Home

"Very Good"

Home Review


With this playful fable, filmmaker Meier takes a clever look at family life by placing the characters in a surreal location and then twisting things outrageously. And terrific acting makes it surprisingly resonant.

Marthe and Michel (Huppert and Gourmet) live in idyllic isolation on an unfinished highway with their three children: snarky sunbather Judith (Leroux), obsessive teen Marion (Budd) and lively young Julien (Klein). But their quiet life is about to be shattered when, after 10 years, Route E57 is finally opened. Suddenly, they're cut off from work and school by a crowded, high-speed motorway. But while Marion frets about pollution, Marthe refuses to leave her beloved home, leaving Michel no choice but to take drastic action.

Gorgeously shot by the gifted Agnes Godard, the film has a quietly shifting style that almost subliminally moves from relaxed and comical to harrowing and scary. This is a family that's unable to control its own destiny, no matter how hard they try. And it's thoroughly gripping to watch their good-natured banter and matter-of-fact pragmatism give way to desperation, infighting and instability.

Fortunately, the cast is so natural that this never becomes depressing. And the comical/metaphorical approach keeps us from taking it too literally. The result is that it gets well beneath our skin in a way we don't quite expect. When the emotions come, they rattle us almost as much as the other characters. And this also allows the cast, especially Huppert and Gourmet, to give layered performances. While the remarkably unselfconscious Klein offers us a blast of fresh hope from start to finish.

There are all kinds of issues swirling around, and Meier inventively creates an almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere in which this could be the last family on earth. We experience the noisy joy of life outside the rat race, the invading "alien" road workers, the expectation and dread of the first car, the cacophony of traffic, the claustrophobic squalor of the final act. All of this tests the resilience of this family unit in evocative and thoroughly engaging ways. Will they survive? Can they let go of the past and move on? Is isolationism a realistic option?



Home

Facts and Figures

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th June 2009

Distributed by: FilmBuff

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 8.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ursula Meier

Producer: Denis Delcampe, , Thierry Spicher, Elena Tatti

Starring: as Steve-O

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.