"The Unknown Girl" a Dardennes misfire



From IMDB:
"A doctor attempts to uncover the identity of a patient who died after she refused her treatment."

I remember being dead-tired at some point during my stay at Cannes, must have been mid-way, mostly due to the fact that my roommate over there would show up at 4am every morning drunk as a skunk and then proceed to be the loudest snorer I've ever encountered. Suffice to say that when it came the time for the 8:30am screening of the new Dardennes brothers opus "The Unknown Girl" I completely slept through the morning and woke up in panic that I missed the screening. I tried to not listen or hear any opinions of the film until I finally got a chance to see it on the last day of the fest, but suffice to say I couldn't avoid the disappointment that came out of post-screening from critics and bloggers alike. I ended up catching the film on the last day of the fest, when the programmers re-screen the entire competition, I wasn't impressed.

The Dardennes pretty much had a perfect track record until "The Unknown Girl". Their brand of cinema verite isn't groundbreaking, but it's forcefully powerful. They are experts at creating tension in the most minimalist of situations. "The Unknown Girl" felt like a greatest hits package instead of a new tale. This is the Dardennes in an almost redux paradox. Everything that happens in the film feels foreshadowed by their past movies. Sundance Selects has the U.S. distribution rights, but have opted for a 2017 release. The 113 minute cut I saw of the film at Cannes has now been shortened to a 106 minute cut. That says everything you need to know about this movie.

Archive