Monday, January 2, 2017
THE ARDENNES (2016)
This bleak, black, frequently hellish modern film noir was Belgium's submission for the Oscars. Its a good film that is gripping and frequently the sort of white knuckle material that makes a classic film. While it is possible that five years down the road the film will be considered a classic for right now it's just a really good crime drama.
I understand both why the film was chosen as Belgium's choice but I also know why the film didn't make the cut to the short list, it's a bit too much form over content. Director Robin Pront clearly has an eye for what he's doing. The images are beautiful paintings of pain, there is no hope only blackness. The score seems more designed to keep the audience on edge as opposed to moving the story. Its an impeccably designed film from every angle.
And that goes to the story as well. Designed to maximum effect the film's plotting is designed way too much to create tension. Details are left out . People don't tell each other things, the key one being details of both brothers circling the same girl. One would have thought they would have hashed it out somewhere along the way. There are other bits as well that are noticeably played in such away as to keep the tension high. It would be fine if everything else moved along in such away that we weren't aware of the director's hand but that doesn't happen with the result being that the film is slightly less then the sum of it's stellar parts.
I truly like the film a great deal but there is something there that makes me wish I had loved it instead. I think that perhaps the film is a little too dark and a little too bleak
Definitely worth your time and money THE ARDENNES is a kick ass little noir of the sort that they don't usually do well- and this time out Robin Pront does it very well.
Worth seeing when the film hits US screens starting Friday.