Looking for Hortense (Cherchez Hortense) (2012)
Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 8
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Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1
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This film is a bittersweet 'comedie de moeurs' that is French in spirit but universal in appeal. Damien, a Chinese civilization professor, lives with his partner, Iva, a stage director, and their son Noé. The couple's relationship has drifted into routine that has drained it of love. Damien finds himself trapped one day by Iva, who orders him to ask his father, a senior member of the French Council of State, for help in preventing Zorica, a woman Iva knows, from being deported. But Damien and
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Kristen Scott Thomas wanders back from time to time to taunt us with what could have been.
Though beautifully filmed and impeccably acted, the story is just too French, domestic and dull to light the fires of conflict.
The problem is that it's impossible to care about the dull man at the centre when he's surrounded my much more colourfully eccentric characters.
It's like a Haneke plot turned into a comforting boulevard play, but it's subtly observed and extremely well acted ...
Bonitzer is a lithe, literate writer who has penned screenplays for greats such as Jacques Rivette and André Téchiné but it seems he doesn't save his best ideas for himself.
As though aliens picked up a random Francophone VOD channel and regurgitated their own Scary Movie version of the worst bits back at humankind.
The performances are tart and tannic, ensuring the film goes out with a graceful dying fall.
The movie dawdles on, tying its loose ends into a limp knot, but when passive-aggressive text messages are the closest you get to dramatic friction, it's hard not to feel as though there's something missing.
Watchable French drama with a strong script and superb performances from Jean-Pierre Bacri and Kristin Scott Thomas, though the unfocussed plot is ultimately a little underwhelming.
There's a dream-like quality to this nimble-footed tale, in which coincidences, repetitions and digressions abound, and where various characters appear seemingly magically within scenes.
Jean-Pierre Bacri gives a pitch perfect performance as an academic who understands the cultural minutiae of the Orient, but cannot fathom his own loved ones.
A lecturer (Jean-Pierre Bacri) gets embroiled to a fight to stop the deportation of a Serbian woman. Kristin Scott-Thomas (right) reprises another of her chilly wife roles.
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