Isabelle and Gérard go to a strange appointment in Death Valley, California. They have not seen each other for years and are here to answer to an invitation from their son Michael, a ...
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Isabelle and Gérard go to a strange appointment in Death Valley, California. They have not seen each other for years and are here to answer to an invitation from their son Michael, a photographer, which they received after his suicide, six months ago.Written by
At the close of this movie I half expected the name Roman Polanski might appear. Many of the under-explored themes and situations bring to mind vague occult aspects from several of his works. First and foremost is the promise of a ghostly re-appearance by the dead son of two French movie actors. They've received letters from their son following his suicide - instructing both to meet in Death Valley USA at specific times - where he will mysteriously reveal himself to them one last time (If not yet seen and you don't want to know anything about it there may be some minor spoilers following...)
On the way to this event there are some bizarre happenings. The disturbing vision of a deformed girl in the middle of the night talking about death. A Wolf's (or Dog's) mutilated head in a bag, left in a toilet block. None of these situations are further explored - they just seem to happen for the sake of it. Cultists and film study groups will have a field day 'making-up' theories on the hidden deep and 'meaningful' messages.
Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert give strong performances playing their own 'names sake's' and Cinematographer Christophe Offenstein bathes it in glossy images. The haunting minimalist music by Charles Avers is effective and it's disappointing to find the composer's name not included on this IMDb listing (trust this may be remedied). Director/Writer Guillaume Nicloux seems bent on being the replacement for Polanski and nearly bores the viewer to death with endlessly-long walking shots of his stars going somewhere or nowhere. Sometimes it's mildly compelling but ultimately empty.
If you're into talkie supernatural themes or questions without answers you may find comfort here, otherwise be warned...
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