Powerful piece. A predictably on the edge Hupert, a bunch of adults behaving like glorified 6 year old children making the most unremarkable characters -- the partners, outsiders to the family -- look utterly remarkable. The ending is well managed, and not really an ending. Brilliant music in the last scene.
This intelligently modest tale about the complexity of family relationships is essentially a difficult emotional balancing act, an endeavour I.Huppert excels at. Less morally didactic than the Dardennes' early ventures into filmmaking, it is intense yet never so much as to become viscerally/forcefully extreme. The final shot with Caine's ethereal version of Mahler's "Primal Light" is too sublime to be comprehended.
Isabelle Huppert gives a typically superb performance as the mother of two difficult sons in this edgy and uncomfortable drama of family dysfunction. Like contemporary directors Michael Haneke and Joanna Hogg, Joachim Lafosse seems adept at handling themes of domestic tension, resentment and a barely repressed undercurrent of violence.
There's trickery in cinema. Lafosse feels the respectable need to show the bitter effects of family feuds but fails to find a subtle way to deliver credibly by closing all avenues and burying all hope. Consequently the characters can't help themselves & just disintegrate rapidly in flames. I found it forced and manipulated. Dumb Lafosse.
The movie is so organically put together that you can feel the grotesque chemistry between the characters.As the movie moves forward you almost get to witness them merging into one, with as many faces, as characters in the story.Loved the organic feel of the movie, loved Huppert's acting and loved the way the tension rises with the ritualistic pace of the movie,with its repetitive little settings like the mealtimes.
Isabelle Hubert is superb, and the tension in the scene pictured is just electric. The relationship between the two brothers - brothers in real life - is explored in long static takes where the viewer is doing all the work. I wasn't sure about the ending - a little too literal for me. I'd like to say four and a half.