Ivul

"Good"

Ivul Review


Even more difficult and artistic than Kotting's This Filthy Earth, at least this fairy tale-style drama isn't pretentious. It's gorgeously shot and acted with raw authenticity, but the narrative is difficult to engage with.

Alex Ivul (Auzanneau) is a rebelling against the very idea of growing up, mainly because it means he can't be as physically close to his teen sister Freya (Leroux). After his father (Bideau) has a furious reaction to their suggestive play-acting, Alex climbs on the roof and vows to never touch the ground again. As Freya is sent to Russia to find a husband, Alex lives in the trees, making their mother (Petit) sick with worry. And things get worse when their father has a stroke.

Kotting's filmmaking skills are considerable. The cinematography is sharp and evocative, capturing the characters' inner moods as the seasons change around them. And the sound mix is an astonishing blend of ambient noise, atonal effects and music that drifts from jaunty to haunting in a split second. All of this combines to keep us nicely off balance; the film is never boring even though we often feel like we're missing the point.

Clearly, Kotting is both quoting and subverting classic storytelling with this tale of stubborn men and the women they torment. There's a strong sense of the natural world in the woods around the Ivul family's sprawling house. As their father says, it's the trees that best characterise a civilisation, because "old men plant trees knowing that they will never rest in their shade". These layers of meaning aren't lost on us, But even with vivid, believable acting, the film never resolves into a singular narrative.

By never developing a point of view, Kotting leaves the film feeling extremely fragmented. And yet we can identify with Alex's wilful quest, futile as it might be, and his playful Tarzan/Robin Hood adventures. More powerful is the way we identify with the mother's spiralling despair and Freya's increasing desperation. And more texture is added by Tchili's inarticulate handyman, who seems like a fringe player in every scene, and the adorable Aubriot sisters as much-younger siblings. So watching this family come unglued is rather wrenching, even if we're not quite sure what Kotting is trying to say.



Ivul

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 20th January 2010

Distributed by: Sciapode

Production compaines: Sciapode, Box Productions, Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Télévision Suisse-Romande (TSR)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Andrew Kotting

Producer: Emilie Blezat

Starring: Jacob Auzanneau as Alex, Adélaïde Leroux as Freya, as Ivul, Aurélia Petit as Freya, Xavier Tchili as Lek, Capucine Aubriot as Capucine, Manon Aubriot as Manon

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Advertisement
Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

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.