Friday, January 25, 2013
Its protagonist, Ali (the excellent Matthias Schoenaerts), is a man on the run from his home in Belgium with his five-year-old son. Hitchhiking, then taking a train, scavenging food that other passengers have left behind, or stealing from a busy MacDonald's, they are on their way to Ali's sister and her truck-driver husband in the French beachfront resort town of Cap d'Antibes. Some mention is made in passing that Ali's wife was using their little boy in a drug-smuggling enterprise, so he's come to France to get a new start.
We get the feeling that, like most of his impulses, Ali's move to France has not been well thought-out. While working as a bouncer, Ali meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), who trains killer whales at the local Marineland park.
Cotillard's wonderful portrait of a woman who decides to be fearless is well partnered by Schoenaerts' tough-tender Ali; theirs is an intricate, delicate mating dance that fuels this dynamic film. (Read complete review in this week's Good Times.)