Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
Original title: Lef
The Netherlands, 1999. CV LEF. Screenplay by Ron Termaat. Cinematography by Maarten Kramer. Produced by Marijke Kloosterman, Ron Termaat. Music by Andre van der Hoff, Joep van Deudekom. Production Design by Joaney Korevaar. Costume Design by Arien de Vries, Marianne Noorlander. Film Editing by Hans van Dongen, Annette Otto.
Tepid three-way romance about a struggling actor/writer (Viggo Waas) trying to get his Marlowe-style film noir movie made in the face of oppression from the director’s aunt, who is also the producer. While writing the film he also has the arduous task of fitting a free-spirited woman (Alice Reys) into his life. Naturally, the director, who is also his best friend, competes here as well, and the usual exercise in male domination contests happens. Ron Termaat’s first film is nothing to shout about, and though he tries for 8 1/2-style reflectiveness, the film never gets too far beyond being a somewhat charming romance with funky black-and-white scenes (the proposed movie within the movie). It doesn’t help that the film the main character is trying to make doesn’t seem to be shaping up to be a very good one either (not even a good parody of Marlowe films). Reys is excellent as the girlfriend, but can’t save the dullness surrounding her.
Toronto International Film Festival: 1999