Non ma fille, tu n’iras pas danser
France, 2009, 107 minutes
Tue, May 04 / 3:45 / Kabuki / MAKI04K
Thu, May 06 / 8:30 / Kabuki / MAKI06K
Lena blazes into her family’s country home in a desperate fury, her two bewildered children in tow. Ostensibly, she and her chain-smoking pregnant sister Frédérique and happy-go-lucky brother Gulven are seeing their parents off on a bus tour to Rome, but other agendas soon surface. Lena, having impulsively packed up and left her husband, is in the midst of a messy divorce, and her family’s desire for her to be happy results in a pile-up of unsolicited advice, personal critiques and misguided attempts at social intervention. Not even the bucolic Breton countryside offers much comfort, serving up instead gothic folktales featuring a variety of dangerous women. French director Christophe Honoré wears the mantle of the New Wave lightly as he playfully unfolds his version of a woman on the edge, mixing dispassionate documentary-style observation with direct addresses to the camera and sudden leaps across time and place. In this world, the progression from quiet conversation to an exchange of blows seems both inexplicable and inevitable. A galaxy of supporting characters turn in stellar performances as they revolve around and react to Lena’s unpredictability. In a film that provides no easy resolutions, Chiara Mastroianni is riveting as the alternately brusque and vulnerable Lena, unwilling or unable to conform to others’ expectations and radiating panic in the face of vertiginous freedom as she confronts a life falling apart.