The Eight Mountains

The Eight Mountains ★★★★

ZFF 2022 #31

I was getting worried about van Groeningen, who seemed to be falling off a bit after The Broken Circle Breakdown, but this collaboration with Charlotte Vandermeersch finds him on fine form again. He still struggles to leave emotional and thematic conclusions unsaid and to find convincing endings (the last half hour of this is by far the weakest stretch), but when The Eight Mountains works, it does so beautifully – patiently walking through its narrator's life, gently laying bare how changing circumstances impact people in different ways, and touching on a whole range of poignant topics in the process without belabouring any of them too much. Gorgeous to look at, too, and I found the whole exploration of Pietro's dad really moving.

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