Reviews

35 Shots Of Rhum

4

A father struggles to let his daughter gain her independance

After the mysterious globetrotting of The Intruder, French director Claire Denis returns to suburban Paris with this affecting portrayal of a loving father-daughter relationship, which is partly inspired by the sublime domestic dramas of Ozu.

Widowed train-driver Lionel (Alex Descas) lives contentedly with his university student daughter Joséphine (Mati Diop), and in their spare time they see friends from their apartment block, including one of his ex-girlfriends Gabrielle (Nicole Dogué) and the orphaned Noé (Grégoire Colin).

Lionel, however, realizes that it’s time for Josephine to move on in her life.

The key events in this low-key film occur off-screen, but Denis and regular cinematographer Agnès Godard have the priceless ability to infuse the everyday with a magical dimension: nowhere is this better illustrated than when the characters, stranded at a cafe in the early hours, dance to The Commodores’ ‘Nightshift’. A wonderful film.

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