Saturday, 28 March 2015

MFFF MOVIE REVIEW: IN THE COURTYARD (DAN LA COUR)


2/5

Fifty-something Antoine is jobless and depressed. By pure chance he hired as a caretaker in an apartment block that had seen better days. Filled with eccentric occupants, this seems to be the place he would fit right in. One of them is Mathilde, who is slowly but steadily being consumed by a mental illness. Will Mathilde and Antoine mange to help one another to see the light in the end of the tunnel?

IN The COURTYARD is an unfortunately misfired drama from a very good director Pierre Salvadori (his previous film BEAUTIFUL LIES is one of the best comedies I have seen in recent years). The whole affair seems as uninspired as the lives of the main characters.

The plot is barely existent, consisting of a few mes-en-scenes, but some snappy dialogue and a few quirky secondary characters is not enough to pull out a good film.  The story does not seem to have the middle and the end, and the clumsy wrap up of multiple storylines is ultimately unsatisfying.

Catherine Deneuve is one reason to see this film. She’s still got it - the beauty and the craft. The scene where she visits her old house and starts criticizing what the new owners had done to it, is a delight.

I wish I could find more interesting, original stuff in this little film which would appeal to the fans of Salvadori and Deneuve.  This is a rare case for a French cinema, where the screenplay is at fault. With a little story to tell even for its relatively short time span of 97 minutes, IN THE COURTYARD is a very average drama, that cannot compete with many great releases of the year.

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