35 Rhums (Denis, 2008)

35 Rhums (Claire Denis, 2008)

Whenever Claire Denis wants to, she can be as poetic as any filmmaker has ever been. Her mixture of drowned colors, smooth camera movements, relaxed character presences, and dream-like music make for a fascinating experience. The first 10 minutes of this film (a constant barrage of what I just described) were cinematic perfection to me. And there are several moments like this throughout. Denis always does an amazing job picking a soundtrack for her films, and this might be her best one.


For fans of Yasujiro Ozu, the story was a familiar one: 20-something daughter doesn’t want to move out of her widowed father’s place in fear of his well-being. But Denis makes this story modern and it works completely. There is a family friend with a love interest in the daughter, and the way he seeks her company is both sweet and heartbreaking. There is also an older woman who may or may not have had a relationship with the father in the past. Their dynamic is a little awkward and at times desperate. But these four characters definitely have unique and poignant relationships all the way around, and I almost felt as if I was a part of their ‘family’ by the time this was done.¬† 9.25/10

35 r


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