Innocence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Innocence Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2011
Some reviews ive read have mentioned, the perverted way the kids were portrayed in this film, and although i believe that is the story aspect in pl;ay, there ceretainly something could be said on filmimg aspect. the film follows a group of youing girls who seem to live at this isolated estate being taught and conditioned in some way. when girls seem to go or esacpe in some way. they end up dead. the adults there are certainly up to something more than you see on screen. its a interesting film in sence that theres more bubbling under service. and even though no clear outcome, it makes you think and question, even your own viewing of the film, its by no means graphic or violent in any way, but certainly is telling a lot.
½ March 13, 2011
I'm not sure who is more crazy. People who gave this high ratings or French directors. Boring, goes nowhere, no plot, just another reason to stay away from foreign flicks.
February 15, 2011
??????????????????????????????????? What ?

I should have known it is French
February 8, 2011
I liked it, but it confused the hell out of me...
½ January 22, 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.
January 14, 2011
Creepy (in more ways than one, perhaps), mysterious, menacing, vaguely disturbing, atmospheric, symbolic film dealing w/ young girls at a very unusual boarding school. Based on a novella from 1903. Don't look for resolution or answers, though. Worth watching with others so you can discuss it afterwards.
October 17, 2010
Fell asleep, but got just about the same out of it as the people who stayed awake. Recommendation negative unless you like artsy films that don't try too hard to be entertaining.
September 12, 2010
Innocence is a unique film that defies typical description and ignores filmmaking conventions. If you like films that confuse and surprise, you just might love this. If you need something loud, viscerally exhilarating or explicit, look elsewhere. Innocence is a film that plays with our preconceived notions about underage female sexuality. If you enjoy Suspiria of [the real] Alice in Wonderland this little-seen French gem comes highly recommended. However, this film does not glorify in cute girls dancing or wandering through fantastical dreamworlds. Yes, it is dreamlike and mystifying, but this is not Dario Argento.

Innocence approaches Picnic at Hanging Rock's dreamlike quality. What it manages to achieve is presenting what is both natural but unfamiliar through the eyes the young girls experiencing it. Innocence film is very dreamlike and doesn't rest on one main character's perspective.

Innocence is both haunting and sweet. This is a film about the loss of innocence in young girls, but it toys with our notions of innocence, sexuality and objectification. In short, what does being a woman today mean? You won't be satisfied though one viewing of this film. If watching something once only makes you want to see it agin, it must be worth it.

Seek this out. Pass over the latest trending rental and add this to your Netflix queue.
August 4, 2010
Unsettling and obscure film about birth (possibly) and growing up (possibly) and girls' bodies (possibly) and girls' roles (possibly). Difficult to describe and watch, but completely hypnotic because it's so bright, clean, impeccably framed, ghostly slow, and seemingly plotless. Sinister and weird in broad daylight.
½ July 17, 2010
Predictably, several Anglophone reviewers are rabidly obsessed by paedophilia. There is a sickness in them that renders them incapable of seeing a film about young girls without slavering about
‚??the consensus pick for best picture of the year among paedophiles worldwide‚?? and ‚??I couldn't stop thinking about paedophiles while I watched Lucile Hadzihalilovic's surreal film "Innocence." How paedophiles would love this movie. How paedophiles would flock to theatres, watch it again and again. How the film would seem like a gift from above‚??. This says more about the reviewers than about the movie. This is an intriguing film beginning with six-year-old Iris waking up in a coffin and being welcomed by other girls who are going to be her schoolmates in a mysterious girls‚?? boarding school. None of the girls had acted before, which may explain the totally natural feel to their interaction. Don‚??t expect explanations here; enigmatic is what it is for sure. Isn‚??t that like childhood though? Children live in a world which is decreasingly mysterious. Innocence is just charming and touching and hauntingly photographed. A confident debut by director Lucile Hadzihalilovic.
½ July 10, 2010
i love how every single shot in this film could be an amazing still. the composition is just perfect. all the landscapes and the girls in white uniforms and bright coloured ribbons. some scenes are so beautiful, dreamy and studied that reminded me kitano's. oh, and the lamps!! they call it a park but it looks more like a forest with paths. but with lamps hanging from some wires. i loved them. they gave the whole thing an even stronger feeling of being in a closed artifical world. pretty creepy at points, too, specially when you are trying to understand what's actually going on. the story is nothing new, very classic fairy tale turns in the plot, but i liked the way every once in a while the main character changes and we follow a different girl while the others stay in the background. not sure at all about the ending, though. is it supposed to be optimistic? i thought that was the creepiest part, to be honest...
July 7, 2010
"Innocence" may very well be the most aesthetically pleasing movie I have ever seen. It is absolutely gorgeous. It's a good thing that the subject matter is beautiful as well.

"Innocence" tells that story of a secluded home for girls. The home is in the middle of a vast forest, isolated from the rest of the world. Girls arrive in the home, at a very young age, in a coffin. As the girls age, they earn different colored ribbons which symbolize their age. When the girls reach puberty and maturity, they are released to the world.

"Innocence" is reminiscent of the great German silent films of the 20s. There is a lot of silence and attention to expression. But what "Innocence" has in spades over the silent films is color. Color color color!! The beautiful forest is probably the most memorable trait of the movie. The forest itself is a show stopper.

I almost don't know what else to say about this film. It's just magical. It's something that must be experienced. There are few films as beautiful as this, and few that really illustrate the innocence of a child.

One thing that cannot be looked over is a problem many people have with this film. This "problem" is minor nudity; that is, underage girls without clothes. There are scenes where young girls are completely naked and one scene where a girl who is starting puberty is studying her body and its changes. Even though all of these traits all very important aspects of the film's story and message, some people feel very uncomfortable about this and feel like it's "pedophilic". People who think about it this way are thinking about it all wrong: this film has nothing to do with pedophilia. The fact that we connect these images to sexuality and pedophilia is actually laughable considering what the story is about. Maybe these people would look at this imagery in a different way...if they still had their innocence.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2010
A stroll in the woods.Alternative title: how to face your demons,obey the unknown rules and express your gratitude by shutting up your pre-teen smile.Sorry,did I say shut up?To think it's a creepy achievement of elaborate shots and mysterioso atmosphere would be little.Arguably,a controversial subject carefully placed and a cathartic finale.
June 4, 2010
A bit slow moving but an interesting, pleasant and curious story.

Supposedly there was some sexual material involving a minor for this to be rated 'R', but I did not see any reason for this.... (???) I don't remember any scene involving sexual material....
½ June 3, 2010
Innocence is about the vividness and curiousity of childhood. It is about odd rituals as introduced in the first scene; the girls with coded colors of ribbons performing the metamorphisis of Persephone. The way Innocence uses color and psychological cues to present an overall darkly surreal tone to the film combined with relatively benign realism forces the audience to experience the film from a child's point of view. This comment on the rituals inforced upon little girls is most of all an extended stream of consciousness on childhood in all of its mysteriously grandiose glory.
May 30, 2010
An isolated boarding school, hidden in the depths of a walled wood provides the backdrop to one of the most profound and haunting gems of cinema that I know. This is a wonderful treasure of a movie; an impeccably realised depiction of childhood and the loss of childish innocence. Lucile Hadzihalilovic's film will transport you to a timeless, forgotten world that you thought lost forever. Some reviewers have expressed disquiet about this film; there is some child nudity and the underlying theme of burgeoning sexuality is one that is rarely examined by cinema. Well. What you get out of a movie to an extent, depends upon your own prejudices, and, a short review is never going to change years of accumulated opinion. There will always be those who view movies like this and declare that they cross a line. They are of course, entitled to their opinions, and luckily, I'm entitled to mine; and my opinion is that this is fearlessly honest and beautiful cinema that should not be ignored
May 18, 2010
A strange film which kept building to some sort of conclusion but didnt really. I think its one you would have to watch a few times to get the story but i was confused.
½ May 2, 2010
Many adjectives come to mind when trying to capture the essence of this film, but at its core, Innocence is precisely about that. This somewhat surreal film takes place almost entirely on the grounds of a mysterious boarding school secluded from the outside world in a forest. The girls learn the rules from one another, and are to always obey and never question. The film has three main sections: one focusing on Iris, a new arrival who does not understand the school, one focusing on Alice, a girl who wants to do her best in order to escape, and one focusing on Bianca, a girl who is in her last year at the school and dealing with her conflict about leaving. While sometimes difficult, due to the almost magical quality of the school to interpret the point being made, it is fairly obvious that this is a film about childhood; addressing the rules, politics, social behavior and well, magic, that characterizes that time of life. The lush woods that the school is on are the perfect setting to let the adorable cast romp, and each of the three main stars; Bérangère Haubruge, Lea Bridaroslli and Zoé Auclair deliver amazingly subtle performances, especially given their ages. It is clear from the performances, gorgeous camera work, and beautiful art direction that director Lucile Hadzihalilovic knows her way around the set, and in anyone else's hands it is doubtful the subtly revealed story could unfold with such impact. It is a film that is quiet, slow, and thoughtful, while at the same time joyous, mysterious, even occasionally cruel and it leaves the viewer completely spellbound, while at the same time uneasy. The skill with which these emotions, which characterize the childhood the film is depicting, are delivered is nothing short of genius. It's a wondrous film in that the viewer can understand what the characters may not, one of the few that can do so in such a satisfying and truly wondrous way. See Innocence. Just do.
½ March 9, 2010
Innocence is a haunting film set around a girls boarding school where new girls arrive in coffins. It's a metaphorical examination of how innocence is tainted by ones own growing curiosity. Sadly many people had preconceptions that the film was a paedophiles wet dream. I don't think any artist should have to compromise their vision for the sake of media reaction and the fear of them misrepresenting your film as something perverse. That and the film being abused by a minority of sick individuals for their own perverse pleasure. The film is exquisitely photographed by Benoi Debie and is his best cinemaography to date, it has a real dreamlike quality. The film also contains wonderful sound design which adds greatly to the atmosphere. Innocence is a beautifully made, atmospheric and thought provoking experience.
January 31, 2010
A hauntingly, eerily beautiful allegory of girlhood based on the 1901 novella by Frank Wedekind.
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