Saturday, 21 March 2015

MFFF MOVIE REVIEW: BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL (AVANT L'HIVER)


4/5

Paul has everything one may want from life. He is a respected surgeon with a successful practice. He has a glamorous home and an intelligent, beautiful, loving wife. When roses start to arrive to his office and home he takes it as some sort of a joke. But the truth is much scarier than he thinks. Very soon lies are told, friendships are broken and the truth from the past is revealed. Paul has now began a period of transition. With the summer of his life far behind, will he be able to find peace with himself before the first winter chill?

BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL is a drama mystery with some macabre undertones. Finding characters in the situation where they live comfortably, seemingly secure behind their electric gates, with their impressive bank accounts, the film creates an atmosphere of something dark lurking in every corner. The danger both comes from outside and from within the minds of Paul, his wife Lucie and their best friend Gerard. While Paul is dealing with a serious problem, the real reason for his confusion is his desire to reconcile the past with the present. Ironically, the only person who can give him an answer, is also the most distractive in his life.


The film is beautifully shot. Clever photography can make you feel peaceful and in the following second - on edge, reflecting the switching moods of the characters. Director Philippe Claudel once again picks up a difficult topic. Without excess of melodrama and with minimal dialogue he is a master storyteller.  BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL is maybe a little too long, cut out ten minutes it will be perfect.  As it is, the movie has a few slow moments, but the mystery part never lets you to be distracted. Don’t expect all the answers however. Just like in real life some pagers stays forever unturned.

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