Inexorable (2021)

Director: Fabrice du Welz
Writer: Joséphine Darcy Hopkins, Aurélien Molas, Fabrice du Welz
Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde, Mélanie Doutey, Alba Gaïa Bellugi, Janaina Halloy, Anaël Snoek, Jackie Berroyer, Sam Louwyck
Part of: SLASH 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 6.5.2022

Content Note: misogyny, animal death/cruelty, incest

Marcel (Benoît Poelvoorde) is an author, supposed to be working on his next book that has been a long time coming. Together with his publisher and wife Jeanne (Mélanie Doutey) and their daughter Lucie (Janaina Halloy), they decide to withdraw to Jeanne’s family estate in the country for a bit of calm. Shortly after their arrival, Gloria (Alba Gaïa Bellugi) turns up, bringing back the family dog that ran off. Quickly, Gloria finds a place in their home as a housekeeper and friend to Lucie. But her presence has an unsettling effect on the family.

Inexorable had me rolling my eyes so much because it is, on the one hand, boringly familiar, and on the other hand, enragingly misogynistic.

The film poster showing Gloria (Alba Gaïa Bellugi) and Marcel (Benoît Poelvoorde) grabbing each other by the throat in a sexy way. He is turning around in suspicion. Behind them we see Jeanne (Mélanie Doutey) on the staircase in the distance.

Look, I don’t know how many iterations we have seen of this story already: “Young woman shows up in a married man’s life and completely ruins it with her unhinged behavior”. Not only is this nothing new, it’s also a story that smacks of misogyny, because usually the problem is that the man is an asshole who can’t keep it in his pants and then blames the woman for it. This is pretty much what we get here, and I really don’t like it.

Putting aside my misgivings with the plot, a familiar plot can still be well-executed and give us exactly the thrills we’re looking for. But this is also not the case with Inexorable. It is too slow to be exciting, or rather, it just doesn’t manage to create tension. I don’t know if a faster pace would have changed that, but it would have been worth a try.

Gloria (Alba Gaïa Bellugi) putting a dog muzzle on Lucie (Janaina Halloy) as they play with the dog.

A part of the issue is probably that the film tries very hard to be sexy and titillating, even provocative. But this just doesn’t work out because Poelvoorde may have many qualities, but sexiness isn’t one of them. At least not in this film. So, the sex feels more calculated to provoke than actually steamy or, in fact, provocative.

In short, I really couldn’t enjoy this one. It worked on no level for me, and mostly left me exasperated (and grateful for the 15 minutes or so that I fell asleep during it).

Lucie (Janaina Halloy) whispering in Marcel's (Benoît Poelvoorde) ear.

Summarizing: thanks, but no thanks.

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