Le Refuge

"Very Good"

Le Refuge Review


Ozon is back in sensitive-drama mode for this almost subliminal personal story of a young woman trying to piece together the fragments of her life and understand her conflicting expectations and desires. But it's not easy to get a grip on.

In a posh Paris apartment, Louis and Mousse (Poupaud and Carre) live in squalor, addicted to heroin. They overdose, end up in hospital and, when Mousse wakes up, her doctor surprises her with the news that she's eight weeks pregnant and alone. Louis' mother (Vernet) blames her for everything, so Mousse escapes to an isolated house on the coast. She's joined there by Louis' more sympathetic brother Paul (Choisy). And even though she knows that he's gay, she starts falling for him. Even when he hooks up with someone else (Louis-Calixte).

The film is directed in a minimal, contained style, quietly watching the characters and their interaction without over-explaining the straightforward plot. This makes the film feel a little aloof and simplistic as a result, but Ozon's sure-handed touch is delicate and telling. He is also gently exploring the politics of attraction and how difficult it is for us to control whom we fall in love with or where our lives take us.

The film has a quietly intense tone, mainly due to the understated strain between the characters as they learn more about each other. This gives the actors much more interesting material to work with than the usual romantic drama, as their attraction has to be tempered with the knowledge that they aren't likely to end up together. Carre and Choisy are terrific in the roles, and have a strong but intriguingly fragile chemistry.

In the end, the film is rather too vague to really resonate. In some ways, it feels like a 30-minute short stretched into a feature. But every scene is beautifully observant, and really catches the sense that we usually find peace in the most unexpected places. And we all need some way to escape from the grim reality of our lives if only for a little while, because it's the only way we will find the strength to face up to the facts.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 23 mins

Production compaines: Le Pacte

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Chris Bolzli,

Starring: Louis-Ronan Choisy as Paul, Pierre Louis-Calixte as Serge, as Louis, Claire Vernet as La mère, Jean-Pierre Andréani as Le père, Marie Rivière as La femme sur la plage, as Le médecin, Nicolas Moreau as Le dragueur, Emile Berling as Le dealer, Dominique Jacquet as Geneviève, Tania Dessources as L'infirmière, Maurice Antoni as Le prêtre, Sylvie Haurie-Aussel as La pharmacienne, Arnaud Goudal as L'agent immobilier, as Mousse

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.