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35 Shots Of Rum (2010)

Gregoire Colin , Alex Descas , Claire Denis  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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35 Shots Of Rum + Beau Travail + Nenette + Boni
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gregoire Colin, Alex Descas, Mati Diop
  • Directors: Claire Denis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cinema Guild
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036F76NK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,959 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Widely hailed as one of the best films of 2009, the latest from the renowned director of Beau Travail, Claire Denis' sublime 35 Shots of Rum is the moving story of a father and daughter whose close-knit, tender relationship is disrupted by a handsome young suitor. Sumptuously filmed and featuring an evocative score by the Tindersticks, 35 Shots of Rum casts a lovely spell unlike any other movie you've seen.

- Transfer from original HD source material
- Interview with Claire Denis (2009, 20 min.)
- Claire Denis in conversation with Judith Mayne at the Wexner Center for the Arts (2004, 71 min.)
- Production Stills Gallery
- Official Theatrical Trailer
- Essay by Rob White, Editor of Film Quarterly


"One of the ten best films of the year." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"A quietly blissful romance. See 35 Shots of Rum to remind yourself what movies are about." --Ty Burr, Boston Globe

"Dazzling and affecting. Don't miss this one." --Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its warmth lingers in the heart January 24, 2010
In French director Claire Denis' 35 Shots of Rum, the world becomes, in author Sharon Salzberg's phrase, "transparent and illuminated, as though lit from within". It is a film of infinite tenderness in which the characters lives are delicately interwoven to build a tapestry of interconnectedness that signals life's inevitable passages. Reminiscent of Hou Hsiao-hsien's Café Lumiére with its intimate depiction of city life and the coming and going of trains, 35 Shots of Rum pays homage to Yasujiro Ozu in its story of the relationship between Lionel (Alex Descas), a train conductor of African descent whose striking features convey a sense of stoic dignity and his student daughter Josephine (Mati Diop) who is eager to assert her independence.

Like the relationship of Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara in Ozu's films, the focus is on the mundane occurrences of everyday life, the quiet intimacies in which meaning is revealed only by implication. While the characters are black, their lives are comfortably middle class and the only suggestion of racial issues is a classroom scene where Jo talks about how "the global South" is indebted to the industrial north. Set to a lovely score by the British band "Tindersticks" and gloriously choreographed by cinematographer Agnes Godard, the film opens with a ten minute montage of the crisscrossing of trains of the RER, the system that connects Paris to its suburbs.

Interspersed are close-up shots of Josephine, Lionel, and his co-worker René (Julieth Mars Toussaint) whose immanent retirement signals a depressing change in his life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shot of life... May 28, 2010
Over this past decade I've had the privilege of adopting a new term when describing certain films; pure. Not very many films can achieve this specific title, because it takes something extra special to tap into that very human quality needed to display moments of such purity. This isn't to be confused with another term I enjoy bestowing upon deserving films, `organic', which is similar but not the same thing. No, this decade I can think of very few films that deserve to be defined as `pure'. `Lost in Translation' and `Once' instantly come to mind.

You can add '35 Rhums' to that list.

'35 Rhums' is not a film for everyone. As I can see from some reviews (here and on other sites as well), the nature of this film is not one that will appeal to everyone. It is slow and there doesn't seem to be a definite plot (since this is far more of an internal and emotional film than one needing any defined structure). I think too, this is such an exclusive theme that one kind of has to be a part of it to understand it fully. Now I have not seen the 1949 Asian film from which this film was inspired (Ozu's `Banshun' or `Late Spring') but I am intrigued now and will certainly attempt to get my hands on it. That film, as well as '35 Rhums', deals very particularly with the father/daughter dynamic.

In '35 Rhums' we are introduced (rather casually, as is the nature of this beautiful film) to Lionel, an aging train conductor who is a widower and currently residing with his daughter, Josephine. The film basically lays right there, allowing the audience to observe them as they interact and as situations within their lives move them to grow as individuals. Lionel needs to let go and allow his daughter to gain some independence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Something is off about many of the synopses I've read for this film:

Imdb: "The relationship between a father and daughter is complicated by the arrival of a handsome young man."

Netflix: "This heartfelt slice-of-life drama by filmmaker Claire Denis tells the story of widower Lionel (Alex Descas), a train driver, and his grown daughter, Sophie (Mati Diop). The two spend most of their time together, but change is in the cards. A neighbor (Grégoire Colin) becomes attracted to Sophie, a family friend retires and Lionel tries to maintain a friendship with his ex-girlfriend (Nicole Dogue)."

Metacritic: "A widowed conductor, looking forward to retirement, lives with his grown daughter in a Paris suburb. When a neighbor starts to show interest in his "little girl", the conductor tries to adjust."

None of the synopses are "wrong" so to speak, but I think trying, with a series of brief words, to make explicit what is deeply implicit in the film does a certain injustice to the film's story, if story is what it can be called. It is a film, in so many ways, in which nothing really happens, and all of the above synopses seem to be trying to explain the film in terms of "what happens." Part of the problem with those synopses, unless you are already a fan of the director, is that they fail to stir up any kind of interest because "what happens" sounds, well, pretty boring, right? I couldn't help but be reminded, with those synopses, of the Seinfeld episode, "The Comeback," in which Elaine, rents a film, with a title, clearly inspired by art-house cinema, called The Pain and the Yearning, and the film's description is "An old woman experiences pain and yearning." 35 Rhums might sound, if you try to describe it, very much like The Pain and the Yearning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite. Claire Denis-film's
I read previous reviews on this film, and they're were not Good. People complained that the movie it self was slow the characters were plain or just simple folk's, living in the'... Read more
Published 13 months ago by jhadee
4.0 out of 5 stars WATCHED IT TWICE TO GET THE STORY....
UPDATED REVIEW: I had to watch it twice to truly see what everyone else was talking about it being a warm father-daughter story. Read more
Published on July 15, 2012 by Margaret Opine
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't sufficiently repay the viewer's investment
Very well made with subtle performances but, as good as it is at what it does, it doesn't sufficiently repay the viewer's investment in watching the movie.
Published on November 24, 2011 by Michael Harbour
1.0 out of 5 stars A Minimalistic Waste of Money
First let me say I was born in Canada, understand French, and am partial to French and Quebecois films. Read more
Published on May 15, 2011 by Othercarib
5.0 out of 5 stars Stolen Moments
We meet Lionel on a platform waiting for a train to come. Lionel is a quiet, stoic-looking middle aged man and also as we find out a train conductor who lives in the suburbs of... Read more
Published on October 30, 2010 by zkhan45
1.0 out of 5 stars I did no likea this-a moovie!
What is this about? Who are these people? What are their relationships to each other? What do they want? Read more
Published on June 24, 2010 by Caraculiambro
4.0 out of 5 stars A French slice of life worth enjoying
An elegant, sorrowful slice of working-class Paris, 35 Shots of Rum is director Claire Denis, one of France's great auteurs, trying the Mike Leigh template on for size and finding... Read more
Published on May 1, 2010 by Samuel McKewon
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the Worse
I fell asleep about half-way thru, which is rare, so the movie must have really stunk. Lots of train tracks. Not much dialogue. Guy killing himself due to retirement (huh? Read more
Published on April 21, 2010 by Manos
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