Saturday, July 31, 2010

#527: The Secret of the Grain

(Adellatif Kechiche, 2007)

Yet another of the Criterion films released in conjunction with IFC Films, The Secret of the Grain isn't the film that Summer Hours or Everlasting Moments is. That's not to say it doesn't have its strong points. The film is impeccably acted, which is to say that you would have a hard time remembering that there is acting being done, and the story becomes extremely suspenseful and exciting by the end; you really do get wrapped up in these characters' lives. But too many scenes drag on too long, and the film could have been forty minutes shorter.

The ending is where the movie is most likely to divide viewers (at least the ones that make it through the first hour, where nothing particularly happens), but I had mixed feelings about it. Abrupt endings can be extremely moving, but they can also seem like more of a cop out than anything else, and I thought this ending was a little of both.

The Secret of the Grain is a good movie, but it's certainly not a great one, and I wonder how I will feel about it five years now, or if anyone will be talking about it then. Without its place in Criterion, I think this is a movie that would be largely forgotten.

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