Friday, April 14, 2017

Valley of Love (2015) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 96
Movie Name/Year: Valley of Love (2015)
Tagline: Waiting for a miracle to cure lost love and regret.
Genre: Drama
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Les Films du Worso, LGM Productions, Scope Pictures, France 3 Cinema, DD Productions, Cinefeel Prod, Cinemage 9, Soficinema 11, Cofinoa 11, Palatine Etoile 12, Canal+, France Televisions, Le Pacte, Centre National de la Cinematographie, Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Federal de Belgique, SCOPE Invest, Nu Films
Producer: Patrick Batteux, Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Serge Hayat, Genevieve Lemal, Sylvie Pialat, Benoit Quainon, Catalina Restrepo
Director: Guillaume Nicloux
Writer: Guillaume Nicloux, David H. Pickering
Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Gerard Depardieu, Dan Warner, Aurelia Thierree, Dionne Houle
Stunt Doubles: N/A

Blurb from Netflix: Reeling from the suicide of their son, two aging film stars reunite in California’s Death Valley, where his final letter directs them to wait for him.

Selina’s Point of View:
This film was the screened equivalent of a sleeping pill. I kept having to rewind and start parts over because my eyelids were drooping. Considering I was energetic beforehand, that says a lot.

Valley of Love spent huge amounts of time on such mundane stuff that it felt long and dragging. The very first scene is nearly four full minutes of watching the back of a woman’s head as she walks. You might think that’s not so bad because a lot of movies open with credits and that would be the prime scene to show them… but there were none of those to distract from the absolute nothingness that was happening.

There were tons of scenes just like that. If the editors had left every unnecessary bit of footage they could find out, the film would be a grand total of thirty minutes long. I'm almost positive. 

To be honest, that would have still been too long.

I was so bored that I couldn’t even accurately tell you what it was about more than just the Netflix blurb.

I’ve got very little more to say. Watching paint dry has never been a hobby of mine.

Cat’s Point of View:
I am so confused.

It’s clear that this is one of those ‘art house’ films that’s supposed to be vague. I even applaud that they won an award for cinematography- the film certainly deserved it there. There were some shots of the Death Valley scenery that were simply breathtaking and they expertly captured the essence of the stark landscape.

Beyond that, it was about as entertaining as watching grass grow.

This sort of drama just simply isn’t my thing. It seemed like they were trying to dabble in a little bit of a different genre but I don’t think they were very successful.

Hats off to GĂ©rard Depardieu (Life of Pi, A Farewell to Fools, Stalin's Couch) and Isabelle Huppert (The Nun, Paris Follies, Louder Than Bombs) for their excellent portrayals of their roles. Part of my confusion, however, is that they seemed to be playing themselves in the film – aging actors no longer quite in the limelight reuniting after a long time. What isn’t clear is whether or not this is based on any sort of true story – even in part. I couldn’t seem to find any sources that would comment one way or another.

The characters were awkward, annoying at times, and even tragic in their own way – which made them successful in connecting with me, as an audience. I just wasn’t a fan of the meandering of the story or the dry subject matter. (I really didn’t mean to pun but I’m keeping it, damn it.)

Did we really need to watch someone roll a suitcase around a hotel exterior for what felt like an eternity at the beginning? (In reality it was likely about 4 or 5 minutes as a guess.)

On the upside, the subtitles weren’t bad; and, in fact, were shown below the letterbox of the movie so that they were easy to read. Other than that, I’m afraid this was a flop.

Speech Available: French
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 59%

Selina’s Rating1/5
Cat’s Rating2/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:

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