20 February 2012 | dbdumonteil
The long and winding road
For once,Regis Warnier ditches exoticism -although his heroine is an Algerian woman- and the faraway lands and all his movie takes place in France.
The story has shades of John Huston: two people who should not have met ,"les Intouchables" in the world of sport,so to speak.This is the story of a woman who spent some time in jail for the(unintentional? )murder of her husband- the movie is not very clear for that matter;this melodramatic past and the scene of the English hooker -why English,by the way?- provide the low points of the movie.This Algerian woman is a former athlete and she becomes a blind young man's coach :he lost his sight in a car wreck. The task will be a very hard one since the boy's mother shows over possessive tendencies;we even feel she thinks the coach steals her son .
The soupy melodrama (which returns for a maudlin ending)is saved by the actors' performances :Cyril Descours,who was remarkable in the overlooked "Complices" ,shows again that he is one of the most promising actors of the younger generation,not afraid to play demeaning parts : a male prostitute in "Complices" ,a blind athlete in this work;Rachida Brakni matches him every step of the way (not a truer word):she is very moving in her part of a loser,hoping against hope,and trying to find a reason to live and to believe;Clémentine Célarié,who has been working on stage in the past years,has gained in assurance and her portrayal of a desperate mother is very convincing.
To be short:see it for the actors!
Based on a true story.