Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Connelly Shines in a Bleak Family Tale of Midwinter; Berlin FILM FESTIVAL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Connelly Shines in a Bleak Family Tale of Midwinter; Berlin FILM FESTIVAL

Article excerpt

Byline: derek malcolm

ALOFT Cert tbc, 112 mins THE first we see of Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly in writer-director Claudia Llosa's Aloft is as a farmhand pulling a piglet out of a pregnant sow in the snowy wastes of North America. It is not a pretty sight. But the film doesn't intend to show us nice pictures. It is more concerned with fraught relationships.

Llosa's last film, made in her home country of Peru and the surprise winner of the Berlin Golden Bear in 2009, was substantially about the same subject matter. This film, made far away from her own culture, seems less confidently controlled. It certainly majors in atmosphere, however, as the winter weather closes in on its troubled characters.

Connelly's farmhand has two young sons, one who owns a falcon and proudly flies it, and the younger frail and handicapped. When a terrible accident happens to the younger boy, mother and older son become estranged.

Much later, with Cillian Murphy now playing the surviving son and the farmhand mother working as a healer, the two come awkwardly together again. …

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