Alps 2012 UNRATED

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(7) IMDb 6.3/10
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Yorgos Lanthimos's follow-up to his Academy Award nominee (and cult sensation) DOGTOOTH is another darkly comic, absurdist vision of (in)human relationships, focusing on a mysterious underground organization that helps mourners get over their losses by impersonating the deceased.

Starring:
Aggeliki Papoulia, Ariane Labed
Runtime:
1 hour 33 minutes

Alps

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Giorgos Lanthimos
Starring Aggeliki Papoulia, Ariane Labed
Supporting actors Johnny Vekris, Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, Erifili Stefanidou
Studio Kino International
MPAA rating Unrated
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carlos E. Velasquez on December 24, 2012
Format: DVD
Without a doubt, director Yorgos Lanthimos has a creative and fertile mind that generates films which provide evidence of his great imagination. For those who remember, he was responsible for the Oscar-nominated "Dogtooth" in 2009. He returns now with another personal project: "Alps," an honest, intriguing and passionate drama - spiked with funny moments - that examines "the process of mourning," in an unconventional way.

The film's characters are introduced one by one, and, after that, we learn about their motivations. We first meet a ballerina, practicing in front of her demanding trainer. She begs him to allow her to dance a pop song, and he doesn't allow her claiming that she is not ready. We then move to a young female tennis player that had an accident and is taken to the emergency room. Once in the hospital, the ambulance man tells a nurse that he just brought in an injured tennis player. It turns out that the gymnast, her trainer, the ambulance driver, and the nurse have one thing in common: they run a business in which they substitute for dead people until their family is able to adjust to their absence. They named themselves Alps, and each one has a codename in reference to one of the Alps' mountains. The main character is Anna - codename: Monte Rosa --, the nurse (Aggeliki Papoulia, who was also showcased in "Dogtooth"), and it is precisely her, the one that with time is affected psychologically, making her make mistakes that will alter the group's functionality.

"Alps" is different and original, which allowed the movie to win the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Festival. This is one film that will definitely leave you thinking once you finish watching it. Will this be the future, too, as the one presented in "Dogtooth"? (Greece, 2011, color, 94 min plus trailer's time).

Reviewed on December 24, 2012 by Eric Gonzales for Kino Lorber.
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By Michael on March 24, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
"Alps" is an incredible film, although it is challenging and unusual when compared to American films. It asks a lot of the viewer; the premise is high-concept, the events of the film unfold at a measured pace, and the film does NOT hold your hand while you watch it, you have to pick up on subtle clues pretty much the whole way through. If you are willing to accept those things, this film might be right up your alley. If you want a lot of action and classic dramatic performances, you should probably look elsewhere. However, "Alps" is dramatic and peppered with funny quirky moments that have caused it to stick with me since the first time I saw it. To powerful effect, director Lanthimos uses his high concept to examine loss, loneliness, performance, and the impossibility of replacing a lost loved one.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
"darkly comic, absurdist vision of (in) human relationships"

This is my second movie from Giorgos Lanthimas, director of 2010's "Dogtooth" which I saw and mostly enjoyed. Dogtooth had some laugh-out-loud moments of absurdity, that really got you thinking. The plot was sort of like examining a homeschooling experiment that went terribly wrong, and for that alone it was interesting. Unfortunately at times closer to the end of the movie, it didn't really seem to know WHERE it wanted to go. The hard right turns for the "heck of it" just seemed incongruent with the earlier flow of the movie.

Unfortunately Alps seems to suffer from some of the same negatives as Dogtooth without many of the positives. For me, there were no laugh-out-loud moments in this movie. Despite the "darkly comic" description in the Amazon tag line, this movie was mostly just dark and not so comic. On top of that, the approach that seemed to add to Dogtooth's appeal just got a bit tiring with this movie. The staccato delivery of monotone lines (used to decent effect in Dogtooth) just got old after a while in this movie. In Dogtooth, the children raised in isolation, trapped in their sealed-off existence, seemed compelled to speak in small barks, for fear they would get smacked by their father. There didn't seem to be a good reason all the characters in this movie would approach verbal communication in the same way as the characters in Dogtooth.

I also found the performances the actors gave kind of flat, but to be fair, I also think the director intended the characters to be flat, maybe beaten down by life, emotionally scarred, scared to live their OWN lives, etc, blah-blah.
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Format: DVD
Despite having certain reservations about parts of the film's construction and narrative, I almost feel an aching need to praise the film first and foremost for being unique and not shying away from attempting something different. Director Yorgos Lanthimos is one to watch for. He gave us `Dogtooth' back in 2010 (I prefer that to this) and with both these features he has given us a unique vision and established himself as a breath of fresh air, even if the air he presents to us is stained (purposefully) with a twinge of musk.

`Alps' is in reference to the name of a group who service the families of the newly deceased by filling in for the dead loved one. They take over for a few hours a few days a week by reenacting moments shared or daily activities in order to help the grieving move on. The group, which consists of four very different individuals, starts to unravel when one of the members, a nurse named Anna, starts to become overly attached to her position and seek stability through it. We can see the effect her `services' has on her mental stability and eventually it all catalysts into a chaotic and quite jarring finale.

I'm not sure if character development is something that Lanthimos was really going for, for the prose itself takes center stage throughout, but one issue I did have with the film as a whole was that outside of Anna it felt almost bare I that department. While the other members of the group clearly had their distinct personality traits and narratives, they didn't really feel as fleshed out or as involved as Anna, who was undeniably the soul of the film. Her emotional demise is such a brilliant piece of filmmaking because it really helps string together all aspects of the film leading up to it.
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