La fille inconnue [The Unknown Girl] (2016)

La fille inconnue
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cast: Adèle Haenel,Olivier BonnaudLouka Minnella, Jérémie Renier, Christelle Cornil, Nadège Ouedraogo, Olivier Gourmet, Fabrizio Rongione, Thomas Doret, Marc Zinga
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 28.10.2016

Plot:
Jenny (Adèle Haenel) runs a clinic in a rather poor area of town that she just took over from a now retired doctor. She’s the only doctor in the clinic and does her best,but also knows that she has to fight for her boundaries. So when the bell to her clinic is rung shortly after closing time, she ignores it, despite being still there. The next day, police show up at the clinic, informing her that they found the body of a dead young woman and they don’t know who she is. But it appears that it was her who rung the bell. Jenny is shocked and becomes obsessed with finding out who the woman was and what happened to her.

La fille inconnue was the perfect Double Feature with I, Daniel Blake. Like that film, it’s sociopolitical cinema that wears its heart on its sleeve and is absolutely (emotionally) engaging.

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L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] (2008)

L’heure d’été
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Charles Berling, Juliette Binoche, Jérémie Renier, Edith Scob

Plot:
Hélène (Edith Scob) is celebrating her birthday with her kids Frédéric (Charles Berling), Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) and Jérémie (Jérémie Renier) and their respective families. Since Hélène knows that she’s getting older, thoughts of succession and heritage are not far from her mind. Especially since she has devoted her entire life to her uncle’s legacy who was a famous artist. Her kids would rather not talk about it though. It is only after Hélène’s death that they really start to come to terms with it.

Summer Hours was beautifully shot, very well acted, had wonderful art in it and I can appreciate it. But it was also way too long and so very boring and I just wanted things to happen every once in a while. I missed a plot.

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Le gamin au vélo [The Kid with a Bike] (2011)

Le gamin au vélo
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cast: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France, Jérémie Renier

Plot:
Cyril (Thomas Doret) lives in a foster home and tries desperately to find his dad  (Jérémie Renier) who not only vanished from Cyril’s life but took Cyril’s bike with him. On one of Cyril’s excursions he makes contact with Samantha (Cécile De France). She finds Cyril’s bike and then even agrees to have Cyril visiting her on weekends. But his way is a rocky one.

The film has its weaknesses – mostly a weird ambiguity between naivité and realism – but it also has a very strong cast and captures Cyril and his situation perfectly.

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Potiche [Trophy Wife] (2010)

[Viennale.]

Potiche is the newest film by François Ozon, based on a play by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy and starring Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini and Jérémie Renier.

Plot:
1977: Suzanne (Catherine Deneuve) is practically the definition of a trophy wife. Married to Robert (Fabrice Luchini), who owns an umbrella factory, she spends her days with the household, writing bad poetry and getting visits from her grown kids. But when the workers at the umbrella factory start striking, it’s Suzanne who has to step in for her choleric husband.

Potiche is an entertaining film with a good cast. Its feminist message is watered down quite a bit to make more room for comedy, but it nicely captured the feminist current of the time. Most of all, it’s light-hearted.

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Le silence de Lorna (Lorna’s Silence) [2008]

Le silence de Lorna or Lorna’s Silence is a Belgian movie by writers/directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. It stars Arta Dobroshi and Jérémie Renier.

Plot:
Lorna (Arta Dorbroshi) is an Albanian immigrant in Belgium. To get the Belgian nationality, she married junkie Claudy (Jérémie Renier), a coup arranged by Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione), a small time criminal on the rise. After she’s got her nationality, Fabio plans to kill Claudy so that Lorna can marry a rich Russian also in search of the Belgian nationality. And then, things get really fucked up.

Le silence de Lorna is not a feel good movie. [Ha! That might well be the understatement of the year.] But it’s one that’s incredibly well acted, well written and well done in general. It’s just so very depressing…

silencedelorna

[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

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