Magazine article Screen International

The Rest of the World

Magazine article Screen International

The Rest of the World

Article excerpt

Dir: Damien Odoul. France. 2012. 81mins

You can always rely on French cinema to deliver the best 'dysfunctional family around the dinner table' drama, though while The Rest Of The World (Le reste du monde) has its entertaining moments as it delves into family, loss and identity it tends to meander at times when a little more focus is called for.

Marie-Eve Nadeau is poised and refined as Eve, though her character is given little to do.

Directed for television by actor/director Damien Odoul, there are some delicious moments - notably from Mathieu Amalric (who directed Odoul in 2010's On Tour, and is clearly returning the favour) as a man obsessed with his food intake, and Emmanuelle Béart as a shaggy-haired alcoholic - but the drama is never fully developed and certain aspects are left hanging.

The film opens with a striking shot of Eve (Marie-Eve Nadeau) standing at a window, with coffee in hand as the light streams through. Eve, who teaches at a school for the deaf, is love with boyfriend Helios (director Odoul), but he commits suicide soon after she finds out she is pregnant.

Meanwhile in a linked storyline Eve and his sister's Judith (Judith Morisseau) and Aurélie (Aurélie Mestres), along with Judith's fussy husband Paul (Amalric) head off for a dinner with father Jean (Jean-Louis Coulloc'h) and his alcoholic new wife Katia (Béart), who none of them like. This leads to tense dinnertime chat, especially as the booze flows, which comes to a head when Katia drunkenly implies that Jean is not actually Judith's father. …

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