8.9/10
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14 user 1 critic

Provenance (2017)

John Finch has fled to his holiday home in the south of France to start a new way of life. Whilst waiting for his younger lover Sophia to join him, a seemingly chance encounter with a man called Peter will threaten to destroy everything.

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Sophia
... John
... Peter
Chereene Allen ... Lara
Luke Beattie ... Agent
Ludivine Parra ... Marie
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Storyline

John Finch has fled to his holiday home in the south of France to start a new way of life. Whilst waiting for his younger lover Sophia to join him, a seemingly chance encounter with a man called Peter will threaten to destroy everything.

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17 June 2017 (UK)  »

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2.35 : 1
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The film has no score as such, but music features very heavily in key sequences. All of the pieces used are original recordings. See more »

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A highly original and engaging drama of passionate attraction, set in southern France.
24 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

An Englishman is staying in a quiet provincial town in southern France. He's entering middle age and he's at a crossroads in his life. A classical pianist, his early promise has not been sustained. His marriage has collapsed in acrimony.

A young woman walks into the town, a luminous figure in white. It is Sophia, for whom the Englishman is waiting.

Ben Hecking's gripping film 'Provenance' explores the attraction between an older man who has known disappointment and a young woman on the verge of maturity. For him she holds a promise of love and renewal — and she's as much an ideal as she is real.

Ben Hecking is a rare talent in film-making, a director who is also a cinematographer. On 'Provenance' he excels in both areas. The tempo and depth of the drama are underscored by Hecking's atmospheric imagery, with expert editing by Andonis Trattos.

'Provenance' is remarkable for building deep characterisations but with economical use of language. This is the type of 'pure cinema' that Hitchcock spoke about, which uses mainly visual cues to put the audience into the mind of the characters.

Christian McKay delivers a compelling performance as John Finch, the reserved musician who has given too much to his music. As the action starts, we find him an outsider in the French town and without direction in his life. A chance encounter with another English visitor, played with edgy skill by Harry Macqueen, builds the sense of unease.

With Sophia's arrival, John's character becomes warmer and more relaxed. Yet Christian McKay shows us the checks that are hard-wired into John's personality, making it impossible for him to open out fully — in contrast to the spontaneous, ardent Sophia.

Charlotte Vega creates a radiant portrait of Sophia, a free spirit who follows her impulses and exposes herself to great damage. With her psychological insight and instinctive command of character, Ms Vega expertly navigates a spectrum of emotions, from playful humour to inconsolable distress. Charlotte Vega is a born screen actor.


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