- 02 Jul 10
The lunacy is as always with Clare Denis, part of the fun.
Isabelle Huppert stars as the owner of a coffee plantation who refuses to abandon her business when gun-toting rebels begin advancing across the unnamed African state. Meanwhile, her slightly slimy husband (who else, but Christophe Lambert?) negotiates safe passage with the mayor, and her hyper-slacker of a son (Nicolas Duvauchelle) lies grumpily in bed. The radio transmits increasingly gloomy reports of building catastrophe, but Huppert isn’t going anywhere.
As ever with Denis, limpid images – Yves Cape stands in for regular cinematographer Agnes Godard - combine to creepily poetic effect and the politics are perilously twisty: is the white coloniser really the hero here? Yes, the son’s story spins into absurdity the final act, but the lunacy is, with Denis, always part of the fun. Hell, White Material seems like Shrek when set beside her Trouble Every Day.