L'Annulaire (The Ring Finger) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

L'Annulaire (The Ring Finger) Reviews

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½ March 1, 2014
Olga Kurylenko was perfect in the role of Iris. This movie shows the need to move on with life we shouldn't get attached to the past, specially to bad moments.
½ October 5, 2013
Pointless and pretentious, though definitely erotic at times.
September 13, 2012
Calm and erotic, restrained and odd, it's almost as if we don't know much of the truth of these characters and that is part of what makes it interesting.
Lord Naseby
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2012
Well, this film was suggested to me by Jhon E. It took me some time to find it and more time to get around to watching it. but, I finally have so here it goes. I rather liked this film. it was a different film. not a film that you see every day. I really liked the acting all around. The main girl did a fantastic job. The screenplay was also great. I didn't mind the subtitles either. I actually watch all of my movies with subtitles so they don't bother me. I also liked the tone and pacing of this film. The film was very...mellow. that might not be the right word but you get the idea. I also feel that the ending had some sort of symbolism but I cannot figure out what. Overall, I liked it. it was an excellent film.

TRIVIA TIME:Olga Kurylenko won the Certificate Of Excellence at the 2006 Brooklyn International Film Festival for her performance in this film.
½ June 26, 2012
Jhon's Favourites Edition: The Ring Finger (L'Annulaire)

Director:
Diane Bertrand

Starring:
Olga Kurylenko
Marc Barbé

Introduction:
The Ring Finger, this is one of my favourite films of all time, starring Quantum of Solace's new 'Bond Girl', the beautiful Olga Kurylenko. This little known film - that is very difficult to find - really provokes ones' imagination to a new height. This film leaves almost no answers, but many questions. This film is so beautifully shot, it soars into my favourites. This is based upon the Japanese cult book by Yoko Ogawa, which I want to read. The film follows a young girl and her saucy affair with her boss (not married, both single so not the affair as in cheating, just as in the event). Diane Bertrand read the book and wrote a screenplay, which premiered at the 2006 French film festival.

Characters:
Olga Kurylenko stars in her debut role, Iris (no last name digressed). Olga plays a young women searching for work after an accident at her previous job. Olga does a great debut performance. Iris does not really seem to have an outstanding goal, or ambition. No background of her family, or past residents are shown, only where she used to work. This may seem like a disaster and a failure to make a descent screenplay, but no this is all intended. There is not much dialogue, but with her dialogue, she is fantastic. What I am most impressed with is her body language, which is requiring for most her acting. As well as the other cast this is a full body language film - without silent movie over-acting - it is all subtle.

Marc Barbé stars as L'homme du laboratoire - which is 'The Skilled Laboratory' in English. Barbé is what really adds the common 'surreal' adjective for this film. He is fantastic in his role. He plays Iris's boss, who is cold, stern and mysterious. His character has a fetish for feet/shoes, and begins a sexual relationship with Iris. He is perfect for his role, and was perfect in body language. Despite the sex scenes, he still kept his stern controlling sense about him.

Plot:
Well to the plot, we open-up on a lemonade factory at the conveyer belt. Iris (Kurylenko) cuts off the end of her ring finger - hence the title - and presumably quits her job. We then open-up with an unknown country and unknown port town. Here Iris attempts to find a job, but eventually finds herself sharing a hotel/motel room with a sailor. Both their work shifts are opposite, because he works nights, and they rarely see each other (usually when they leave or come back from work). There is some small chemistry between the two in the brief moments were they see each other, will they take it further?
Sooner or later Iris stumbles upon an old girls school. In here, there is a preservation laboratory; here they preserve personal artefacts from normal people, so it can be preserved forever, almost everything can be preserved, except a shadow (which is asked in the movie). Iris gets a job as a secretary, taking names for the people.
The plot may sound bland, but it soon turns into an erotic, yet surreal and chilling tale.

Analysis:
This section may not make complete sense if you have not seen, but hopefully it will make you want to watch. The plot may seem very simple, but it is full of many surreal prospects and hidden metaphors. I believe the whole use of preservation of specimens is a metaphor. As Iris works at the former girls' school, she is not allowed into the laboratory where the actual preservation occurs. This often drives Iris's curiosity and jealously, but why can't she? She also comes across many people in this former girls' school, but particularly a little boy. He does not have any obvious relevance to the plot, and is rarely visible from some vantage point, with only one line, "Password". Who is this boy? Is he a ghost? Many questions are asked, but no answers. Do I think it is a ghost? Well this may be a small spoiler, but I remember one part where Barbé said that the woman from 223 left, but you then see her later on. Therefore, this does get you think; there is another when you see the boy, and the women playing with each other throughout the building. Iris watches, but they eventually disappear, so I am thinking ghosts, but then Barbé interacts with the women. So I concluded, "Are they all ghosts, and she's the only real one?"
The shoes, the shoes become a pinnacle point in this film; it is the boss's fetish and driving force in their affair. It is also quote that the shoes are taking her over. Lovely shoes they are, but why did the previous secretary in the photo have the same shoes? Why did he buy her the shoes? I think the shoes are a representation of Barbé's control over Iris, and their controlling relationship.
You come across to a Mah-Jong set, which is one of the best points of the film, as far as cinema photography and direction goes. In addition, the sailor sub-plot gains much interest, but again you ask the question why. I believe the Mah-Jong set, was really showing the cracks of their relationship. That he does not love her, but she is second best to the specimens. This clearly does not go with Iris.
In the end, I can shed nothing on the mysterious ending. It is a very challenging ending, more than Donnie Darko. Due to being relatively unknown, this film has been unanswered, nor has long pages of explanations have been written. I personally believe that there is no answer, and there never will be one. Just like man on Wire when he was asked why he did it, he replied, "There is no why".

Awards:
Unfortunately, this movie has no awards; its reviews were mostly positive, but still misunderstood. I will say this gets my award for favourite sex scene in movies.

Conclusion:
Overall, the film has sumptuous cinema photography, it was absolutely fantastic. The shots were cold, dark and eerie. It was a treat to watch (and with Olga my favourite erotic movie, if you know what I mean...). The acting was superb, despite the limited dialogue; it was the body language, which really enhanced this movie. The low dialogue and heavy use of bodily language created an eerie atmospheric viewing experience.
This film is heavily misunderstood, and deserves so much more appreciation and a larger audience. It often makes me wonder, "If I made a fantastic movie, or possibly the greatest, will it be remembered?" I bet you nine out of ten people do not know who Orson Welles is, or have seen Citizen Kane (do not think it is the greatest film, but for now it is). I would recommend this film to the best of the critics; the ones that I think understand movies and art. This movie has no obvious problems. The ones I can find is that it may be boring for some, but those willing to watch this in the first place would obviously have some knowledge of movies, so very little who watches this will be bored.
The other major problem is the lack of answers. Even Bertrand said in Q&A that this film gives very few answers. Therefore, this was no mistake. As far as I am concerned this is a positive, but some may not find this appealing. If you cannot handle the fact that nothing is set in stone, you will not like this, and it will not be easy for you to see positives. So when people watch this, I would expect mixed reviews, those who like the movie, should really like the movie to a high degree.
This is one of my favourites, and is for being impeccably shot cinema photography and perfectly crafted, yet confusing plot. This film will be an eternal mystery, which ending will be debated for years to come.
½ January 20, 2012
The French film "L'Annulaire," which translates to "The Ring Finger" is about a young woman in a lemonade factory who loses the tip of her finger in an accident at work and then leaves the job and starts working for a laboratory where people have "specimens" preserved. First of all I think this film should be called "The Red Shoes," because I thought it is mainly about the shoes that are given to the woman by her boss at the laboratory. Not to go in too much of the story, I either did not understand it or I thought there were too many plot holes. There are a number of characters such as the two old women and the boy that were simply flat, it felt like they were just added to make the film creepy, rather than having genuine reasons. This includes the boss of the young woman, who is trying to be weird but isn't. I just found it a bit silly. I was not asking for this film to explain and I have watched films where directors do not explain, but "L'Annulaire" fails to "connect" the events for me. Of course there are some positives, such as a minor love story involving the woman and a man who she shares a hotel room with, however both are never in the room at the same time. But, overall it just didn't work for me. Not an important film.
January 2, 2012
Don't watch it if you don't like movies that have loose ends. It does allegedly feature a Beth Gibbons soundtrack. The movie is based on a novel by Yoko Ogawa, but I can't find any plot write-up of the novel. In the film, a sailor love interest is added. He figures in because Iris has gone to an inn to look for a room and is told the only possibility is to room share with the sailor who works nights. Thus they both fantasise about each other by secretly looking through their belongings when they are in the room. Finally however, Iris has commenced having sex with the conservator, and when the sailor writes a note to ask to meet her, she sees him in a bar with a blonde wrapped around him (he later tells her to go away) so Iris goes back to the inn without having met him. He returns shortly and sees Iris going inside and then on the balcony but she gives him a clear sign by shutting the balcony window. One of her conservation clients is a shoe polisher, so she goes to meet him after he tells her to take off the shoes that the conservator gave him, otherwise she will not be able to leave. She confesses she doesn't know if she loves him, but feels she should stay with him. At some point, Iris's ringfinger grows back (!!) and it seems that while she is not exactly enamoured of the conservator, it is like she doesn't have anything else to do with her life, so she writes out a conservation card with her name and the item as her ring finger, and then knocks and enters the laboratory, which she was previously forbidden to go to. End of movie. If you like non plot oriented moody films with a lot of facial expression close ups, this one is for you.
November 12, 2011
I need to watch the movie.
½ August 5, 2011
Reasonably interesting, especially as the intrigue is built gradually through the movie. Ultimately it drags and drifts though, making it disappointing.
½ January 22, 2011
An excellent adaptation of Yoko Ogawa's novel
January 22, 2011
A surprise winner. Guaranteed to melt the coldest of winters.
½ November 25, 2010
A slow moving movie, Olga Kurylenko was great.
½ October 17, 2010
Regarding the plot I'll just say that for young Iris (Olga Kurylenko) working at a lab won't be such an easy job after all, since this specific lab its not your everyday lab, and in addition to her boss's secrecy (Marc Barbe) things will be even more peculiar.

This is a movie that will make you question almost everything you see and you won't get any direct, if any, answers. Its rather mysterious and intriguing, but still completely odd. I'll agree with Jhon E., it does have one of the best sex scenes without becoming vile, and the main characters have a sort of hot and cold relationship based on little dialogue, but with a lot of curiosity, and emotion.

The ending, I just couldn't believe it was IT, as it caught me completely off guard since things were starting to get unravel, sort of!!! At the end though, its an amazing movie that will confuse you and mess with your mind... intentionally ;)
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2010
In "The Ring Finger," Iris(Olga Kurylenko) loses the tip of her ring finger in an industrial accident in a lemonade factory.(Forgive me for the grossness, but I don't think I'll ever be able to drink pink lemonade again.) Looking for a different line of work, she travels to a new city but at first can find no work at the port and the only room she can find she has to share with Costa(Stipe Erceg), a sailor who works the night shift. She does soon find work in a laboratory as a receptionist for a scientist(Marc Barbe) who preserves and archives items of sentimental value and presents her with the gift of a pair of red shoes.

"The Ring Finger" is a beguiling, sensual and nuanced movie. It uses an offbeat rhythm to explore a place that might exist out of time, in order to ensure the items will not decay. Iris is not sure how long she has been working at the laboratory, which contains no modern equipment and is lacking any air conditioning. She says two or three weeks but it could be months or even decades. As with any dead end job, where there is not a lot to do, time moves in an odd fashion. A day can feel like a week but before you know it, years have gone by. This might explain why Iris and Costa are not quite in sync.
½ February 15, 2010
If you've ever tried to start a car with a bad alternator, you'll relate to how painful this movie was to watch. Like the recalcitrant starter, this movie could just never engage my interest. It always seemed on the verge of being interesting only to sputter again and die on me. The woman who starred in the movie was very attractive and even graced the film with a nude scene. However, the story made no sense and the occupation of the main male character was simply unknown/unbelievable (he was a preserver of people's things - basically sticking them in a jar like a fetal pig from high school biology lab). There were ghosts (I think) and unknown people living at the lab.
I like to take chances on foreign films I may not have heard much about. I usually am rewarded for taking those chances. I came up about six numbers short of a Lotto jackpot this time. It was just bad. Crank. Sputter. Cough. Die.....
January 22, 2010
the most strange movie I've ever seen

I lliked Olga .. she is really a very good actor
½ January 12, 2010
A bizarrely dreamy little film in which a young girl takes a job in a laboratory where an odd doctor preserves personal items and stores them for people, in an effort to give them closure on unpleasant things in their lives.

She falls into a strange sexual relationship with her boss, but there are hints that things may be even stranger than she first imagined.

A true head scratcher of a film, this looks great, though it's possibly a bit too vague for its own good.

Give it a rental if you're feeling adventurous.
½ November 22, 2009
More "interesting" than "good", but certainly worth watching. Plus the Beth Gibbons soundtrack doesn't hurt.
November 5, 2009
How weird can it get: A french language movie with a Ukranian lead playing in France but filmed in Hamburg. With no compherendible story whatsoever, David Lynchian atmosphere and a big unsolved mystery. Very hypnotic and beautifully shot. Definitely not for everyone.
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