Directed by Ursula Meier
Cornerhouse, 16 November 2012
The English title is a misnomer, but it would give away too much to explain exactly why.
It is a film about Simon, a boy who is a thief. He steals because he lacks something central to his life, naturally enough. What he takes and cadges acts as a sort of ballast, its bulk displacing emptiness. But this ballast is subject to erosion and so doesn’t quite do the job.
Kacey Mottet Klein is terrific in the central role; Lea Seydoux as his erstwhile sister and Gillian Anderson are fine too. One way to describe Anderson’s character would be to say that she acts as a focus for the boy’s affections. She has what he really wants to possess. And since she’s distant (though polite), clearly a person of limited sympathies, it is a cinch that things won’t go well with her.
There is a feeling of entrapment apparent throughout and it derives from poverty, yes, but from a deep, confused, emotional entanglement too.
A sad and beautiful film.