Nothing Personal (2010)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Alone in her empty flat, from her window Anne (Lotte Verbeek) observes the people passing by who nervously snatch up the personal belongings and pieces of furniture she has put out on the pavement. Her final gesture of taking a ring off her finger signals she is leaving her previous life in Holland behind. She goes to Ireland, where she chooses to lead a solitary, wandering existence, striding through the austere landscapes of Connemara. During her travels, she discovers a house that is home to a hermit, Martin, (Stephen Rea). He is a man in his prime living a solitary life in a secluded house on a beautiful island. She is radical and uncompromising. He is wise and ironic. What connects them is solitude they both see as freedom. He proposes her to work for him in exchange of food. She agrees at one condition: there will be no personal contact between them, just work. Soon the two of them become curious about each other and want both: to keep their "nothing personal‟ deal and to break it. Their simple life follows the cycle of days and nights, work and rest but slowly brings the two of them closer to each other. Who will be the first one to break the deal? Urszula Antoniak's stunningly assured debut is touching, gentle and playful. But it takes a firm stand when it comes to negotiating individual freedom and the urge to still wanting be near to somebody - despite all wounds of a past we don't get to know in detail. An enigmatic beauty and confusion underlies this character study that should leave nobody unmoved.--© Olive Films … More
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Critic Reviews for Nothing Personal
Not since Flashdance has a lobster dinner been seasoned with so much unspoken emotion.
Director-writer Urszula Antoniak, in her first big-screen feature, keeps dialogue to a minimum while concentrating on visual style.
[Follows] a familiar path that's energized by subtle lead performances.
The whole thing is a pleasure to watch, though, because Verbeek and Rea telegraph volumes of subtext beneath the dialogue they're given, speaking to the human need for emotional and physical contact -- and the fear of the responsibilities and costs.
...a nice debut film, deliberately crafted, placidly powerful, and sensibly touching, with a dash of stubborn frivolity tossed in for effective measure.
Audience Reviews for Nothing Personal
Hard to talk about it. Easy to feel.
"Nothing Personal" starts with a young widow(Lotte Verbeek, of "The Borgias") taking off her wedding ring while selling most of the rest of her possessions. That way she can carry everything she owns on her back, accepting rides but not food along the way to wherever she is going. When a driver(Paul Ronan) gives her the universal sign for a pervert, she does not wait for the car to stop before jumping out in anger. Her travels do come to at least a temporary halt when she agrees to work for a middle-aged man(Stephen Rea) on a remote farm while not answering any questions about her name, rank or favorite color.
"Nothing Personal" is a sparsely engaging movie, straight out of the less is more book, relying on visuals mostly to tell its story, with rural Ireland looking simultaneously dreary and beautiful. That mise en scene informs a lot of this story of two characters who choose to live solitary lives. As they refuse to play by society's rules, it is no surprise that the movie both satisfies and plays with expectations, especially with its ending. And since this is a two hander, it is a good thing that two of those hands belong to Stephen Rea as he even sings here.(Well, not very well but the effort is appreciated.)
A pretty good film from Ireland. The Irish countryside side truly was beautiful and both lead actors deliver subtle and believable performances. I appreaciated the way the characters relationship develops and where it goes. In stark contrast to most cinematic concepts of storytelling with a clear begining, middle and end. That being said while I enjoyed and appreaciated this movie on certain levels, I would be lying if I said that his movie didn't bore me a little as well. While I did appreaciate the anonynmity of there characters, as a viewer it is hard to realte to these characters knowing little to nothing about them except for what is automatically apparent. The end result is isolating for the viewer, but since I'm pretty sure that is what the filmmakers were going for I'm not going to be too harsh on that front. Worth seeing for fans of subtelty and realism in film.
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