Birthmarked (2018)

Birthmarked
Director: Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais
Writer: Marc Tulin, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais
Cast: Matthew Goode, Toni Collette, Andreas Apergis, Jordan Poole, Megan O’Kelly, Anton Gillis-Adelman, Michael Smiley, Fionnula Flanagan, Suzanne Clément
Seen on: 5.6.2021

Plot:
Catherine (Toni Collette) and Ben (Matthew Goode) are scientists. It seems to them that their careers were pretty much fated, which gave them an interest in studying where the line between nature and nurture might lie. To that end, they are planning an experiment with their own unborn child and two other children they mean to adopt to raise them against what their nature seems to be. Rich science aficionado Gertz (Michael Smiley) agrees to fund that experiment. But 12 years in, just when the kids Luke (Jordan Poole), Maurice (Anton Gillis-Adelman) and Maya (Megan O’Kelly) are getting really difficult, Gertz suddenly demands more conclusive results and fast. This tips the balance of their household and the entire experiment into dangerous directions.

Birthmarked is an incredibly weird film, but unforunately not in a particularly charming way, more in a disturbing way. I kept turining it over in my head, but ultimately I have to say that I didn’t like it.

The film poster showing Catherine (Toni Collette), Ben (Matthew Goode), Luke (Jordan Poole), Maurice (Anton Gillis-Adelman) and Maya (Megan O'Kelly) in winter gear, standing outside.
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Espèces menacées [Endangered Species] (2017)

Espèces menacées
Director: Gilles Bourdos
Writer: Michel Spinosa, Gilles Bourdos
Based on: Richard Bausch‘s short stories
Cast: Alice IsaazVincent RottiersGrégory GadeboisSuzanne ClémentEric ElmosninoAlice de LencquesaingDamien ChapelleBrigitte CatillonFrédéric Pierrot
Seen on: 17.9.2017
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Plot:
Joséphine (Alice Isaaz) and Tomasz (Vincent Rottiers) just got married and things should be all rosy happiness, but Tomasz has a mean streak and Joséphine has to take a lot of care not to set him off.
Meanwhile Melanie (Alice de Lencquesaing) has some big news to tell her father Vincent (Eric Elmosnino) but their relationship is difficult and their talk uncovers more and more gaps in their knowledge of each other.
Anthony (Damien Chapelle) looks for love in all the wrong places, but is more preoccupied with his mentally ill mother Nicole (Brigitte Catillon) to really focus on that.

Endangered Species pulled me in and kept me glued to the screen throughout, although I wasn’t quite as happy with the endings to the segment as with the rest of the film.

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Laurence Anyways (2012)

Laurence Anyways
Director: Xavier Dolan
Writer: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri, Susan Almgren, Yves Jacques

Plot:
Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and his girlfriend Fred (Suzanne Clément) are pretty happy with each other. But only until Laurence announces that he’s actually a woman and that she finally wants to make the transition. Fred is shocked and doesn’t know how to cope but she decides to try. But things aren’t easy for either of them and so their relationship develops in twists and turns.

Laurence Anyways is a visually striking film with great characters that is unfortunately an hour too long. But it’s still very much worth watching. I enjoyed the most parts.

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