Hannah (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband (André Wilms) of many years eat dinner. He changes a lightbulb. She packs a bag for him. They drive to prison and he stays there, while Hannah has to navigate the life they used to share on her own from now on. Their son (Julien Vargas) isn’t of much help, Hannah remains at a distance in her theater group and the only human contact she has is with Nicholas (Simon Bisschop), a young disabled boy she takes care of.
Hannah isn’t an easy film, but for me, it was a film well worth the effort I had to put in watching it (funnily enough, I said pretty much the same thing about Pallaoro’s first film, Medeas). Crafted carefully in every frame, it’s an exercise in what isn’t said or shown
Ennis (Brían F. O’Byrne) lives with his wife Christina (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and their children on their farm. While Ennis mostly worries about money and can’t really bridge the distance to his wife or children, Christina – who is deaf – gets along very well with all of the kids, but also has an affair with Noah (Kevin Alejandro). As tensions keep rising within the family, their lack of communication with each other becomes ever more apparent.
Medeas is not exactly an easy movie. It’s slow. There’s not alot of talking. It’s told in impressionistic images. The framing is unusual. In short it’s the kind of film you’d expect to see at a film festival and which more often than not goes horribly wrong. I’m happy to report, though, that Medeas didn’t go wrong at all. It’s very much worth the effort you have to put in.