Country: France / Germany
Movie Review: Claire Denis has already proved her amazing capabilities, and “Bastards” confirms her biting efficiency within a complex story that balances among intriguing insinuations and the habitual rawness that characterizes her filmmaking style. Marco arrives to Paris, after the suicide of his brother-in-law, to give support to his sister, Sandra, and niece, Justine, who is hospitalized with severe damages in the genitals resulting of her involvement in a dirty prostitution business. Marco gives up his job and sells everything he can to help his family, now in bankruptcy. In an attempt to reach Edouard Laporte, the presumed responsible for all these tragic incidents, Marco rents an apartment in the building he lives, but unexpectedly becomes passionate lover of Laporte’s wife Raphaelle, an inactive housewife that lives for her little son. The film starts in a modest way, I would even dare to say in a pretty standard way, but as the plot develops, things becomes clearer and Denis waits for the perfect moment to blow us away with ruthless, shocking, and surprising revelations. The pace is unhurried, taking the time needed for us to absorb the characters’ personality and cheerless scenarios. The dusky photography by Agnés Godard, highlights the constrained atmosphere of despair, oppressiveness, and psychological insanity, aided by an intriguing, somber music. With great performances by all the cast and demanding a lot from the audiences, “Bastards” is undisputed leader for darkest film of the year.