Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
"Sociological, minimalistic, cinematographic and invigorating..."
Greek screenwriter, producer and director Yorgos Lanthimos' second feature film which he co-wrote with screenwriter Efthimis Filippou and co-produced, premiered In competition at the 68th Venice Film Festival in 2011, was screened in the Visions section at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, was shot on location in Greece and is a Greek production which was produced by producer Athina Rachel Tsangari. It tells the story about a ballet coach, his female student, an ambulance driver and a nurse named Anna who runs a private business which is led by one of the males.
Distinctly and precisely directed by Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, this rhythmic fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from one of the central female character's point of view, draws a quiet and diverse portrayal of four members of a group consisting of two men and two women who has named themselves "Alps" and who offers people consolation in their grief by substituting for their loved ones who has passed away. While notable for it's naturalistic and mostly interior milieu depictions, sterling production design by production designer Anna Georiadou, cinematography by cinematographer Christos Voudouris, distinct use of light, dialog within dialog and acting within acting, this character-driven story depicts an acute study of character and contains a timely and efficient score.
This cinematic, situational and theatrically remarkable mystery drama which is set in Greece and where pretending to be a non-existing person and putting a shield on one's innate human emotions takes a toll on the only person in the group who thinks outside the box, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, rare characters, versatile perspectives, poignant and naturally occurring humor and ingenious acting performances by actresses Ariane Labed, Aggelike Papoulia and actors Ares Servitales and Johnny Veksris. A sociological, minimalistic, cinematographic and invigorating character piece which underlines the hardships of being an actor or actress, the distinction between fiction and reality and which gained, among other awards, the Golden Osella for Best Screenplay Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou at the 68th Venice Film Festival in 2011.
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