SLIFF 2010 Review: HIDEAWAY - We Are Movie Geeks

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French director Francois Ozon, who won international acclaim and arthouse embrace with his films SWIMMING POOL and 8 WOMEN has made HIDEAWAY, a more simple, less edgy drama about grief and starting over. Isabelle Carre plays Mousse, a heroin addict, who awakens in a hospital after ingesting a spoiled batch that has killed her wealthy boyfriend. She discovers she is pregnant and, despite pressure from her late lover’s family to have an abortion, decides to carry the baby to term.

Feeling lost and sipping methadone, she moves into her late boyfriend’s house by the sea. One day his sensitive, piano-playing gay brother (Louis-Ronan Choisy) shows up. At first Mousse resents the intrusion, but the grieving and lonely pair eventually bond, talk, lay in the sun, hug, and help one another find direction in their lives.

Ozon wrote HIDEAWAY around Carre, who was actually pregnant during filming, and the shots of her lying in the tub or standing on the beach with her increasingly swollen belly have a unique charm, but the film isn’t fleshed-out as a feature and goes nowhere. HIDEAWAY is a nicely acted odd-couple drama that, at 88 minutes is slight even by French standards and I got the impression that Ozon’s real goal was to simply show a pregnancy up close.

HIDEAWAY will play during the 19th Annual Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival on Friday, November 12th at 9:30 pm and Monday, November 15th at 9:00 pm at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema.

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