Four stars for the first half, two stars for the second half. I get that the turning point is supposed to unsettle the various characters and create conflict, but complex conflicts are usually not solved in the span of an hour in real life. Divis Marek's cinematography and Slovak composer Vladimír Godár's score are nothing short of superb, but Bohdan Sláma's screenplay is the main flaw of this film.
He moves ghostlike through his life until confronted w/ the passed out presence of the young man, followed by inexplicable transgression. Null period then a "forgiveness," which comes from the same nowhere as his groping hands. Liked it more than disliked it, esp. for Liška, Bydzovska and Kronerová's rich performances, but the film is weakened by its homophobia and misogyny. 3.5 stars
Felt like a Chekhov play: characters searching for an escape from their own unique forms of loneliness. Not sure why the synopsis describes Marie as "peculiar": she's a single mother with responsibilities. Film is overloaded with metaphors: prophesy of old woman about winters; snails & their shells; sexuality of worker bees; empty wells. Creepy sexual predation scene; very creepy to make the kid forgive him.
*spoilers alert* I was really enjoying the movie, until the gay teacher assaulted the teenager. This movie equates homosexuality with predatory behavior. When we meet the teacher's previous lover, he is also a sexual predator, going after a teenage girl. The ending is upsetting, all about the teacher's need for forgiveness, while the boy who was abused is expected not only to forgive and live w. his abuser as family.
This movie at first seems like a sweet coming of age story- a teacher becomes close with a farmer and her son whose father has left them. But then instead of assuming a father position the teacher's "gay urges" overcome his better judgement. In the end, a weird rape incident is forgiven because "everyone needs someone." Good acting, weird movie. Also, look out for the uncomfortable Julian Casablancas look alike.