Home (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/08/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Impressively directed and brilliantly written, this is an intriguing, unusual and ultimately unsettling drama with great performances from the entire cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ursula Meier, Home stars Isabelle Huppert and Olivier Gourmet as Marthe and Michel, a married couple who live in an isolated house by the side of an unfinished motorway with their three children, sulky sun-bunny Judith (Adalaide Leroux), obsessive younger teenager Marion (Madeleine Budd) and bundle of boyish energy Julien (Kacey Mottet Klein). However, their idyllic lifestyle is suddenly shattered when, after 10 years, Route E57 is finally finished and opened to the public.

The Good
The script and direction are both excellent, allowing for a subtle shift from ramshackle family comedy into something much darker. The sharply written screenplay also gains points for crediting the audience with enough intelligence to fill in the gaps for themselves – for example, it's strongly hinted that Marthe had some sort of city-induced breakdown in the past, yet we never learn the details.

Initially, Home seems like it's going to be one of those against-the-odds comedies and that the family will try to somehow get the motorway closed down (such as in Australia's The Castle), but the film never does quite what you expect and the result is something that's simultaneously blackly funny, deeply moving and genuinely disturbing. It's also powerfully atmospheric and claustrophobic, so that you actually feel you're living in the house with them.

The Great
The performances are superb and the family interactions are both believable and engaging. Huppert and Klein are particularly good, especially in their scenes together, such as when she drags him out of bed at midnight so he can have one last play on the empty highway.

The film's also beautifully shot, courtesy of cinematographer Agnes Godard. In addition, the sound design is excellent, as the relentless traffic noise starts to drive the audience slowly insane too (this will be lost when the film goes to DVD so see it in the cinema if at all possible).

Worth seeing?
Home is a surreal, disturbing, blackly funny and ultimately moving drama that marks director Ursula Meier out as a talent to watch. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Home (12A)
Home has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 24/10/2017 12:08

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