Country: USA / France
Movie Review: Set in New York 1974, “Blood Ties” has an explosive and noisy start with a home invasion by the police, an action led by officer Frank (Bill Crudup) who proceeds to the arrest of a man accused of being involved in narcotic business. The latter now lives with Frank’s former girlfriend, with whom he has a child, fact that makes us suspect the integrity of this determined police officer. In parallel, Frank’s older brother, Chris (Clive Owen), is released from prison after 12 years serving time for murder, but shows inability to lead a straight life, dragging himself into the world of crime and matching with his ex-wife, Monica (Marion Coutillard) in his greedy attempts to have an easy life outside the law. Inevitably, the plot steps into the brothers’ past, just to let us know that they were mistreated by their addicted mother, and later raised by their lonely father, who still struggles to keep the harmony. Love and hate are mixed in obfuscating ways to put family bonds into a test. Guillaume Canet (“Tell No One”, “Little White Lies”) directed the screenplay he co-wrote with James Gray (“We Own the Night”, “Two Lovers”) based on 2008 “Rivals” from Jacques Maillot, but unfortunately the results don’t always mirror the story’s potentiality, especially in dramatic terms. The protagonists’ amorous issues didn’t really work and the talented performances weren’t enough to make this blood ties really bleed the screen. Among its uneven ways, “Blood Ties” stood out for the period recreation.