Thursday, September 18, 2014

Les Salauds

2013, France, directed by Claire Denis

Not, I think, Claire Denis's strongest work but certainly bracing in its view of human nature, and in that respect the film leaves a deep mark; the soundtrack by regular collaborators Tindersticks is both hypnotic and distressing at times, really adding to the saturated atmosphere. However, the central depiction of the rich as terrible human beings is perhaps lacking in a certain originality. More worrying was what seemed like a degree of predictability. The problem isn't so much repetition -- Denis has used some of the same techniques over and over, often to invigorating effect -- but rather the way in which things like the appearance of her fetish actors came to seem distracting -- oh look, right on cue, here's Alex Descas. And Grégoire Colin! Vincent Lindon, though, is brilliant -- the most exhausted looking man in French film since Alain Delon's heyday. Lindon hasn't always been in perfect films, but his performances over the last ten years or so are never the weak point. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States