The Slap ★★★½

The Slap is notable primarily for its two lead performances. Adjani emerged as a promising new star, effortlessly expressive and stunningly beautiful, and immediately started landing heftier roles. Ventura brought the same quiet gravity from his tough roles in movies like Army of Shadows to make Adjani's perfect counterweight on the other side of the generation gap. They work beautifully together, capturing both real affection and frustration. Adjani mines some transcendentally heartfelt moments, and Ventura is fantastically compelling in a potentially forgettable role. Nathalie Baye has a recurring but minor supporting role, and Annie Girardot lights up the screen during the final half as Isabelle's estranged mother, becoming a major focal point of the story despite her late entrance.


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