Our Paradise

"Very Good"

Our Paradise Review


Gifted French filmmaker Morel explores fairly dark themes in his films, refusing to make things easy for his characters. And this strikingly involving film is no exception, following a relationship that starts out rather bleakly and gets increasingly unnerving.

At age 30, Vassili (Rideau) works the streets in Paris but finds that his clients are getting older. So he starts quietly killing them. When he rescues 20-ish Angelo (Durdaine) after an attack, the two start to fall for each other even as they continue pulling tricks. And although Angelo asks him to stop, Vassili continues murdering their johns. So they leave the city to see Vassili's friend Anna (Dalle)and her young son (Morisset). Together they head to an idyllic mountain cabin to visit Vassili's mentor Victor (Flamand), where Vassili has a terrible idea.

As usual, Morel is exploring generational issues of masculinity, and the film's final act features men aged around 60, 30, 20 and 10 interacting in increasingly eerie ways. Especially as the intentions of each character become clear. Indeed, the film's creepy sensibility is often overwhelming since, aside from the killing spree, Vassili is a pretty nice guy and his relationship with Angelo is actually rather sweet.

Rideau gets the balance just right between Vassili's light and dark sides, catching us off guard with a flick of the eyes. And we can't quite understand why he finds it so difficult to leave the violence behind. But the "paradise" of Victor's home and the happiness of his romance with Angelo are just too much for him to resist. Opposite him, Durdaine is like an innocent who simply refuses to see the truth.

The surrounding cast is also very strong, although Issolah (as Victor's long-term partner) plays a slightly one-note character who takes huge exception to Vassili from the moment they meet. There might be some history here, but the script never fills in this gap in the character, which leaves him as the villain of the piece even if he's truly the only voice of reason. The plot's table-turning is so well-handled by Morel that we barely see it happening. And as a result, the film's final scenes are seriously haunting.



Our Paradise

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 28th September 2011

Distributed by: Uncork'd Entertainment

Production compaines: Alfama Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Gael Morel

Producer:

Starring: Stéphane Rideau as Vassili, Dimitri Durdaine as Angelo, as Anna, as Victor, Raymonde Bronstein as La mère d'Anna

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.