Thursday, September 06, 2012

L'enfant d'en haut (Sister)

Ursula Meier really know how to do great films that also are very disturbing. As soon as started watching this movie recognized some elements that immediately made me see inside my head and from beginning to end, her previous movie Home. It took me a few seconds to see the complete movie in my head, but definitively set my mind in the right mood to continue watching this movie.

As camera follows young Simon we are introduced to his world where what we see doesn't match at all the civilized Swiss society as he is a small-time thief that during ski season steals skies, skiing gear, sun glasses and food. He sells to other kids until he finds in workers better shoppers. With the money he buys food for him and his sister. You like Simon, you try to understand why he's doing what he does, you don't like his sister, you feel sorry for Simon. Then after a while at the precise moment when you already started to see differently everything about Simon, the bomb comes and explodes heavily.

The last sentence uses an image as there is no explosion in this film, as a matter of fact before and after the "bomb" nothing much happens but thanks to great performances by Kacey Mottet Klein (he was also in Home) who plays Simon and Léa Seydoux who plays his sister plus the amazing Meier filmmaking and storytelling style you will feel a lot of contradictory intense emotions. At least, that's exactly what happened to me.

A very, extremely unusual family drama that plays with all kind of borders and border-crossing; about "up there" and "down here"; is set in Switzerland but story is universal. Really wish to forget about my golden rule for NO spoilers as this film deserves an analysis of everything we see, everything that happens and what we see more with expressions, silences and camera moves. So much deserves the analysis that makes me think I should start a blog called 'movie spoilers' where I can talk freely. Yes, is a very good movie, one that you should not watch alone, so you can talk and talk about it. Sigh.

Believe that film as film is quite simple but recognize that while is "up there" a style prevails that changes when we go "down here" which makes this not fast paced movie, faster than many I have seen. It's an interesting resource that Meier calls "vertical film" and is the contraposition of Home that was an "horizontal" film. As film has the vertical movement, worth mention and kudos to editing; also, as in Home the highway becomes a character, I believe here the ski lift ride becomes the third lead character in film.

Film is the Silver Bear Special Mention award winner at the 2012 Berlinale and collected more honors while traveling the fest circuit. Is one of the films competing to be the Swiss submission to Oscar and wonder if will be the selection due to the Swiss process as definitively I do not think this movie is for general audiences. Still, among English-language critics reception was more than acceptable, but somehow less than those I read in French.

A must be seen movie for those that like great European cinema, already have seen Home and like it, and don't mind to feel intense emotions.

Big Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @MOC

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