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Interesting yet cold film, even under the blinding sun of the desert
Doubtless, Kim Nguyen's « La Cité » shows how mature and international Quebec-based (French Canada) cinema can be, at least when it comes to production values.
Camera work and photography are great, slicing breathtaking images out of the desert, with right-on costumes and sets completing the visuals. Sound editing works perfectly too. Actors are serious and professional... and maybe too much for the movie's own good.
This is the main problem with Nguyen's work : none of his actors ever smile, and all of them seem to take life much too seriously. Humor and joy are ever absent of his movies, removing the sparks which make people usually identify with a movie's main characters.
Thus, while the main plot is interesting in itself, the characters' blandness makes it hard to stay focused on the storyline.
Bottom line : Kim Nguyen's next film will probably be great, if he keeps improving... and takes time to inject additional emotions in his characters.
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