but it's pretty good, and worthwhile in my estimation.
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