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Acclaimed director Claire Denis s jagged, daringly fragmented and darkest film is a genuinely contemporary film noir inspired by recent French sex ring scandals involving men of wealth and power. Vincent Lindon (Denis's Friday Night) stars as Marco, a sea captain gone AWOL to avenge his brother-in-law's suicide and to rescue his estranged sister and his teenaged niece (Lola Créton, Goodbye First Love); Chiara Mastroianni (A Christmas Tale) is Lindon s married lover, who has sold her soul in exchange for the security of her young son; and the remarkable Michel Subor is her husband a sleazy financier who is the very embodiment of an evil beyond comprehension. Denis takes the viewer into the very heart of darkness in her most unsettling film yet, an unforgettable and thrilling commentary on late capitalism.
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******* CAUTION: SPOILERS !!!!!!! ************************
Really.... spoilers below!!!
As the story gets pieced together, you yearn for the arc of the outcome of the sea captain's mission for vengeance.
I think it's the director's intention, and the point of the story, to thwart that, and it makes for a very dark movie and no sense of catharsis. For me, ultimately, this left me liking the movie intellectually but I felt sorry for the lack of resolution. Truly not a neat and tidy, happy ending. But I think the director achieved what she wanted to.
We are never quite sure what form of retribution he is aiming for we just know it won't be nice. But as ever with a Claire Denis film, we have more intrigues and sexual shenanigans and the more Marco finds out about his sister the more things become complicated. This is a film that demands attention or you will miss parts of the story or not realise the significance of certain scenes- to say any more would be entering the realms of plot spoiler.
Denis always makes interesting films that do not always fit the pigeonholes we like to use for cinema and this is no exception and well done to het for that. The music is by Stuart A. Staples (Tindersticks) who has worked with her before on `Nenette et Boni' and `Trouble Every Day', Denis is probably best known for the poetic `Beau Travail', but this is far removed from that work and whilst being quite dark it is still a riveting watch. In French with very good sub titles - a film for Gallic fans and those who like things a bit different.