Martel’s masterpiece. It contains what is perhaps the most sensitive placement of people inside the frame. Dialogue is secondary; nowhere is the friction between characters expressed better than on their faces and movements to and away from each other. Cassavetes and Dreyer would have been proud.
I was blown away by the unimpeachable excellence of Martel's subsequent two features, but it took seeing her debut feature to make me realize that she is one of the finest artists working today in any medium. I was absolutely floored. I can honestly not think of a greater debut in cinema ever. And it does exactly what any great debut does: it faultlessly discovers a way.
The comparison to Cassavetes is totally valid, but let's not forget how much this feels like Bunuel. The family, seemingly trapped inside the compound for most of the film, not able to leave, not able to separate themselves from each other. No one can get out of anybody's way here and it's claustrophobic as all get out. Great, great film.