Pasteurised just won't do - this is so much more tasty
When you pop out to fetch a litre of milk to finish Mom's béchamel sauce, would you feel scared? I thought not. But this charming and classically composed short (more accurately translated as 'A Litre of Milk') has simple adultery between Mom and the husband of a rather large and intimidating 'milkmaid' to put the heebee jeebies up a young lad.
He spies the lecherous twosome in flagrante delicto on the glorious steep slopes bordering their rural French hideaway. The ageing Romeo has persuaded Mom to leave her summer sketching in favour of outdoor frolics. But his sons appear, probably determined to uphold l'honneur. As they slide madly down the slopes, the naughty adults make a bolt for it. By the time our young lad has got home, Mom is recomposed and thinking of béchamel as her son hides himself in a copy of Ulysses.
To make the simmering sauce he must fulfil his quest for another quart. Reluctantly he sets off, enthusiastically abetted by his younger sister. The performances are superb. Especially the ebullience and charisma of the young girl as she eggs him on and he finds ways to drag his feet. The symbolism is light and a delight, like the name of the woman he dreads (Mrs Roux) or the skull hanging at the steps of her door. Milky Way achieves remarkable dramatic tension from its simple premise and unexpected comic turns. An unpretentious and beautifully executed short.
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