Bastards

2013

Bastards (2013)

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Movie Info

Acclaimed director Claire Denis's jagged, daringly fragmented and darkest film is a genuinely contemporary film noir inspired by recent French sex ring scandals involving men of wealth and power. Vincent Lindon (Denis's Friday Night) stars as Marco, a sea captain gone AWOL to avenge his brother-in-law's suicide and to rescue his estranged sister and his teenaged niece (Lola Créton, Goodbye First Love); Chiara Mastroianni (A Christmas Tale) is Lindon's married lover, who has sold her soul in exchange for the security of her young son; and the remarkable Michel Subor is her husband - a sleazy financier who is the very embodiment of an evil beyond comprehension. Denis takes the viewer into the very heart of darkness in her most unsettling film yet, an unforgettable and thrilling commentary on late capitalism. An official selection at the Cannes and Toronto Film Fesitvals. (c)IFC

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Critic Reviews for Bastards

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (17)

This is a film so anxious to be taken seriously that it has evaded seriousness itself.

Nov 25, 2013 | Full Review…

The movie ends where it might have begun, and merely states mysteries that remain unexplored.

Nov 4, 2013 | Full Review…

"Bastards" is a thriller truly etched in darkness, pools of black broken mostly by the stricken yet soldiering faces of her main characters, like ships in a sea of stormy nights.

Oct 31, 2013 | Full Review…

There's nothing wrong with dealing out a dense, noir-like plot in tiny scraps - unless, like "Bastards," the film remains flaccid and tensionless.

Oct 28, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Bastards skillfully deploys noir tropes-the alienated hero, the two-timing femme fatale, the ever-widening web of deceit-in the service of a larger political vision.

Oct 25, 2013 | Full Review…
Slate
Top Critic

An oblique, by-design and frustrating drama ...

Oct 24, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bastards

This is an intense psychological drama. The acting is tight as is the unfolding story but forewarnings to those who care not to dwell on disturbing subjects. This will test your limits.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

½

With a confusing structure and plot threads that go nowhere fast, this fragmented film noir also fails to keep us involved by never going deep into the characters' motivations, and it leaves loose ends in an artificial resolution that makes it seem incomplete and pointless.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Upon hearing about his brother-in-law and best friend committing suicide and his niece Justine(Lola Creton) being found dazed and naked in the street, Marco Silvestri(Vincent Lindon) leaves his job as a ship captain to rush back to Paris to be there for his sister Sandra(Julie Bataille). A month later, he has moved into a new apartment and insinuated himself into the life of Raphaelle(Chiara Mastroianni), a single mother, who has ties back to Edouard Laporte(Michel Subor), an industrialist who has connections to his own family's business. "Bastards" is a dark moody neo-noir movie. While Claire Denis tells a relatively straightforward story here that also circles back around somewhat unnecessarily to the central incident(I got it once the words "vagina repair" were mentioned, thank you) going from A to Z, she also at the same time leaves out G, H, L, P & T, leaving the viewer to make the necessary connections. Here, they revolve around family, as it almost always does, where perspective can be skewed even under the best circumstances and we get at least two meanings for the film's title. For example, you have to wonder about the Silvestri family business being impossibly high heel shoes and how that perversity might connect to the central tragedy.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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