Review – Looking For Hortense

24 Nov 13

Looking for Hortense

This film doesn’t seem to have a story. Which is strange, because it definitely has a plotline.

Chinese business professor Damien is asked by his partner, Iva, to help out a friend of hers who is about to be deported. Damien’s father is a senior member of the French Council of State, and everyone assumes that Damien will be able to persuade him to help. But Sebastien is an absent man at the best of times, and trying to get his father to sit down and talk through the case is practically impossible.

In the meantime, Damien’s home life is unravelling. He’s fairly sure his partner is cheating on him, and their son Noé’s apathy towards his mother is gradually developing into full-blown hatred. The only positive points in his day-to-day life are the moments he spends talking to Aurore, a woman who frequents his favourite bookshop and who he sometimes bumps into on the street.

Along the way, Damien finds out things about his life that turn his world upside-down. He doesn’t know who to trust and his personal identity is brought into question.

It’s not a bad movie. It was entertaining enough, and at no point did I find myself thinking “I’m bored, I want to turn this off.” But when the credits started rolling at the end, I somehow didn’t feel like I’d experienced a story unravelling in front of my eyes. I felt more like I’d seen an extended version of that first part of most movies where you’re not really sure who the characters are.

It was a reasonable film, and I wouldn’t run screaming from anyone who suggests watching it, but I wouldn’t go and hunt it down either.

Looking for Hortense (12) comes out on DVD on the 2nd of December and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

4/10 – A confusing mixture of reasonable film and lack of plot