Innocence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Innocence Reviews

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½ July 24, 2016
this film was mentioned in another review i read for a movie called Evolution which is sort of similar but with an all boys island versus an all girls boarding school. i was a bit thrown off while watching this because the version i found happened to have Spanish voice-overs when i was so sure this was a French film. also, no English subtitles so i'm just going off body language here... but i didn't really care for it. it was fine & i liked the creepy factor, but it wasn't nearly as intriguing as Evolution was.
½ September 29, 2014
One of the most empty film I have seen in long. It is A long video clip with no story or message to share with the viewer.
June 19, 2014
"Innocence" is a mesmerizing poem to pre-adulthood and is done in such a rich, colourful, and (often haunting) beautiful approach that it stays with the viewer days after, taunting and shouting in one's head for another appraisal.
½ February 25, 2014
This is a weird, weird film. One interesting thing about this movie is that it can practically serve as a litmus test for pedophilia - if you watch this movie, you will know for sure whether or not you are a pedophile afterwards. (I am not, for the record.) On the surface the film is very quiet and deliberately paced - it at first appears to be a simple depiction of a very strange boarding school for young girls. There are tons of scenes of the girls just playing, practicing ballet, eating, and doing other little girl things. It gradually becomes clear to the viewer that something more sinister is going on here, but just what that is is never, ever explained. I like how resolutely the movie stayed in the children's perspective. It's got beautiful cinematography and scenery. Marion Cotillard is good in a supporting role. But this movie, which on the surface seems so innocent, will burrow its way into your mind and stay there ever afterwards, growing weirder and darker with time.
October 13, 2013
Weird weird weird. One of those films that leaves you to make up your conclusions but gives you too many ideas to be able to do so!
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2013
Bizarre, enigmatic, lyrical film filled with surreal imagery and a language of its own. It reminded me a little of the films (some post, some pre dated) Picnic At Hanging Rock, Mullholland Drive, Cracks, Dogtooth and The Village. The sense of spaces and confinements - of a prison and a paradise - is very well realised with beautiful photography, sound editing, and careful film editing. The performances are natural, the pace is pitch perfect and the story is just right in the things it reveals. I did find the politics worrying given the way it's played, and perhaps some knowing clues or irony would have helped offset what comes close to misogyny, but no doubt everyone has different readings - the sign of a well made film.
January 5, 2013
Beautiful & strange ... marvelous combination.
½ November 2, 2012
strange and slow but i quite liked it. was nicely shot.
Super Reviewer
June 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.
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.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2012
I liked it but can anyone explain to me what was going on?
½ November 18, 2011
An engaging and unconventional cinematic experience for patience viewers. The pace is a touch too slow and told in a very abstract way but the story is really curious and the tone remains both haunting and consistent with the elements of surrealism and dreamlike feel. This film has a fascinating lineage, very lyrical in its narrative and composition. There's no clear outcome and certainty out of this but it certainly makes you think.
August 16, 2011
As a film reviewer, i will say that no male in their right mind should be watching this film. It is intended for female audiences only, and as a film that is intended for such, it is about as artistic and creepy as these kinds get. It is very well done and will probably have more controversy around it than most films out there that got publically released. I can't really reccommend this to anyone, though, and anyone that watches it is likely to go away with a sick feeling in their stomach.
½ June 27, 2011
Yes there was some intriguing atmosphere to admire here but I didn't care for the premise of this film in the slightest. Actually I had more sympathy for the child actors involved. The depth of the mystery obviously would've went over their heads and there's a lot of scenes that seem to exploit their vulnerbility and innocence for the sake of creating ambiance and character. They're 6 years old for god's sake! This is one art-house film that oversteps the mark for me.
June 9, 2011
Even having the point of the (metaphorical) story confirmed by the director, it's not big or clever; it's VERY strange and tries to be a bit too arty. Only the fact that it is French helps it along somewhat...
½ June 1, 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.
½ April 15, 2011
BIG QUESTIONMARK.........
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April 1, 2011
There can't be many films that occupy your mind for many days afterwards, make you read the book they are based on, and then watch them again. ‚Innocence‚? is one of those films and it is both beautiful and intriguing at the same time. It is based on a book by Frank Wedekind called 'Mine-Haha or the corporeal education of girls', the only published fragment of his unfinished novel ‚Hildalla‚?. It was first published in 1901 and although beautifully written it is much darker undertones of a body cult of youth and natural beauty which would later become exploited by Nazi culture. The film is very much a metaphor for a childhood world which is in many ways separate but also protected from that of adults. It plays in an isolated Girls School their children enter at the time when they start to make their own independent experiences of the world around them and ends with the onset of puberty and attainment of menarche, both symbolising the emotional and physical end of childhood. The cinematography is beautiful and reminded me in many ways of Tarkovsky with its symbolism and haunting images. However, the story can seem a little simplistic and linear times and often appears to demand more depth from the young child actors than they could possibly deliver. Nevertheless this is a very interesting and thought-provoking film and well worth watching. The French dialogue often has a musical quality and as long as you're prepared to watch this in a calm and unhurried state of mind this is very rewarding and unusual cinematic experience.
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