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  • The classic mystery plot of this film has a Hitchcockian vibe to it: Is something really happening at the clinic? And if so, who is responsible? Our protagonist is a retired cop struggling with Alzheimer. Although the treatment is much different, this reminds of classics like Rear Window.

    André Dussollier gives a masterful performance as the vulnerable but still feisty Charles Boyer. Confined to a clinic, Boyer must battle both his illness as well as rules and The Residence's personnel to figure out what exactly is going on here. Dussolier is both touching and commanding in the role and is the reason we are drawn to the fairly conventional plot.

    The parallels to Hitchcock stop there, because of Nicolas Boukhrief's story and direction. Actor Dussollier is pretty much left on his own to convey the confusion of Alzheimer, something a director like Hitchcock, Polanski, Nolan or even Mangold would have greatly helped with. Most of the characters gravitating around Charles are a little too raw, especially considering the main mystery plot moves slowly. Even considering the limitation of the direction, I feel a more elegant resolution would have raised the score by 1 or 2 points for me. It all feels like it unfolds a little artificially.

    I was still fascinated by Dussollier and his character Boyer and since I love mystery movies, I greatly enjoyed Cortex. If you enjoy this genre and are tired of muscular and pin-up type protagonists, give this movie a try.
  • claudio_carvalho23 August 2018
    The retired police inspector Charles Boyer (André Dussollier) has Alzheimer´s disease and is taken by his son Thomas (Julien Boisselier) to the nursing home The Residence. Charles uses a notebook with his observations and he has one night stand with the nymphomaniac patient Carole Rothmann (Marthe Keller) in his room in the clinic. On the next morning, Carole vanishes and soon he learns that she had died of heart attack. A further research shows Charles that a great number of patients have recently died in the clinic. Charles decides to investigate whether his disturbed mind is delusional or whether there is a serial killer in the clinic.

    "Cortex" is an original film with the sad and intriguing story of an old man that has Alzheimer´s disease and consequently forgets his last day. The screenplay keeps the tension and the way he uses to proceed his investigation supported by a notebook with his observations is great. The plot does not use clichés and the idea of forgetting the last day was used only in "Memento", but in a totally different approach. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available
  • Not as exotic as Memento, and not the same kind of movie experience, but this movie explores the other, much more common, memory loss that so many of us will experience, or will watch our loved ones experience.

    As his memory worsens and as his ability to distinguish reality from delusion slips away Charles Boyer, former police inspector, thinks he may be seeing something nobody else is. The question is can he make anyone believe him? Can he even convince himself before he succumbs completely and finally to Alzheimer's?

    André Dussollier's portrayal of a formally brilliant man losing, it and knowing he is losing it, projects real pain and fear. Its hard to watch him struggle trying to remember, trying to clear his head, to even understand his own notes. Meanwhile all the caretakers, and his own son, treat him like a child and try to medicate him into submission...

    This movie is a brilliant exploration of aging, memory, identity, and the inevitable end of life we all face.
  • It's not easy to do a good movie. And it's even more ambitious and difficult for a director to escape a given genre. Unfortunately Nicolas Boukhrief failed in both exercises.

    On paper Cortex looks promising. In fact the scenario seems in the same time strong interesting and original with potentially great characters to be developed

    A retired cop name Charles Boyer who suffers from Alzheimer goes in a retirement clinic but starts to suspect murders. Who would believe him, is he delirious?

    Unfortunately none of the promises were fulfilled. André Dussollier is a great actors, he portrays quite well this lost retired cop but never manages to be convincing as an Alzheimer. Nicolas Boukrhrief chooses to film none pertinent scenes and never give the supporting cast a chance to develop their characters. As a result they all appear as filler instead of backbone. Even the role of Charles Boyer's son is underdeveloped.

    We witness a succession of emotionless scenes exploring myriads of themes. Nicolas Boukhrief talks about many subjects as a way to escape the Thriller genre. Retirement, Alzheimer, Father & Son relationship, Professional Relationship in a medical environment etc…all those themes are touched upon. The problem is none of those themes are explored in depth; they are all superficially thrown in.

    The result is a thriller that doesn't thrill. A too fast ending raps up the main intrigue without providing the audience with a sense of progression and closure. And from an Alzheimer point of view the ending is at the very least naive and unrealistic.

    I salute Nicolas Boukhrief 's Audacity. I am no film director and I am incapable of making a film. But I do prefer the characters to drive a story rather than the story to drive the characters. It's more difficult but it's the only way to escape a genre.
  • here they are again:André Dussolier and Marthe Keller.The French audience may remember they had teamed up in Claude Lelouch's almost prophetic "Toute Une Vie" .Watching them together is a strange experience.Aurore Clement ("Lacombe Lucien") is also part of the cast.

    "Cortex" depicts a gloomy atmosphere with a certain success;the patients are treated like big babies,they have to swallow their sleeping pills under the nurses' watchful eye and they do not have much time to think.

    Unfortunately,the plot is not really original :borrowing from HG Clouzot's "Les Espions" and Alain Jessua 's "Traitement De Choc" and repeating the same pattern as MTV "Carte Vermeille " (about an home for retired people),the ending is neither surprising nor suspenseful;one should note that "Carte Vermeille' had been written by first-class Boileau/Narcejac team;none of the writers can write a murder mystery as they did .

    Watch it for the cast:you will understand the very meaning of the title in the last lines.
  • bob9981 August 2018
    It must be hard for an actor to work with reduced faculties. I think of Mathieu Amalric in The Butterfly and the Diving Bell, only able to move one eyelid, or John Hurt locked into that deformed body cast in The Elephant Man. But most of all I think of Julie Christie and Michael Murphy carrying on a love affair while suffering from Alzheimer's disease in Away From Her. I think the writers of Cortex must have seen Sarah Polley's film because the lives of the patients here are brought to life with impressive skill. I salute Andre Dussolier, Aurore Clement, Marthe Keller and Anne-Marie Faux (as Claire, the silent one who manages to give the clue to Charles in a painting--a great feat of crime fighting) for making these damaged people engrossing for the viewer.

    I was wrapped up in Charles's attempt to solve a crime at the same time as he struggles with a debilitating disease: that's a fine piece of acting. Now if the director had just known how to cut 20 excess minutes out of his final cut, we would have had a really superb film.