from the first to the very last frame this movie WOWED me. martel’s mastery of visuals, sound (and silence), editing, storytelling, characters, atmosphere made me say “what the hell?!” out loud a few times as the movie progressed. the first scene by the pool, for example, or the one of the children venturing out into the fields, are two of the most amazing mise-en-scenes i’ve ever seen. after the movie ended i remember feeling that people — i mean regular folk, my own friends and family, for instance — were just dangerous. as the movie unfolded i wondered what some of these people would think of this scene or that moment. without being exploitative, martel gives a no-holds-barred view of authentic characters in authentic environments dealing with authentic issues in authentic ways. and she does this with a truly… authentic… vision and style. at the risk of setting up people’s expectations i’ll go so far as to say that, though totally different from it, this could be flipside to, or even the “real” royal tenenbaums.