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Directed by Ursula Meier

France, 2012

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.