Yorgos Lanthimos's follow-up to his Academy Award nominee (and cult sensation) Dogtooth is another darkly comic, absurdist vision of (in)human relationships, focusing on a mysterious underground organization that helps mourners get over their losses by impersonating the deceased. -- (C) Kino Lorber
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Critic Reviews for Alps
The reality it takes place in is heightened just enough to make the concept feel ironic, but then all attempt at genuine sentiment subsequently falls flat.
The film takes some deciphering, but once a viewer cracks its code "Alps" opens up into something expansive and rich.
The movie contains some of the same elements that made [Dogtooth] so startling but they tend to float around rather than coalesce into a singular perspective.
A film peculiar beyond all understanding, based on a premise that begs belief.
A strange story. A strange world. And strange characters doing even stranger things.
In fact, you probably shouldn't be reading this review if you have an interest in seeing the film.
It's hard to see what, if anything, Lanthimos is saying about modern Greece. And without that clear focus, the film feels a bit off-piste.
From the Greek filmmakers behind the acclaimed anti-thriller Dogtooth, this fiendishly inventive drama is just as complex and telling.
Lanthimos is such a distinctive film-maker and nothing he does is without interest - but this is a misfire.
The movie's morbidly funny once you get the hang of it, and climaxes deftly, but for too long Lanthimos feels like he's stalling for no especial purpose.
Lanthimos delivers another heady dose of weirdness. Loopier than a frog sandwich but rather wonderful.
Absurdly amusing (in places), rigorously directed, and more interesting on an intellectual level than an emotional one.
Helps make the case that Lanthimos might be a worthy, more entomological successor to Luis Buńuel.
Lanthimos' vision still compels and challenges, but Alps offers a big idea in place of a better movie.
...registers less as a drama than as a filmed scientific experiment.
Audience Reviews for Alps
While Dogtooth was just as eerie and as absurd, I found Alps a little close to going too far. It didn't have the same humour that I enjoyed in Dogtooth, in fact I found it to be unnecessarily intense when I'm not sure it should have been. Brilliantly performed though by a bunch of great actors. I enjoyed it but not half as much as I thought I would. The Idiots is far superior.More
A group of four people act as stand-ins for deceased loved ones to help families with the grieving process. The idea isn't a bad one but there is almost no story development, and the (deliberately) bad acting, lighting and camerawork create 90 minutes of unpleasant awkwardness without much to reward the viewer. The second film from the director of DOGTOOTH shows all the stereotypical flaws you associate with sophomore efforts.More
'Alps'. Morbid, absurd and completely messed up. I'm sure there's some deeper meaning on identity waiting to be gleaned, but it became an exercise in the weird for me, and one that I couldn't look past.More
In "Alps," a young tennis player is gravely injured in an auto accident and is given some hope for making it. In the ambulance, she is asked who her favorite American actor is. In a meeting in a gymnasium being presided over by Mont Blanc(Aris Servetalis), a gymnast(Ariane Labed) tries to call dibs on substituting for the tennis player but Mountbatten(Johnny Vekris), her coach, in no uncertain terms, feels she is not even ready for pop music in her routine. In the meantime, Monte Rosa(Aggeliki Papoulia), a nurse at the hospital, looks in on her.
Throuhgout, "Alps" does a neat job of keeping the viewer off-balance. At first, I thought something very sinister was going on due to having watched too many episodes of "The Avengers" when I was growing up but it turns out the cell's well-intentioned with their allowing mourning family members to work through their grief through them. That does not mean that there are not dangers for the characters in this movie, especially considering the extreme emotions in play.
The question about the actors is rather odd at first. One could argue that it is about the kind of performance the customers want; natural, method or scenery chewing?(Heaven help anybody if they say Nicolas Cage.) Or could it be about American culture overwhelming all others? Therefore, the substitutes could be working on developing their own native culture with no other creative outlet in Greece. But at least considering "Alps" and excellent recent Greek movies like "Dogtooth" and "Attenberg," there is certainly a national cinema there to keep an eye out for.
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