In terms of the synchronization of a visual style (or general "visuality") and a milieu, Beyond the Hills is very much a total triumph. It is very much apparent that there needed to be this kind of film in this kind of space. That being said, I have some issues w/ the fact that this particular story has been told in this particular way. We are dealing w/ a fairly manipulative approach and a kind of queasy exposé.
It was a little bit too irritating witnessing the passivity and ignorance! At one point I almost yelled at the screen, because I wanted the protagonists friend to react. Not very energizing, quite draining watch. But, maybe with another mood I would enjoyed this film even more. 3.5/4
A love story of two women hurdled by dangerous beliefs. The composition is superb. The question of whose scene is it is determined beforehand hence a dialogue scene between two or more characters doesn't have shots alternating from different camera setups, camera is locked on one point of view but its not limiting- the shots are wide letting the viewer do his own editing. No unneeded indulgent shots.
Superb direction markes by its unique camera work, which relies on finding the perfect camera shot, and then proceed with the filming, characterized by its long takes filled with sublime dialogues which make great reflections about religion, faith and friendship. The screenplay and the performances are outstanding, which led this film to the best screenplay and best actresses award at the Cannes Film Festival.