Home (2008)

Home
Director: Ursula Meier
Writer: Ursula Meier, Antoine Jaccoud, Raphaëlle Desplechin, Gilles Taurand, Olivier Lorelle, Alice Winocour
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Gourmet, Adélaïde Leroux, Madeleine Budd, Kacey Mottet Klein
Seen on: 11.4.2021

Plot:
Marthe (Isabelle Huppert), Michel (Olivier Gourmet) and their children Judith (Adélaïde Leroux), Marion (Madeleine Budd) and Julien (Kacey Mottet Klein) live right next to a piece of unfinished highway. The highway has remained unfinished for a decade and has become their personal playground, separating them from their mailbox and the road that lead to the next town. Much to their surprise, though, overnight the highway is finished and opened, completely disrupting the life they built together.

Home is an intriguing film with an unusual setting that grows increasingly more absurd and remains captivating throughout. I really enjoyed it.

The film poster showing Marthe (Isabelle Huppert) standing in her kitchen with a truck rushing past just outside her window. Behind her on the lawn is her daughter Judith (Adélaïde Leroux) giving the truck the finger.
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Mustang (2015)

Mustang
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Writer: Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Alice Winocour
Cast: Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu, Elit Iscan, Ilayda Akdogan, Nihal G. Koldas, Ayberk Pekcan, Bahar Kerimoglu, Burak Yigit, Erol Afsin
Seen on: 3.4.2016

Plot:
Lale (Günes Sensoy) and her sisters Nur (Doga Zeynep Doguslu), Selma (Tugba Sunguroglu), Ece (Elit Iscan) and Sonay (Ilayda Akdogan) have a pretty good childhood. But then one day after school their grandmother (Nihal G. Koldas), who is raising them, greets them with accusations and beatings. The neighbors complained about them, they were behaving improperly and flirted with boys. All of a sudden, their childhood is over. The girls are locked away at home, their education reduced to learning how to be a good wife and all of them are to be married off as soon as possible.

Mustang is a beautiful, touching film that deals with many important issues in a thoughtful manner that doesn’t fail to hit home.

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Maryland [Disorder] (2015)

Maryland
Director: Alice Winocour
Writer: Alice Winocour, Jean-Stéphane Bron
Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger, Paul Hamy, Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant, Percy Kemp
Part of: Scope100 (last year, I participated in the Scope50 project)
Seen on: 6.1.2015

Plot:
Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a soldier who struggles with PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan. While he’s home, waiting to be cleared for service again, he makes his money working as private security together with his friend Denis (Paul Hamy). They get a job at a party for a Lebanese businessman and Vincent is immediately suspicious of everything. Things get worse when he is asked to look after the businessman’s wife Jessie (Diane Kruger) and their son for a few days. Vincent feels drawn to Jessie but he can’t really trust his own perceptions: is he hallucinating or is there a real threat?

Maryland deeply impressed me. Not only does Winoncour manage to create an unbelievable amount of tension, Schoenaerts is absolutely hypnotic in his role. I was glued to the screen through the entirety of the film.

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Augustine (2012)

Augustine
Director: Alice Winocour
Writer: Alice Winocour
Cast: Soko, Vincent Lindon, Chiara Mastroianni, Olivier Rabourdin, Roxane Duran
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Augustine (Soko) is a maid in the late 19th century in Paris. When she suffers from a kind of epileptic episode one night, she heads to the hospital and is promptly kept there and diagnosed with hysteria. When Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon) becomes aware of her case, he sees an opportunity to prove the effectiveness of his hysteria-treatment through hypnosis and so secure financial backing for his research.

Augustine was a really excellent movie, with a fantastic cast and an interesting story critically told. Plus, it looked really good. Definitely one of the highlights of the Viennale for me.

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