Home (2009/2010)

by | May 5, 2011 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Home (2009/2010)

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Gourmet
Director: Ursula Meier
Studio: Swiss Films/Lorber Films LF-DVD-66 [7/10]
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 color
Audio: French DD 5.1
Subtitles: English
Extras: : “Sleepless” – short film by Ursula Meier, Interview with Meier and her cinematographer Agnes Godard, Theatrical trailer, Stills gallery
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: ****

A seriously odd little Swiss/French/Belgian production with terrific acting by Huppert and all concerned and excellent images from the also female cinematographer. Marthe and her family (husband, two daughters and a younger son) live in an isolated ramshackle home just a few yards from a freeway section which was built a decade earlier but never hooked up to the system and thus not used. (Though you are never shown just how far they are from other homes and roads.) It has become the messy front yard of the family, with the oldest daughter (from a previous marriage) spending her time sunning herself near the unused freeway. They live separated from the rest of society.

Suddenly the road is hooked up and rush hour traffic begins to noisily zoom past their home. The older daughter enjoys giving the finger to the appreciative male gawkers who whiz by as she tans in her bikini. The changes this stimulus brings on the family are different for each member, but they include irritability, paranoia, and various other neuroses. They have to play a sort of game of chicken just to get to the other side of the freeway where their car and connection to the rest of the world resides. The oldest daughter does leave, and the others soon are ready to leave the home but Marthe crazily holds on and refuses to move away. They even finally decide to wall up all the windows with cement blocks and install acoustic material everywhere, but though that silences things it brings other problems.

Viewers will probably either love the film or hate it. It ends very much up in the air as do many French films. Huppert clearly doesn’t mind showing off all her freckles.  One online reviewer compares Meier’s work to that of Luis Bunuel, in dealing with a group of people trapped in a nightmare they can’t seem to wake up from.  A familiar classical selection is used several places on the soundtrack but I couldn’t identify it.  The 30-minute film by Meier deals with a brother and sister’s relationship which has some parallels to Home.

— John Sunier

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01