First this film for most of the time is visionary, hallucinatory and is quite simply superb. Philippe Grandrieux was until I saw this film unknown to me. I have not had time to discover if the UK has bothered to make him known to us, and I am not sure if the USA has bothered either. This is a great shortcoming if they have ignored him and all I do know is that ' Un Lac ' was shown at a London Film Festival. Other reviewers have described what happens, so I will not repeat what they have to say. Except for the appearance of other family members towards the last part the film it concentrates on an intense love between a young woodcutter and his sister. The brother has epileptic fits and these are painfully shown and the actor who plays the brother is excellent. I would give the film a 10 for his acting alone, except I have reservations over why the film was made in the way that it is. A young man enters their relationship looking for work and the three of them form a bond together. All well and good, but the ambiguity between the three, and dare I say it the emerging love of all three for each other shifts focus into a more ' plot ' like structure. For me that unbalanced the film, almost Bergman like at times. A semi-explicit sex scene was not at all necessary. Previous to that, and this maybe a contradiction, the film existed in a sort of chaste eroticism and with that one scene of sexuality that rare feeling of who desires who faded away. I also found the second young man, the intruder between brother and sister, too conventionally handsome and his brooding face expressed far less than Dmitriy Kubasov who had facial faults that made him truly beautiful. Natalie Rekorova as the sister was also fine in her role. But now for serious questioning. The setting is a harsh Winter landscape ( beautifully and imaginatively filmed ) and the atmosphere to a certain extent medieval. This brought crazily to mind Bergman's ' The Virgin Spring ' via Sokurov, the great Russian director, which now brings me to the question of why the cast have clearly Russian names and speaking French ? I understand French fortunately and yet some of the very few sentences in the film escaped me. Did the director feel these actors had the edge over a French choice and like Alice in Wonderland I am wandering mentally all over the place, and again why ? Why medieval ? Why these actors, and despite the brilliantly hermetic atmosphere of much of the film why does it have such a seemingly inappropriate temptation to bring it back into a darkish, but pat conclusion ? And yet despite all this questioning the film is a near masterpiece, and to return to things French it was like watching some of the frozenly beautiful lines of poetry by Mallarme and ending up with a lesser poet. But please find this film and marvel at the sheer originality of it, and its daring to confuse and yet enrich the heart and the mind. A reluctant 8.