Monday, April 18, 2011

A Short Note on Incendies

Incendies has the one thing I prize in cinema above all else: a director with a strong personal style who can tailor it to the subject matter at hand.  Unfortunately Denis Villeneuve's style is deployed in the service of a pot-boiler of a story. At first it's merely forgettable stuff: a mechanistic cycle of violence told through the prism of a straightforward detective story in which neither the detective nor her quarry emerge as anything more than plot tokens. But by the time it piles on its last lurid, contrived twist it becomes truly risible: an art house exploitation film in which the most painful, improbable scenario its makers could contrive is made palatable through an ostensibly laudable, yet astonishingly wrong-headed, paean to forgiveness.

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