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Beatrice Dalle

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You And The Night


You and the Night Review


Surreal and over-constructed, this offbeat French drama often feels more like a stage play than a movie, with its pointed dialogue and a cast of "types". It's also a bit vague and hard to get to the bottom of, which leaves it a curiosity rather than anything more meaningful. But there's an undeniable intrigue to the plot, and some of the characters break out of their boxes to become oddly sympathetic, although that will depend on whether you can identify with one of them.

It's set in a super-modern house owned by Ali and Matthias (Kate Moran and Niels Schneider), who are holding a party with the help of their cross-dressing maid Udo (Nicolas Maury). Sex seems to be the main thing on the menu, so as each person arrives, Udo blankly asks them if they'd like "speed, poppers, cocaine, MDMA, something to drink". On arrival, the guests are given a title rather than using their names, to protect their anonymity. The Stud (Eric Cantona) defines his entire life by his genitalia. The Slut (Julie Bremond) wants everything on her terms only. The Star (Fabienne Babe) prefers the room to be dark, so she can feel and be felt without seeing or being seen. And the Teen (Alain Fabien Delon) is clearly hiding from something. Then the cops arrive looking for the runaway teen, and things take a turn.

Not that there's much of a plot here. The turn is inwards, as the film is much more concerned with the orgy of words than any sense of physicality. There's enough of that to earn the 18 certificate, although it's oddly choreographed to be eerily clinical. And this reflects the way each of the characters seems distanced from real life. Even Ali and Matthias are reluctant to face the truth of their situation (Matthias isn't well). And since these people sit around talking to each other in increasingly arch, stagey ways, the film begins to feel rather pretentious.

Continue reading: You and the Night Review

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