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Running away on the highway, Maria is alone in her roaring SUV. Behind her, fire and a case full of money. In front of her, the hopeless vastness of the motorway. Only a day before she was ... See full summary »
A Woman walks across the city to the edge of town. She has surreal encounters with real and imaginary characters as she seeks atonement, remembering the unhappy incidents in her life that have brought her to this present state of despair.
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Thanks to his mother being overwhelmed with being a single parent, her oldest son is tasked with taking care of his two younger siblings.
Review (with Spoilers)
I'm trying to diversify my palate because I'm starting to feel I'm becoming a bit too indifferent about what I watch and it is making it where that chasm between Worth Seeing and Skip It is becoming a bit too wide. So, when in doubt, head over to Europe for their films are usually puzzling and a change of pace. Though, after this film, I think I may need to seek out other parts of the world.
Jonas (Ben Litwinschuh) | Sabine (Sylvie Testud)
Sabine is pretty much raising her children on her own. The father left her with the physical responsibility, but is sending child support, and raising three kids, the oldest maybe in middle school, is too much. So, the mom decides to go away and leave the eldest Jonas in charge. Which was only supposed to be for a day, but it ends up longer than that.
Litwinschuh Wasn't Ready
I should note, criticism for me isn't always a case of "This sucked," "This was horrible" or something like that. Sometimes some things just didn't work out. In the case of this movie, I believe Litwinschuh just isn't on that level yet to man a film by himself. Though really, what actor his age can you really name that is capable of handling a detached father, a mom with some long form of post-partum depression, and two kids of which one has some sort of disorder?
Some More time with The Parents
The parent's relationship is unfortunately quickly shown as they aren't together, for whatever reason, and the dad doesn't do much more than provide some semblance of financial support. We don't learn why he left Sabine, how often he sees his children or how much he checks on them. With this, while you still understand the stress of Sabine, it is hard to start writing off the dad as a deadbeat, someone who just couldn't deal with Sabine yet wanted to still help raise their kids, or what? I mean, it is clear Jonas is mad at him but, again, it isn't clear if it is because he left or because he feels abandoned period.
One point to make is he does spend time with his dad getting ice cream and uses his name to excuse his mother's absence. So obviously there isn't something horrible behind his dad leaving, like infidelity, but I do feel the lack of information in regards to the parent's relationship, perhaps even how Sabine managed for whatever is the amount of time she has been a single mom, is information drastically needed.
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
You know, with it being award season you see a lot of people proclaim this movie you think was just OK should be nominated and with that, you begin to question some things. On one hand, you realize that perhaps this person hasn't seen enough movies and performances yet, on the other hand, you begin to realize you are turning into a snob.
Which I think was the issue I had with this movie. Though they can't directly be compared, when I think of child actors in dramatic roles I'm ready to put their performance next to Oona Laurence who consistently brings it. Completely forgetting that for some, like Litwinschuh, this is their first major role and while, yes, they may have went to school for this, been in local productions, commercials, and etc, that doesn't compare to having to, over the course of 90 minutes, carry the emotional weight of a character. Heck, not to forget, also react to the weight someone else is holding with their character and figure out a way how to translate the transition of the load of human suffering so that the audience gets it.
So, with all that said, this is another film for the Mixed chasm. For even when you take note of how this is the first full-length film of the director, all of the children, and the first time the screenwriter has written for a feature length film on their own, you can only cut but so much slack. Which is perhaps the only reason this isn't being labeled something to skip.
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