Part of my emotional distance from this film may be the fact that I don't come from either a French or Israeli background, both of which this film is earnestly specific about (I will be curious to read reviews from people who do). And yet I can certainly appreciate the way this film breaks film conventions, existing in some strange purgatory between past and present where even the myth of Hector's cowardly end ends up playing out. If there's one film from last year that defines culture clash, it might just be this one.
If you've ever loved someone, or maybe more precisely, ever truly desired someone, you'd be hard-pressed not to find a part of yourself here. Ostensibly a forbidden romance, Celine Sciamma's simmering period piece opens up, asking questions about the memories that sustain us in the absence of lasting human contact. What memories do we choose to create, and what memories do we choose to remember?
This slowburn seduction feels more like a sumptuous montage; Sciamma hones in on details instead…
Okay, so this may be a case where the star rating doesn't properly reflect my conflicted feelings about Martin McDonagh's award season front runner (it's honestly pretty amazing I'm writing those words). On the one hand, it's got everything I love about McDonagh: the masterful plotting, the savage humor, characters who suddenly and beautifully reveal their human frailty just when we think we've got them pegged. And oh, the acting. Frances McDormand doesn't need to remind us all how great…