I feel I have sufficiently recovered from all the Holiday festivities to resume my Reel of the Week. This week I am reviewing 2008's "35 shots of Rum" written and directed by Claire Denis. Now when I picked out this video I read the back which described the movie as "The relationship between a father and daughter is complicated by the arrival of a handsome young man." I did not come away from the film with that as the plot line. I'm still trying to figure that out. For me it was a kind of voyeuristic film, a glimpse from afar of not only a father (Alex Descas) and daughter (Mati Diop) relationship, but a series of intertwined lives.
It was like following a family around for a week, but not knowing anything about them. Sometimes just sitting on a bench outside their building watching the comings and goings. Parts of the story were about Lionel (Father) and Josephine's (Daughter) relationship. His worry that she is putting her life on hold for him, waiting until he is happy before she can pursue her own happiness. There is a young man, played brilliantly by Gregoire Colin (Noe), who lives in their building. He travels frequently and entrusts his cat to Lionel in his absence. Josephine is smitten with Noe (Gregoire Colin), but reluctant and unsure of what to do with these feelings. Her Father senses the attraction and wants happiness for his child, but feels Noe is not the right choice. Meanwhile Lionel has some kind of past relationship with an upstairs neighbor which is merely hinted at, so as a viewer I was left wondering what that was. In fact the whole movie just hinted at all of the relationships. I was on that park bench through most of the movie, seeing glimpses and snapshots. I yearned for more, but alas I was left wanting. I really don't know what to say as far as recommending this movie. If you want to watch a movie where you get the merest whisper of insight into the characters, this is the movie for you. It's not a bad movie , I just wanted more.....I'm a glutton like that or just very needy.