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The Past Review

This last week, I had a chance to watch a great French film called The Past at the Ciné Art Theater in Athens, Georgia. Here is my review.

French film, eh? You’ve gone soft, mister! So, I’ve been watching some foreign films of late, and it’s something relatively new for me. I mean, when I was a kid I watched and owned all of the Godzilla films. They are rarely seen as quality foreign films (though I would argue that the first one is quite compelling, especially for its time).

Anyway, The Past is a brilliant story about a broken family with a series of short-term father figures. The mother is a woman who is trying to figure out what she wants in love, and she seems to repeat the same mistakes in relationships, projecting onto her lovers a singular identity. The whole story ramps up conflicts for the characters (the daughter struggling to deal with her mother’s choices, the soon-to-be stepson struggling to adapt to his new “home,” the new husband’s struggle to move on from his wife in a coma, the ex-husband’s struggle to make a clean break from the family, etc.). Individually, these conflicts are tough to pull off, but The Past carries them all out spectacularly.

Geez. Spoiler alert! This movie feels so human, and it’s a great example of where fiction feels more real than real life. All of the characters are identifiable in his film. There are no easy or clear villains. And the characters are emotionally desperate, projecting their wants and pains on others, as they struggle to take responsibility for the choices in their lives.

Here is the trailer:

What is your verdict, oh judge, jury, and executioner? This movie is fantastically directed and dark, and the acting is top notch. There are no weak characters in this film, including the children. My rating on this movie is this:

Theatre One: This is a great movie. You should watch this movie any chance you get in theater. This is the kind of flick to see on opening night and then come back the following day.

Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. It’s great.

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