Innocence

Critics Consensus

Beautiful, inscrutable, and overall unsettling, Innocence may leave viewers wondering what they've just seen, but it'll certainly be difficult to forget.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,324
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Movie Info

Confused, yet curious, six-year-old Iris is taken in hand by Bianca, the leader of a group of girls who live in one of five houses that make up a kind of boarding school. The only adults are old servants and two authoritarian teachers. Obedience is paramount. Those caught trying to escape are either swallowed up by the horrors of the outside world or condemned to serve the other girls within the school walls for the rest of their lives. The girls suffer various indignities of school life, longing to get outside. However, the eldest girls disappear each night for several hours under orders not to reveal their whereabouts to the others. In the end, we learn how these girls step into adulthood in this familiar, but clearly alternate, universe.

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Critic Reviews for Innocence

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Innocence

  • Jun 23, 2012
    An enigmatic and allegorical film that manages to sustain a penetrating feeling of uneasiness and suspense in a visually exuberant parable of female sexuality. It is a journey so vibrant that the lack of destination becomes an asset rather than a limitation.
    Nicolas K Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2012
    Haunting would be a good word to describe this film, written and directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, and based on a short story by Frank Wedekind. If it's answers you want, this is not your film. But, if you enjoy pondering the questions, plop yourself down and give this one a watch. A group of young girls are sequestered in a strange, isolated boarding school where they are instructed in dance and science and generally left to amuse themselves. There is a definite air of mystery that pervades, and the filmmaker does little to alleviate a sense of dread that one feels as one watches this. Is there something nefarious going on behind the scenes? Are these girls being cultivated for some white slaver scenario? Or is everything as idyllic as it seems on the surface. Marion Cotillard and Helene de Fougerolles play the enigmatic teachers, but it is a bevy of young child actors that make this the fascinating watch that it is. Of particular interest were Zoe Auclair, as the newcomer, Iris; Lea Bridarolli, as the rebel, Alice; and Berangere Haubruge, as the eldest, Bianca. The major action, such as it is, revolves around these three characters and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the girls. Filmed on location, using available light, the film is saturated with vivid colors that pop on the screen against the white uniforms that the girls wear. The soundtrack makes extensive use of ambient sounds, evoking the natural world, with occasional bits of classical recordings during the dance scenes. Watching the interviews with the director afterward, one finds that the film was purposely ambiguous. We are not meant to be able to "figure it out". But it certainly does challenge one's thinking and may even reveal flaws in one's own character, as one tries to fill in the intentional blanks. In French, with English subtitles.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2012
    I liked it but can anyone explain to me what was going on?
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2011
    Completely surreal and unusual, this is is a movie that fits in with a some kind of cross between a David Lynch movie and Alice In Wnderland.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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