Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Alpeis
Greece, 2011. Haos Film, Hellenic Radio & Television, Faliro House Productions, Feelgood Entertainment, Nova, Marni Films, Avion Films, Cactus Three, Maharaja Films, Greek Film Center, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Queen Street Partners. Screenplay by Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos. Cinematography by Christos Voudouris. Produced by Yorgos Lanthimos, Athina Rachel Tsangari. Production Design by Anna Georgiadou. Costume Design by Thanos Papastergiou. Film Editing by Yorgos Mavropsaridis. Toronto International Film Festival 2011. Venice Film Festival 2011.
Yorgos Lanthimos continues the flavour of provocative satire that made Dogtooth so memorable with this subtler and more polished comedy of human manners. A group of individuals belong to a secret society of unique caregivers, administering to the bereaved who have recently lost family members and easing them into their lives without their loved ones by impersonating the deceased. Aggeliki Papoulia is excellent as a hospital nurse whose job is the primary motivation for new cases, her psyche affected when it becomes obvious that she herself is the one who needs her job more than her clients need her. Lanthimos does a terrific job of letting us into this world without explaining everything overtly: it takes a while to catch up with what is going on but you’re willing to wait patiently since the photography and performances are so good. As with Dogtooth, though, his allegories have the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the head and he is far more interested in being shocking than mysterious. This is a collection of ellipses without enigma, a series of images that amuse but never enchant.