Donne-moi la main (Give Me Your Hand) (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Donne-moi la main (Give Me Your Hand)
The Carrils are so inexpressive and the script so sketchy that we never have much of a stake in figuring it out.
What's refreshing about Pascal-Alex Vincent's dramatically thin but richly atmospheric feature debut is that it recognizes the essential truth of the conceit: all seminal voyages are journeys of heightened awareness, as visceral as they are emotional.
It's usually a dangerous sign when a director casting about for an idea gets fascinated by twins.
When the French are pretentious, the word gets a whole new meaning.
With its meandering, unfocussed narrative, this sometimes feels more like beautiful moving wallpaper than an actual film. But even without much plot, it's a fascinating exploration of identity.
Audience Reviews for Donne-moi la main (Give Me Your Hand)
Ethereal French road movie about 2 twins travelling through France to Spain by any means necessary to get to the funeral of the mother they have never met. It's basically a tale of a fraternal relationship. There isn't much story. The journey is punctuated with sexual encounters and some rather physical fights between the two brothers. There is a character arc here...kind of, but it is clumsily done. It's very well shot, but there isn't anything memorable and the end of the film is an inelegant finish.
Something interesting smolders here, unfortunately at the same low intensity throughout and never caught fire. The young mens' expressions seen on the movie poster, is the same through most of the movie. It is intriguing how the actor's staid faces express different things but the illusion became boring well before the final act. Love-Hate relationships, competition of equals and struggle for independence are compelling themes. This film is lovely exhibition and sparse dialogue which can make great film. Terrence Malick and Gus Van Sant use it well and Marco Berger's wonderful Plan B employs it adeptly. I was unable to make connections from the imagery and nuanced dialogue is missing. Characters and sex are used as plot devices senselessly and abruptly entering then exiting the story. A clever animated opening is employed, yet events through the second act seem disconnected from the intent of the first. Although the film is not about sexuality, it's a plot device. There is an interesting use of alternative sexuality. During that scene, one brother spies the other in a same sex encounter which is the most romantic tryst of the film. The outcome is unclear, is the spying brother jealous, angry, confused? It's not clear. None the less, he's not well about it and the intent of the stunt he pulls is not clear. Is it revenge, punishment, a cruel joke or the stated intention at face value? It's cruel and seems unlikely as does the entire third act of the film until the final scenes. Visually the movie is luscious; scenes are artistically framed and the camera loved the two leads and the countryside used. I don't mind a slow pace as long as the story is propelled forward in a way that interests me. If only this story had clearer intent and nuance in tone. I would say the film is lovely and intriguing, but uninteresting and monotonous. Still there's a lot of talent here.
Not to the taste of most Americans, this is a beautifully filmed contemplation on the nature of brotherhood and the effect of discovered secrets in the relationship of a pair of twins on a road trip to attend the funeral of the mother they've never known. The boys clearly feel strongly for each other but have trouble dealing with some of the events that occur on the road to Spain.
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