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Worth A Look85.71%
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Pretty Bad: 14.29%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 1 rating

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Alias Betty
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Karma police."
4 stars

The calculated plot has a young divorced writer living in seclusion with her young son, who accidentally dies by falling out of a window while the writer’s mother is visiting.

Bereft, the writer tries to cope, while her mother’s idea of consolation is to steal a little boy as a replacement. The film additionally goes on to track the whore-mother of that boy, her boyfriend, and complicated matters they are involved in at the same time that Betty, clearly the film’s centerpiece, deals with the situation she’s been involuntarily placed in. (The French title, Betty Fisher et Autres Histoires translates to “and other stories.”) Claude Miller directs, based on a novel by Ruth Rendell (you can see one of her books sitting on Betty’s shelf), with great poise, manipulating the most out of this slow-paced drama, managing as well to elucidate a general sense of intrigue. Of course, that does mean that the film has issues with its pacing (splitting up the perspectives help), in addition to some generic plot turns and a lazy caricature or two, but it’s the type of film — and it’s my fading recollection of it — that suggest it is something I would enjoy even more on the second go-round. But no pass of time can lessen the impact and the power of Sandrine Kiberlain’s subtle and economic performance, undoubtedly worthy of much more attention than it has received. With Nicole Garcia, Mathilda Seigner, and Luck Mervil.


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originally posted: 04/11/04 13:49:39
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8/23/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen Another depressing child-hating French film 2 stars
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