Every day, twelve-year-old Simon takes the cable car up to the mountains where the slopes bristle with the hustle and bustle of winter season tourists. He pokes about in hotel wardrobes and changing rooms looking for something to eat in rucksacks, but what he’s really after are skis that he can turn into cash.
Whenever he talks to holidaymakers or hotel staff, he tells them that his parents died in a car accident and that he lives alone with his sister. Louis, the young woman who lives in the apartment in the valley has no idea what Simon gets up to all day long. Their odd relationship alternates between quarrels and tenderness.
Ursula Meier sets her second feature-length drama against the backdrop of a popular tourist destination in the Alps. From the broad, anonymous mass of people, she has distilled the story of one child who believes he has found a way to offset his breadline existence. This portrait of a boy on the brink of puberty, poised between deceit and an unquenchable need for love and tenderness, is at the same time an exploration of the contradictions and hidden depths of an ostensibly prosperous world. –Berlinale
Ursula Meier (born 24 June 1971) is a French-Swiss film director who received the Best Director award at the 2008 Festival du Film Francophone d’Angoulême [Angoulême French-Language Film Festival] for her first theatrical feature, Home, which won the 2009 Swiss Film Prize for Bester Spielfilm [Best Film] as well as Bestes Drehbuch [Best Screenplay] (shared with Antoine Jaccoud). It also received France’s César nomination for Meilleur Premier Film [Best First Film] and a Best Film nomination at Argentina’s Mar del Plata Film Festival.
A native of Besançon, the capital of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France, near the Swiss border, Ursula Meier graduated from Belgium’s Institut des Arts de Diffusion [Institute of Visual Arts] and served as assistant director to the internationally-renowned Swiss auteur, Alain Tanner, on his films Fourbi [Gear] (1996) and Jonas et Lila, à demain [Jonas and Lila, ‘Till Tomorrow] (1999). She won her first major film… read more
Fits within the French cinema tradition of Godard, Bresson, Ophuls, the Dardennes, etc., insofar as its preoccupation lies with emphasising and critiquing the prevalence of materialistic exchange in even the closest of human relationships. However, this preoccupation seems a little too studied, plus I don't think its characters are fully developed enough for it to be a classic.
New work by Christian Petzold, the Taviani brothers, Ursula Meier, Miguel Gomes and more.