Charlie (Joséphine Japy) is a calm, studious teenager. But then she meets Sarah (Lou de Laâge) who was just transferred to her school. Sarah is incredible and adventurous and so far has led a life full of travels and exciting men. Charlie feels immediately drawn to her and the two of them become fast friends. But as Charlie becomes more inextricably connected to Sarah with every passing day, there is something that starts to shimmer through Sarah’s wonderful facade.
Respire was very impressive, not only since it’s only Laurent’s second film: it was fantastically told and acted and drew me in completely.
Michael Kohlhaas (Mads Mikkelsen) trades with horses. To reach the market he has to cross the lands of a young nobleman who doesn’t want to let him pass without a special document. Michael leaves him two horses as collateral and promises to return with it. But it turns out that there is no law that demands such a document and when Michael returns, it is to find his horses in a woeful state. He asks for justice in a legal manner, but all his requests are turned down and the repercussions are great. So he takes the law into his own hands.
Michael Kohlhaas is a slow film. Most of the time that makes it extremely atmospheric and gives the cast room to work, sometimes it means that it drags on a bit. But it is very worth watching.
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.