By Florence Didisheim
After being nominated for a Cesar Award and winning a prize in Cannes, French director Laurent Cantet’s latest film was finally released in the U.S.
In the small town of La Ciotat near Marseilles, famous novelist Olivia Dejazet is shown to be giving a summer writing workshop to a group of young adults from the region. Together, they set to write a noir fiction novel.
Antoine, one of Olivia’s students, stands out of the group with his aggressive and oppositional behavior. As they write about a fictional murder, Antoine seems to understand what goes on in a killer’s mind a little bit too well.
Through great dialogue and realistic characters, Cantet brings up many important social issues and touchy subjects, such as the economic crisis, recent terrorist attacks, religious radicalization and the global rise of the far right.
The use of solely diegetic sounds along with a natural and convincing cast gives this film an eerie and disturbingly realistic feel.
While the film lacks the typical Hollywood ending of satisfaction, it will leave viewers pondering all of the important issues raised throughout the film.
Although there is not much action, Cantet somehow manages to build tension and captivate his audience with well-developed but unpredictable and intriguing characters.
The film can be seen at Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale and the Tower Theatre in Miami.