Saturday, July 08, 2006

L' Enfer

Saturday @ 12:15 p.m. – L’Enfer (Hell). Went to see this film for two reasons: a) the director, b) Emmanuelle Beart. I was really hoping she would be there, but alas, no. The director and the other two sister were there. This is the second film for director Danis Tanovic, his first “No Man’s Land” won an Oscar for best foreign language film. Film introduces sisters Sophie, Celine and Anne, who have drifted apart since a traumatic childhood incident that ended with the girls' father committing suicide and their mother rendered mute and consigned to a wheelchair. One is an insomniac, one worries that her husband is cheating on her, and the youngest is having an affair with a married professor. Story builds up suspense by showing us glimpses of the event, but not fully till toward the end. At that point, all the behavior before is more understandable. But before that the director makes the audience work and try to unravel it ourselves. Each of the sisters is damaged in a different way, and whether or not they can rise above it, is very much in doubt. Very well acted, but definitely a somber picture that, like every film I've seen so far, is for discriminating adults. Picture will be marketed on both the director's name and that of one of the sisters, the delictible Emmanuelle Beart, an incredibly popular French actress whom most American's will only know as the love interest of Tom Cruise in the first Mission Impossible. The music also does a great job of setting and keeping the mood. Strictly art house. I'm not sure I remember it coming out in Dallas.
  • Director Danis Tanovic said the film was his homage to Polish filmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. "Hell" was the second of a planned trilogy, (Heaven, Purgatory) that Kieslowski had planned to make. When he died, other filmakers have stepped in to complete the films. "Heaven" was directed by Tom Tykwer and was in the 2003 TIFF.

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