REVIEW: Une soeur [A Sister] [2019]

I remember. A woman (Selma Alaoui‘s Alie) is the passenger inside a car heading down a dark road at night. She tells the driver (Guillaume Duhesme‘s Dary) that she must call her sister (who is currently babysitting her daughter) after missing multiple messages. It only makes sense then that she’d be worried about the urgency to connect. What we soon discover, however, is that the woman on the other end of the phone isn’t a relative. Alie has actually called emergency services to covertly make an operator (Veerle Baetens) aware…

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TIFF REVIEW: Duelles [Mothers’ Instinct] [2019]

“Forgive me” Director Olivier Masset-Depasse lets us know exactly what to expect out of Duelles [Mothers’ Instinct] from the start, introducing an idyllic bourgeois home with all the sensory cues to foreshadow melodramatic suspense. Alice Brunelle (Veerle Baetens) peers out her window as neighbor Céline Geniot (Anne Coesens) leaves, rushing out once the car pulls away. She enters the woman’s adjoining home with a set of keys to clandestinely move through and close the curtains. We assume the worst: an affair. The music manipulates this suspenseful thought, the camera in-close…

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REVIEW: The Broken Circle Breakdown [2012]

“Things have to change” If there is one universal constant in life, it’s the unavoidable fact that death changes us. It may not be irreversible or immediate, but feeling that loss along with the first-hand experience of our tragic mortality is something we simply can’t ignore. The love we had for the person now gone either grows in our memory or eats away through guilt or regret for being helpless to prevent his/her fate. We wish we could have gone in their place, wonder why we’re still here, and mourn…

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