Who's in It
: Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin, Yekaterina Golubeva
The Basics: It's difficult French movie time! Estranged from his son, a 60-something recluse pays for a black-market heart, has the transplant and believes it will bring him a new life. He leaves his remote cabin in the woods and heads south on a journey to find another long-lost son.
What's the Deal? OK, so that synopsis you just read? That's just me guessing. I mean, yes, all that stuff does happen, but it's not necessarily what this stunningly beautiful and strange movie is about. This is a Claire Denis film, and she's the kind of director who makes demands on her audience. You never really get to know the characters, or why they know each other, or why they're doing what they're doing, or where they are geographically, or what the film is even "about." Personally, I think it's about how you're doomed to never escape the messes you've made. I could be wrong.
How to Approach It if You've Never Seen a Film by Claire Denis:
1. Don't worry about figuring everything out.
2. Pay attention at all times that means no bathroom breaks.
3. Leave your literalist way of movie-watching at home. This one alludes to its subject and meaning more than explaining either of those things. You're going to put the pieces together. She can't be bothered.
Official Character Names as They Appear in My Press Notes: "Pharmacist," "The Wild Woman," "The Priest," "Tony, The 'New' Son," "The Mother" and, my personal favorite, "Queen of the Northern Hemisphere" (played by Betty Blue star Beatrice Dalle).
Other Awesome Claire Denis Movies That Also Make Less Narrative Than Emotional Sense: Good Work, I Can't Sleep, Friday Night, Chocolat (not the crappy heartwarming one with Juliette Binoche) and Trouble Every Day.